The all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe is out from under the covers today, just 24 hours (or so…) since a single leaked image offered fans a first look.
As that early shot showed, the big new coupe has hung onto much of its concept forebear’s styling, from the broad grille and headlights through to the sleek profile, deep character lines - and those slender tail-lights on that retro-themed butt.
But most interesting - and more than a little groundbreaking - is the addition of a new ‘Curve Tilting’ function: a system which moves the new coupe to lean in to corners. Yes, just like a motorcycle.
Acting against the lateral forces that would normally see the vehicle and its occupants lean out rather than in, Curve Tilting’s sole role is to keep passengers seated firm and true.
And, while most have never considered it, that’s just what a big prestige car should do. But how does it work?
Forming part of the wider S-Class range’s Magic Body Control suspension system, Curve Tilting responds to turns in the road by inclining automatically “in fractions of a second” at angles up to 2.5 degrees, leaning the body away from its… natural urges.
This is thanks to two elements in the Magic and Active Body Control systems. One is the hydraulic cylinders - or ‘plungers’ - in the suspension struts, adjusting the force in each strut individually.
The other is the pairing of a stereo camera system behind the windscreen, and a transveral acceleration system, registering and responding to the curve of the road up to 15 metres ahead.
Neat trick, to be sure. (We’ll let you know how it goes when we get our first spin.)
Elsewhere in the new CL-replacing S-Class Coupe, specifically the S 500, you’ll find Merc’s twin-turbo and direct-injected 4.6 V8 engine, producing a hefty 335kW (up 15kW over its usual applications) and 700Nm of torque.
Rear-wheel-drive is standard, but the familiar 4matic all-wheel-drive system will be offered in some markets.
Mercedes has yet to release performance figures for the S-Class Coupe, but, if nothing else, we can expect it to match or better the 4.9 second 0-100km/h time of its CL-badged predecessor.
More engines should also join the range in the near future, and an S 63 Coupe - powered by the still-fresh 430kW/900Nm 5.5 litre turbocharged V8 - is known to be a sure thing.
You can expect a V12-powered S 65 AMG Coupe to appear also, but likely not until next year.
Watch for more details to come at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.