You've seen it in revealing spy photos and you've seen it in leaked brochures, but now it's official. This is the all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, due in Australia from November.
As the carmaker's flagship model, the S-Class has historically been the launchpad for new comfort and safety technologies, and this new limo is no exception.
There's little of the S-Class that hasn't already been revealed, from its stately and evolutionary exterior design to its Bentley-rivalling and generously equipped cabin.
Merc's familiar large grille dominates the face, flanked by large headlights and a set of sports-styled bumper options.
With Daimler's upstream Maybach range now retired, the new S-Class has also upped its game in the cabin.
There's an extra 14mm of knee room in the rear, and a wider track also gives the new S-Class an extra 14mm of shoulder room.
Technologies in the new S-Class will include new petrol and hybrid powertrains, a new 9G-tronic nine-speed transmission and a number of segment-first safety systems.
"Rather than being about safety or aesthetics, power or efficiency, comfort or dynamism, our aspirations were 'the best or nothing' in every respect," Daimler chairman and Mercedes-Benz chief Dr Dieter Zetsche said.
"No other car stands for the Mercedes-Benz brand promise more than the S-Class."
Among them, a new autonomous steering system that will - in certain situations - allow the driver to become a passenger, surrendering control to the car's computer.
A new pedestrian-detection system will also feature, adding a camera system to more efficiently interpret and recognise whether the obstacle is real and potentially dangerous.
The carmaker says that the addition of the camera technology will ensure that its PreSafe system is less likely to activate the automatic braking function unnecessarily.
The car's Emegency Brake assist will also be a more advanced package than in current models, allowing automatic braking to activate at speeds up to 70km, compared to 30km/h in its current form.
The system will work together with Emergency Steer Assist, helping the driver to safely swerve around an obstacle when appropriate.
Developed together with Continental, Mercedes says the combined system is the first of its kind.
Mercedes also promises a top-shelf Burmester audio system with an all-digital 12.3 inch high-resolution dual-view display in the dash, along with an advanced dual-zone Air-Balance cooling and heating system.
Models in the new S-Class range will include the S 500, powered by a 335kW and 700Nm 4.6 litre twin-turbo V8, offering a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.8 seconds.
A 4Matic all-wheel-drive version of the S 550 will also be offered in some markets, although Merc has yet to release details for that model.
Other models include the 225kW+20kW 3.5 litre V6 petrol-electric S 400 Hybrid, the 190kW/620Nm S 350 BlueTec and the 150kW+15kW V6 petrol-electric S 300 BlueTec Hybrid.
The hybrid models offer the standout fuel consumption figures, with the S 400 listing 6.3 l/100km and the S 300 rated at 4.4 l/100km.
The S 400 is no performance slouch either, with a 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds.
Topping the range, the hero S 63 AMG will appear later this year, but this model has yet to be detailed.
As for Australia, full local pricing and specifications will be revealed closer to its November debut.
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