S-Class hits hyperspace, V-Class turns posh

Playing second fiddle to the show-stopping S-Class coupe, but equally significant at Geneva, was the release of the V12-engined W222s – the S600 and S65 AMG four-doors – and a new-generation V-class MPV.

The mega-quick, mega-luxurious S-Class flagships carry over the silent assassin twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 from the previous models but the engine now meets Euro 6 emissions standards and features stop/start tech for the first time.

In the S600, the 5980cc V12 punches out 380kW and a huge 830Nm at just 1900rpm, but it’s the 21 percent improvement in fuel consumption (now 11.1L/100km) that’s the most impressive figure.

But if you love headline numbers, the S65 AMG is your car. Or private jet. Mated to AMG’s seven-speed ‘Speedshift Plus’ automatic for the first time, the S65 matches the S600’s huge efficiency gains (now 11.9L/100km) yet its engine outputs are monstrous – 463kW from 4800-5400rpm and 1000Nm across a 2300-4300rpm continental shelf. AMG claims 0-100km/h in 4.3sec, but that’s nothing compared to its autobahn clout.

Both V12 W222s also debut two new optional features – a smartphone-style touchpad for the COMAND controller that reads handwriting, and a head-up windscreen display.

It may not be quite as rapid but the new-generation V-Class people mover will soon be transporting business people to a conference near you. Essentially it’s the previous van with a windswept new front to the B-pillar, a new rear-end with the tailgate incorporating an opening rear window, and a completely gutted interior. And it’s that rock-star new cabin that sets the V-Class apart.

Unlike the Valente and Viano vans it replaces, the V-Class finally transfers the luxe cabin DNA from Mercedes-Benz sedans into a people mover. Available in two wheelbases and three body lengths, it’s powered by a four-cylinder 2.1-litre turbo-diesel with three output options – 100kW, 120kW or 140kW.

The S600 and S65 AMG will be in Australian showrooms by June; the V-Class will launch here in 2015.

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