Gone is the vanilla styling of the old CL; Mercedes’ swoopy new S-Class Coupe truly defines ‘gorgeous’, writes Road Test Editor Howard Walker.
Maybe it’s the 47 Swarovski crystals in the headlamps. Or the glass roof that goes from clear to dark at the touch of a button? Or the total, utter jaw-dropping beauty of its lines? Trust me, Mercedes-Benz’ new S-Class Coupe is traffic-stopping stunning. This new Benz flagship-of-the-fleet has its world premiere at next month’s Geneva auto show – yes, that’s Geneva, Switzerland, not Wisconsin. Stateside sales start in the fall. Please form an orderly line here!

This is Mercedes-Benz throwing down the gauntlet to Bentley and its ageing-gracefully Continental GT. Sure, the initial offering will be the starter S550 model at around $125,000. But close behind will be models like the thundering, V12-energized S65 AMG that will easily break the $230k barrier. Real art and AMG performance do not come cheap.

You’ll notice that with the arrival of this new super-coupe, Mercedes has quietly dropped the previous CL badging. The new name reflects exactly what it is – a coupe version of the brand new S-Class sedan. At 198 inches, yes almost 17 feet, nose-to-tail, it’s around nine inches longer than the Bentley and only eight inches shorter than the S-Class sedan. Which means that it can – unlike the Bentley – accommodate four adults in true hedonistic luxury.

But what really sets this car apart is its jaw-dropping styling. Previous CL coupes have tended to be a little vanilla-bland in the looks department. With this new S-Coupe, Mercedes designers have been given more of a free rein to be more expressive and take more chances.

Gorden Wagener, head of design at M-B described the new shape best: “Our new S-Class Coupe is one of the most gorgeous coupes of all time, representing the most radical aesthetic departure from its predecessor.” I’d agree with that.

Just gaze at the car in profile. That mile-long hood, cascading roofline, the huge frameless doors, and beautiful, sweeping shape of the side windows. Standing still, the car looks like
its hitting 180 on the Autobahn.

As for those Swarovski headlamps, a special-edition coupe called ‘Edition 1 S550’ will feature these unique lights that comprise 47 Swarovski crystals of which 17 form the flare-shaped daytime running lights with the other 30 making up the turn signals.

And while this new S-coupe is bristling with innovations, one I can’t wait to experience is the new active curve-tilting feature. Twin cameras in the windshield detect upcoming curves and work the suspension to tilt the car into the curve, much like a biker leaning in to a bend. The idea is that side forces on those inside the car are reduced, making fast, cross-country driving much more comfortable – with less need for the Dramamine!

As for the first S-coupe to arrive Stateside, the 2015 S550 Coupe will be motivated by Mercedes’ twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 cranking out 449 horsepower and a massive
519 pound-feet of torque. Power goes through a seven-speed auto to all four wheels
via Merc’s 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. Interior is incredibly inviting.

This might well be the most highly anticipated luxury car of the year.

For more information about Mercedes-Benz luxury performance models, please visit http://www5.mercedes-benz.com/en/