Hamburg. This evening, the new flagship for luxurious motoring landed in Hamburg on board an Airbus A300-600 DHL cargo plane. Mercedes-Benz had the new S-Class flown in exclusively from its birthplace in Stuttgart for its world premiere at Airbus in Finkenwerder. At the delivery centre for the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft and a benchmark in travel comfort, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new luxury saloon in front of around 750 international guests from the worlds of politics, industry and media. Flanked by the 20 current Mercedes-Benz models and musically accompanied by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the new top-of-the-line model from Stuttgart rolled across the tarmac as part of a spectacular show. In a dazzling display, it took up its position at the head of the Mercedes-Benz family and drove onto the stage with its first passenger, the global superstar Alicia Keys.
Just as the Airbus A380 has set new standards in air travel, the new S-Class is the technological spearhead of automotive development. "Rather than being about safety or aesthetics, power or efficiency, comfort or dynamism, our aspirations were 'the best or nothing' in every respect. No other car stands for the Mercedes-Benz brand promise more than the S-Class," said Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The new S-Class: redefinition of luxurious motoring
The new S-Class is the true embodiment of a modern luxury saloon: it is an exclusive first-class mobile office akin to a business jet and also an exquisite centre of well-being at the same time. While achieving fuel-consumption and emissions values that appeared utopian just a few years ago even for a mid-size car, it raises the standard for automotive safety equipment to a new level.
In addition to featuring high-grade materials, the interior boasts numerous world firsts, opening up a completely new dimension in luxury and comfort. These include the ENERGIZING massage function based on the hot stone principle, active seat ventilation with innovative reversing fans, active and individually adjustable fragrancing as well as the executive rear seat with a revolutionary fully reclined position. Equally unique is the musical experience. The new S-Class is the first saloon to feature Mercedes-Benz's front bass system and the new Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system – for a superlative listening experience. For the first time, each passenger can individually access the entertainment system from their seat – another world first.
The new S-Class also makes its mark in terms of lighting technology. The first car in the world to completely dispense with conventional electric bulbs, it makes exclusive use of energy-saving LED technology both inside and outside. Equally efficient are the engines, which set new standards in the luxury segment. For example, the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID consumes just 4.4 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres. And this will soon be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID, the first S-Class to boast a fuel consumption with a three in front of the decimal point.
A new benchmark in safety is assured by a host of innovative and intelligently interlinked safety and assistance systems. Thanks to their 360-degree all-round vision, these systems provide early detection of potential dangers, warn the driver and sometimes intervene to correct the situation. Mercedes-Benz calls this "Intelligent Drive".
Launch party with global superstars and unique "Ten Star Restaurant"
The new S-Class's uniqueness and leadership aspiration were conveyed to the guests at the world premiere not just through the vehicle itself, but also by a varied range of sensory experiences. For the dinner, Mercedes-Benz had opened a unique "Ten Star Restaurant". Five German star-rated chefs specialising in different culinary styles each cooked their own dish, which they also served themselves as a flying menu: Juan Amador from Mannheim (3 stars), Douce Steiner from Sulzburg (2 stars), Tim Raue from Berlin (2 stars), Matthias Schmidt from Frankfurt am Main (2 stars) and Wahabi Nouri from Hamburg (1 star).
The musical accompaniment was equally excellent and diverse. Global superstar Alicia Keys had come specially to Hamburg just a few days ahead of the start of her European tour. With 19 musicians under conductor Prof. Johannes Schild, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra played various pieces that had been specially composed for the world premiere of the S-Class by the internationally successful film composer Marius Ruhland. There were also appearances by two internationally acclaimed German musicians: the Berlin-based jazz singer Lisa Bassenge, who won last year's German Jazz Award in Gold, and Alice Francis from Cologne, who received critical acclaim in 2012 for her debut album. In an original and elegant way, she combines elements of swing, Charleston and jazz from the 1920s with modern hip-hip and an electro-sound.