Exterior design: Modern sense of status, sensual shapes and stylish sportiness

May 15, 2013
People all over the world can recognise a Mercedes-Benz straight away. The classic Mercedes face runs like a golden thread through the brand's history. The features of the style-defining front design are both simple and complex, especially on the S-Class: it is strong in character and unmistakable and, instead of following fads, it exudes confidence and status. An alpha leader, dynamic yet not aggressive, sophisticated yet not fancy.
To underline the effortless superiority of the new S-Class, and its ambition to lead, the radiator grille is now larger, upright and distinctly three-dimensional in design. The four louvres taper outwards and do not touch the chrome frame. Instead of diamond-shaped perforations, the lower air intake now features tiny louvres in high-gloss black, which follow the shape of the grille. The front-end design is completed by a chrome strip on the lower part of the bumper.
The headlamps have clearly defined contours. In the case of the dynamic LED High Performance headlamps with Intelligent Light System (optional), the indicators, side lights and daytime running lamps are arranged behind the lens so that the brand's hallmark "torch" is immediately recognisable both day and night. The Mercedes-Benz lettering in the headlamp is illuminated.
The greater need for passive and active pedestrian protection has likewise been taken into account in the front design. The additionally required crash gaps have been ideally configured to lend the front end greater presence and a more dominant feel.
The side: powerful, elongated body
With its long bonnet, the flowing, domed roof line and the gently slanting rear end, the new S-Class has classic saloon proportions. The size and space have been fashioned in such a way that the new S-Class appears prestigious, and the powerful roof line is also in keeping with the car's sporty coupé-style intentions.
A character line descending discreetly from front to rear – the brand's hallmark "Dropping Line" – elegantly structures the side wall and generates additional dynamism even when the car is at a standstill. The subtly created convex-concave effect of the entire flank gives rise to an extremely powerful and elongated car body that demonstrates both excitement and calm. The pronounced shoulder above the rear wheel adds further emphasis to the car's athletic character.
Every detail and each of the detachable body parts have been stylistically optimised. The exterior mirrors, for instance, have a new, more dynamic form, while the precisely shaped exterior handles emphasise the body's distinctive lines.
The overall composition is accentuated by elegantly designed chrome trim strips, notably the trim strip on the rear door frame, which widens rearwards in one piece. The likewise three-dimensional trim strip at the bottom sits deeper and establishes a visual link with the doors' functional gap. Consequently the sheet metal remains untouched, and an eye-catching design feature is created. The chrome strip has a plastic support element at the bottom to protect against stone chipping.
Rear end: horizontal lines and eye-catching light design
The extravagantly sculpted surfaces and lines of the side wall on the new S-Class generate excitement as they flow into the rear end. As well as being elegant, the slightly slanting form has aerodynamic advantages.
Horizontal lines running from the boot lid to the bumper emphasise the car's width when viewed from the rear. The hallmark signature of the Mercedes‑Benz designers can also be seen in the rear windscreen, which cuts into the C-pillars. The upper area of the glass is rounded to give it a coupé-like character. The three-dimensional chrome insert on the boot lid adds a new dimension in high-quality design.
The real highlights are the new-style tail lights which are completely encased by the car body and, thanks to this solitarily integrated styling, complete the design right down to the last detail. Their meticulously crafted inner workings reflect the current state of the art. Featuring three horizontally arranged fibre-optic cables, the design echoes the hallmark Mercedes meander and so ties in seamlessly with the long line of predecessor models. The combination of attention to detail with exacting technical requirements is apparent in both the night and the day design. The rear fog lamp is housed in the centre of the bumper, while the reflectors are elegantly integrated on the left and right sides.