From the outside, W222 may seem like the least revolutionary S class in Mercedes Benz history.
Gone are the S classes characteristic bulged fenders. Other than somewhat interesting headlight clusters, there is nothing about the exterior design that sets the new S class apart. The word "bland" comes to mind.
It is obvious that Mercedes have played it safe in the design department. Just like BMW with it's entire model range, minus the M6 and upcoming "i" series, or Audi with A8, which looks a lot like the mundane A4.
The interior, however, does have a "vow" factor. I am a fan of Bentley Mulsanne interior and W222 does remind me of the Bentley. The continuous wide strip of wood trim that wraps the dash and doors is very "Mulsanne", even though it is no way near as thick or substantial.
I also like the circular chrome trimmed air vents which are integrated into wood trim alongside an analog clock - a must have gadget for every luxury car.
The beautiful wood and chrome in combination with equally beautiful diamond stitched leather make the S class interior look very special. And it is hard to believe that such beautiful interior can be made for such a mass market car. It is truly Bentley and Rolls Royce territory. At least in pictures. It may turn out to be just skin deep - quality and comfort can't be judged just by looking.
The extensive use of LED lighting throughout the interior also contributes to the jaw-dropping beauty of the interior.
Luxury, of course, is not just in beautiful and well made interior. Luxury is in softness of the ride, luxury is in quietness of the cabin. I am sure Mercedes have made improvements in noise cancellation, but what excites me the most is their innovation in ride comfort, namely the "Magic Body Control" - MBC.
MBC is my favorite technology in a very very long list of "Assists", "Tronics" and "Assists Plus" that the new S class will be equipped with.
MBC scans the road surface ahead and suggests the most appropriate suspension settings to smoothen the ride. I don't know how fast the system works and how quickly changes can be made in suspension settings, but the potential of this technology is huge.
Imagine suspension that primes itself for every imperfection in the road and stiffens up precisely when car is entering a pothole and loosens precisely when the car is about to hit a bump.
This would potentially make the suspension so good that the occupants would feel more like flying than driving. A true "magic carpet" ride.
Most of the other technologies are safety related. Automatic braking when anticipating frontal collision, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, road sign recognition, night vision with thermal imaging, automatic parking, super adaptive headlights and even adaptive tail lights. The list goes on and is very long, and most of these electronic assists and guides are very unnecessary and gimmicky.
With all these assists turned on, I believe it would be a very strange, intrusive and frankly unpleasant driving experience.
God only knows what will happen when some of these systems make mistakes in their judgement or break down in an unexpected manner and start behaving sporadically.
You got to remember that the brains behind these systems are no brains at all - computers are terrible at pattern recognition and real world scenery is nothing but patterns.
With all the countless computers, cameras, radars, electric motors, LEDs and sensors of all kinds, there is so much to fail and so much to replace, that you probably won't want this car in 20 years. In 2033 you will still be better off with the good old W126 or W140.
With old Benz your sunroof might not work or your Hirschmann antenna might be stuck but at least your car won't suddenly decide to slam on brakes or swerve into a ditch just because its broken electronic "brains" "think" you're about to hit another car or cross into opposite lane.