Taking what best expresses Mercedes in terms of luxury, safety, comfort, and technology, and concentrating it in a single vehicle: this is how the Mercedes S-Class was born, a model that “officially” arrived on the market in 1972, but which has antecedents in the previous decades of the brand’s history. The modern progeny of high-end vehicles created by Mercedes date back to 1951, with the 220 – W187 – twenty years before the creation of the actual S-Class (the W116 was the first to be named thus; the “S” stands for “Sonderklasse” that means “special class” in German). From that time, it has conquered more than 4 million customers.

Today, the S-Class continues to represent a reference point in terms of luxury and technological innovation, thanks to the many technical, safety, and digital elements included in the series’ features, often in a world premiere. But it is also an iconic model that made design one of its winning weapons, changing its aesthetics and style based on market developments, letting itself be inspired and inspiring others in turn.

Reviewing the images of historic models, including those not yet named with the letter S but considered an integral part of the dynasty, you can observe the passage from the solid, curved design of the first generations (especially the W186 and W189) to the squarer, sleeker design of the successive ones, from the 1960s until the end of the last century. The new generation S-Class (project acronym: W223) – that we have tested in recent days along the stretch between Stuttgart, at the Daimler test and research centre, and Immendingen – again aims to be a pioneer of avant-garde technology.

It presents again, and updates, the light design of the previous version, distinguished by a slim silhouette, with streamlined contours, and an elongated rear window that creates a sinuous connection between the arched roof and the third, rear volume, which is slightly tilted. This sensation of lightness can also be perceived in the interiors of the passenger compartment, which are characterised by an elegant and natural environment through curved, dynamic lines, among which numerous digital features are included, with a very high level of comfort.