Mercedes-Benz flagship S-Class model returns for 2016 in its well-known sedan form, and in the coupe body style introduced last year as a replacement for the CL-Class.
The most notable news is the addition of a plug-in hybrid version of the sedan called the S550e that pairs a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine with an electric motor for power outputs of 436 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, and an electric-only range of 33 km with a fully-charged battery.
Trim updates include standard rear side window roller blinds and 360-degree camera for the S63 sedan; a standard Nappa leather sport steering wheel in sedan and coupe versions of the S63 and S65, and all coupe models now get a standard heated windshield.
It joins an S-Class lineup that is otherwise unchanged. The sedan also comes in S400 4MATIC (4MATIC denoting the brand's all-wheel drive system), S550 4MATIC, S600, S63 AMG 4MATIC, and S65 trims. The S400 and S550 come in a short-wheelbase body, while a long-wheelbase version is optional in the S 550 and standard in the rest of the line. The coupe is offered as the S550 4MATIC, S63 4MATIC, and S65.
The S400 uses a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 that makes 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque; S550 models (sedan and coupe) get a 4.7L twin-turbo V8 good for 449 hp and 516 lb-ft, and the S600 uses a 6.0L V12 whose 523 hp and 612 lb-ft outputs look impressive until you get to the "high-performance" AMG models: the S63's 5.5L turbo V8 is good for 577 hp and 664 lb-ft, and the S65's turbo V12 cranks out 621 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque; again, these engines are shared by sedan and coupe variants.
Fuel consumption ratings range from the S400's 12.6/8.6 L/100 km (city/highway) to the S65's 18.5/11.8 L/100 km. The hybrid S550e hasn't been rated yet.
S400 and S550 models share a standard feature list that includes eco start/stop, electro-mechanical steering, electric parking brake, 19-inch wheels, power trunk with hands-free access, active LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, surround-sound stereo, navigation, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 16-way power front seats with memory, wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, "warmth comfort" package, touchpad infotainment control, collision prevention assist plus, magic vision control, pre-safe, crosswind assist, run-flat tires and stability control with dynamic cornering assist.
The S600 adds 20-inch wheels, 360-degree camera, keyless-go, night view assist plus, magic body control, distronic plus with steering assist, active blind spot assist, active lane keeping assist, and BAS plus with cross-traffic assist.
AMG models get unique 20-inch wheels and upgraded transmission, suspension, steering, brakes and exhaust.
Price tags range from $102,600 for the S400 to $252,000 for an S65 LWB.