Mercedes-Benz is laying claim to a technological first with the 2014 S-Class Coupé. It's called Magic Body Control (MBC) and it’s touted as the first “suspension with eyes”.
MBC detects curves in the road up to 15 metres ahead using a stereo camera system behind the windscreen. That information is combined with transverse acceleration readings and used to adjust the suspension, tilting the car into bends the way a motorbike or a skier takes a corner according to Mercedes.
“Lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to driving on a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances motoring enjoyment and comfort,” the company’s tech info claims.
The system uses the hydraulic Active Body Control to adjust the force on each suspension strut individually. The Coupé reacts in fractions of a second, leaning by up to 2.5 degrees, depending on the road angle and vehicle speed.
Challenging the suspension’s abilities is a biturbo 4.7-litre V8 engine based on the current CL500 motor. The new S-Class Coupé now generates 335kW and 700Nm - 15kW and 170Nm more than the CL500.
Historically, the S-Class has introduced Mercedes-Benz's cutting-edge developments and exclusive features, and the 2014 Coupe also features what the manufacturer calls 'Intelligent Drive' safety systems. These include Pre-Safe braking, which predicts rear-collisions and warns following drivers by flashing the rear hazard lights, along with Active Lane Keeping Assist and Night View Assist.
On the options list you’ll find “expressive” headlamps, each featuring 47 Swarovski crystals, heated armrests, ‘hot stone massage’ inspired seats and a head-up display including navigation and speed limit info. Sadly, Magic Sky Control can’t stop it raining – it’s a panoramic roof with variable transparency from almost clear to 99 percent opaque, so you can enjoy the open-top feeling, whatever the weather.
The new S-Class Coupé will have its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. Distribution to dealerships is scheduled for the second half of 2014, with prices expected to start around $330,000.