Knock for a six: Updated S-Class revives Mercedes-Benz straight-sixes

Posted on Jul 23, 2017 by

Mercedes-Benz reshuffles its new S-Class range with an S 450 and S 500 both powered by versions of Sindelfingen’s new M256 inline six-cylinder engine replacing the Vs…

mercedes s-class

The new S 500 is powered by a 3.0-litre inline-six instead of the old V8 – it will be available in the Middle East by November

When Mercedes showed off the S-Class in its mid-life updated form earlier this year at the Shanghai motor show, the Stuttgart carmaker curiously left out any mention of six-cylinder engines in the new range.

Now it’s been revealed the twin-turbocharged V8 and V12 options will be joined at the front end of the line-up by a pair of inline six-cylinder engines, marking a return to good ol’ straight-sixes in big Benzes.

Of course there’s nothing old about the M256 six-cylinder engine which puts out over 400 horsepower in its ultimate spec, which is more horsepower than Mercedes’ V12s managed two decades go.

Alongside the 4.0-litre V8-engined Mercedes-AMG S 63, and the 6.0-litre V12-engined S 65 and Mercedes-Maybach S 650 already announced in Shanghai, the straight-six petrol-powered options will be available in S 320 entry-level guise, as well as the S 450, and the S 500 which was previously fitted with a V8.

mercedes s-class

Prices for the GCC line-up start from AED404,000 for the S 450, going up to AED870,000 for the twin-turbo V12-engined Mercedes-AMG S 65…

In the former the force-fed straight-six makes 367 horsepower and 500Nm of torque, while the S 500 gets a higher tune of the motor rated at 435 horsepower and 520Nm of torque. Compared to the outgoing V8 version, the S 500 is now 22 percent cleaner than before in terms of gas emissions. The new straight-six displaces 3.0 liters and uses a 48-volt electrical system to run its auxiliaries, like the water pump and air conditioning compressor. 

Auto Middle East will be testing the new S-Class this week in Zurich, Switzerland, at the model’s global launch, so look out for our detailed verdict on the car soon. For now we can tell you the S-Class comes armed with a host of driver assistance systems and semi-autonomous modes (including remote parking), plus Merc’s latest-generation infotainment unit, and a new suspension system that can tilt the body into the corners by up to 2.65 degrees to enhance comfort and reduce body roll.

In the Levant region the new S-Class range will start with the S 320 worth 272 horsepower and 400Nm of torque, while the GCC region opens proceedings with the AED404,000 S 450. A plug-in hybrid S 560 model will join the range from AED491,000 later next year.

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