a class above
A narrow pass opens to the horizon and curves into the driveway of the Dolder Grand hotel. In the courtyard, a fanned assortment of Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousines repose in comforting idle, drivers’ doors ajar and keys at the ready. Below, the alps roll away to meet Zurich with winding mountain roads, narrow village cobblestone lanes and picturesque river crossings. This is an invitation to indulge, if there ever was one.
In this part of the watch capital of the world, there could not be a better setting for the S-Class, indeed the defining nameplate for the three-pointed star. With its impressive art collection including Warhol’s Big Retrospective Painting in 36-foot glory overlooking reception along with sculptures by Henry Moore and Takashi Murakami, the chateau-esque Dolder Grand is purportedly the only hotel that the Rolling Stones will stay in if they find themselves in the vicinity.
Robb Report Malaysia hopped into a Mercedes-AMG S 63, primed with the current 4.0-litre biturbo V8 seeing duty in all 63-designated AMGs in addition to the accomplished GT family. It can be bloodthirsty and barely tameable, such as in the AMG GT R, or sedate and compliant – such is its breadth of talent. The former, of course, is much, much more enjoyable.
At first stab of the throttle with the digital speedometer readout leaping to keep up, the S 63 traces a line of powerful luxury through space and time hurtling down the mountain. The AMG promise is complete weaponisation of any Mercedes-Benz sent to Affalterbach, and when you wrap such immense power in the luxo-bubble that is the S-Class, what you have is agility and ability in the pinnacle of premium c-suite motoring. It is everything an S-Class should be: luxuriously appointed, superlatively cosseting and packed to the teeth in the latest gadgetry with a healthy serving of brute force to hit 100km/h in 3.5 seconds should the need arise.
The loose drive convoy certainly livened up the German-Swiss border, making for stylish crossings en route to the Neuhausen ob Eck Airport for expert demonstrations and technical presentations. These included a number of convenience and safety features such as self-parking and collision mitigation along with the all-new Energizing Comfort system, a confluence audio, lighting and massage features to deliver wellness experiences to enhance the drive or simply to revitalise weary occupants.
On the autobahn, cruising speed rarely dropped below 200km/h, although you would have been hard pressed to tell from the calm within the cabin. With the adaptive cruise control, small changes in direction are automatically handled by the helm – albeit with the drivers hands still on the wheel. On restricted sections, cameras pick up speed limits and automatically reign in the big S until the section ends.
What the S-Class has been calmly and assertively doing in all its iterations is remaining the conveyance of choice for royalty, heads of state, the business elite, Hollywood icons and quite simply, anyone with taste and the necessary measure of financial reach. A garage simply isn’t complete without it, rarely does an automobile come along that ticks all the right boxes with such effortless grace and resounding capability. In the past, and now with this new S-Class, it remains a car that has little to do with what you want or need, but everything to do with what you deserve.
For Malaysia, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes, initially at least, as an S 450 L in AMG Line aesthetic specification (RM699,888 GST inclusive, RM 709,888 with designo paint). It joins the S-Class family in the form of the Mercedes-Maybach S 560, Mercedes-Benz S 560 Cabriolet and Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe.
In the words of Mark Raine, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, “The S-Class family is the definitive statement of luxury in it purest form. From the modern luxury of the S-Class limousine to the pair that is S-Class Cabriolet and the Mercedes-AMG S-Class Coupe offering bespoke luxury and performance luxury for the discerning connoisseur or driver, and of course the embodiment of ultimate luxury that is the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class; the S-Class family has something to fulfill every desire.
“With this launch of this exclusive collection, the Pinnacle of Luxury, we proudly underline our position as a leading luxury lifestyle brand in the automotive segment.”
Despite the Mercedes-AMG S 63 Limousine not featuring in the local launch portfolio, as is usually the case with this premium marque a short discussion can usually lead to a special order of almost any variant for the discerning customer.