Page 1

CLUBHOUSE | DRIVING RANGE

BEST IN CLASS

THE NEW MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS FEATURES AN ASTOUNDINGLY LONG LIST OF NEW TECHNOLOGY, WHICH IS SURE TO EXCITE THOSE IN A POSITION TO AFFORD ONE, WRITES BEN OLIVER.

SCORECARD How much? HK$1,818,000 Engine:

4,663cc V8

455PS at 5,250rpm

Transmission:

Seven-speed automatic

Performance:

0-100kph in 4.8secs, 250kph

How heavy? 2,075kgs

A

long black Mercedes-Benz S-Class has long been favoured by border is just 35. Highlights include the LED cabin dictators – Robert Mugabe’s is reportedly so heavily armoured lighting which seems to pour from every crevice that it requires its own fuel truck to follow it on longer trips – and in your choice of acid-trip purples and reds, or by bankers who want to slip subtly from airport to skyscraper to cooler tones, if you prefer. mansion. So in tough times, should the rest of the world care that an But the back seats are arguably the most all-new S-class has arrived? important in an S-class. Here, Yes it should. As the pinnacle of the Mercedes-Benz range, the accommodation has gone Externally, the new first-class, with the option of the S-class gets everything this storied carmaker knows about carmaking. Previous generations of S-class have helped two individual rear chairs, the car is handsome, pioneer safety systems we now take for granted on humbler one behind the passenger seat well-resolved but cars, such as anti-lock brakes and stability control. When you stretching out airline-style with a subtle ... inside, the calf-rest, the seat in front motoring read about the extraordinary safety features on this new S, you might wonder why Mercedes is going to so much trouble to S is simply beautiful. out of your way. Optional screens save the lives of the well-heeled. But keep in mind that many can play movies, of course, but of these features are so expensive that they have to be cost also display the same kind of ‘inoptions even on the pricey S. Putting them into production here starts the process flight’ information about your journey as you of getting that price down, and getting them into more cars. find on a plane. Stretch out back here and you Externally, the new car is handsome, well-resolved but subtle. Right now, those keep expecting a stewardess to appear at your bankers don’t want anything too conspicuous. Inside, the new S is simply beautiful, shoulder with champagne and mini-pretzels. its cabin executed with a verve and wit that reflects the fact that China is now the The ride is even more impressive: cloud-like air biggest market for this car, and that the average age of its customers across the springs are standard, but the optional Magic Body 32

HK GOLFER・AUG 2013

HKGOLFER.COM

Control system is new and frankly weird. It can spot obstacles ahead such as speed bumps, and control the suspension to allow the S to glide over them as if they just weren’t there. Rolls-Royces ride very well, but an S-class equipped with this system is just in a different league. And what of those safety systems? This car is so safe it now has airbags in the seatbelts. It can detect a car approaching too fast from behind, and prepare itself and you for a rear-end collision. It can see a child in the road ahead and stop itself. It can even spot, in the dark, a human or animal that seems to be moving across your path, and tell the difference between the two, flashing its headlights at the human, but not the animal, which might be startled and freeze. Yes, this is a car for the one-per-cent. But it’s hard not to be impressed by a carmaker at the peak of its game making the very best car it can, and hard not to be excited by the preview it offers of features we’ll all soon enjoy. HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・AUG 2013

33

1308sclass