Durable brakes, no drifting, and other pieces of trivia.
If you want the run-down on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, start by reading Steven Ewing’s First Drive story, and drill down into specific engine variants with my reviews of the S450 and AMG S65 models. The car has loads of new technologies, design changes from every angle, and several new powertrains. When you’re ready to go even deeper, come back here for seven more pieces of S-Class trivia that you’ll definitely want to pull out to impress your pals at happy hour.
1. No Drifts For You
The Mercedes-AMG S63 has the same 4Matic+ driveline as the E63 S – but unfortunately, that car’s Drift Mode isn’t available on the S63. Engineers decided it would be too “uncouth” for an S-Class, says Nick Martin, AMG Product Manager at Mercedes-Benz. (I disagree: I’d tip extra if my chauffeur drifted on the way to my destination.)
2. Northeastern Star
Twenty percent of all S-Classes in the U.S. are sold in the New York tri-state area – that’s New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, or areas that Mercedes considers “drivable” to Manhattan. It’s a hugely important market for the luxury model; the Manhattan dealership handles 150 service appointments per day, or about 41,000 annually.
3. AMGs Are Uncommon
Cool (and powerful) as they may be, the AMG variants of the S-Class are not particularly popular sales-wise. At just 5 percent of all S-Class volume, “It's a very rare car,” Martin says.
4. U.S. Customers Like To Drive
Mercedes doesn’t have a lot of direct data on how many S-Class owners drive for themselves versus have a chauffeur, but it uses the Executive Rear Seating package as a good indicator – why would you pay for the fancy back seats if you weren’t going to sit back there? About 10 percent of S-Class buyers opt for that pack, and around 30 percent of Maybach shoppers do. Mercedes officials say you can probably extrapolate those numbers to estimate whether the cars are owner- or chauffeur-driven.
5. Launch Control
The 2018 S63 marks the first time an S-Class has ever offered Race Start, AMG’s brand name for launch control. It’s what enables such a rapid sprint to 60 miles per hour – just 3.4 seconds – from a car that weighs 4,806 pounds.
6. Those Carbon-Ceramic Brakes Are Durable
The optional brakes on the S63 and S65 are essentially the same units employed by the Mercedes-AMG GT S safety car. And its carbon ceramics lasted three Formula 1 seasons of intense use before needing replacement. In other words, the brakes will be more than capable of slowing your AMG time and time again. They’re an $8,950 option on the S63 and S65.
7. Mercedes Is A Huge Player In The Six-Figure Car Realm
One in three new cars sold in the U.S. costing more than $100,000 is a Mercedes, the company claims. Obviously pricey exotics, like McLarens and Ferraris, sell in very small numbers, but it shows just how many high-value cars Mercedes dealers sell – whether they be S-Classes, AMG variants, Maybachs, or wild toys like the AMG GT and G65.