We will start with the former, since Mercedes-Benz seemed to make the biggest deal about the new bits and pieces that comprise the S-Class' assistance and comfort features.
One of the coolest new optional features is called “Energizing Comfort Control,” and it pretty much works like it's been designed by the writer of a sci-fi love novel.
It works by using the functions of the climate control system, which includes the touted fragrancing feature, the seat heating, ventilation and massage, and the surface heating, and combining it all with tailored lighting and musical atmospheres.
Apparently, all this can enable a particular wellness set-up that can be tailored to the mood of the driver and/or passengers, so it's kind of like a spa on wheels. We're pretty sure that we want to try it at some point.
When it comes to active safety, the redesigned S-Class is now one step closer to fully autonomous driving, although you can't yet let the car drive you around from point A to point B while you're relaxing in the back. You can read more about the new and/or upgraded features of Distronic in the attached press release, but if you have to know one thing, learn that it will be next to impossible to crash a facelifted S-Class as long as there's someone at least mildly awake behind the wheel.
By far the biggest changes have happened under the hood, where all but one engine are brand new not just to the S-Class, but Mercedes-Benz on the whole.
The S500 (S550 in the U.S.) is dead, having been replaced by the more traditionally named S560, which now only comes in 4Matic AWD guise. Based on the AMG-developed 4.0-liter V8, the new mill delivers 469 hp and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque and features cylinder deactivation.
On the diesel front, the S350 d 4Matic and S400 d 4Matic come fitted with a brand new inline-six that is based on a modular architecture and has a 2.9-liter displacement. The S 350 d features a single turbocharger and delivers 286 hp and 600 Nm (442.5 lb-ft) of torque, while the two-stage turbocharged S 400 d pumps out a healthy 340 hp and a monstrous 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque.
There will be some gasoline inline-sixes in the near future as well, but all we know so far about them is that they will incorporate a 48-volt onboard power supply. The extra energy will be used to power not only the water pump and air-conditioning compressor, but also an Integrated Starter Alternator and an electric supercharger in the case of the more powerful engine version. A mild AMG version powered by a 476 hp variant of this gasoline engine is also in the works for a future Mercedes-AMG E55, but more on that in the next months.
Getting back to the S-Class, a plug-in hybrid based on a gas inline-six is also in the offing, and it is expected to offer an all-electric range of 50 km (31 miles) thanks to a 13.3 kWh battery.
Somewhat surprisingly, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 also made its debut in Shanghai, and it features almost the exact same engine as the E63, albeit with some extra torque. The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter delivers 612 hp and 900 Nm (664 lb-ft) of torque in the S63, gifting the AWD luxury leviathan with a naught to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of just 3.5 seconds. The time is partly owed to the 9-speed multi-clutch transmission that the car comes equipped with.
The Mercedes-AMG S65 is thus the only S-Class version that continues to use the tried and true V12, which continues to develop 630 hp and an electronically controlled 1,000 Nm (738 lb-ft) of torque. Since it's still paired with the old 7G-Tronic with a torque converter and is RWD-only, the most powerful AMG model is also a lot slower than its smaller brother, the S63, but sheiks and oligarchs won't care.
Until July, when it goes officially on sale, the revamped S-Class has many more tricks to show you, including the expansion of its somewhat short engine list, so we should probably direct you to the attached press release below.