The S550 receives freshened front and rear styling, plus a new center sole with upgraded displays and controls. A nine-speed automatic transmission replaces last year’s seven-speed unit. The available adaptive cruise control now comes with steering assist. Most significant, the convertible body style returns after a 44-year absence.
As the “entry level” S-Class, the S550 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 with 449 horsepower (other models carry a larger V8 or a V12). A nine-speed automatic transmission does the shifting. All-wheel drive comes standard on the coupe and is a popular option for the sedan. The new cabriolet features a power soft top with remote control. It’s the largest convertible top currently installed on any car.
The standard adjustable air suspension assures a luxurious ride. For even greater comfort, you can add Magic Body Control, which uses a front-mounted camera to evaluate upcoming road surfaces and then adjusts the suspension accordingly.
The S550 comes standard with indulgences like 12-way power front seats with heat and memory, a cabin fragrance system, heated wiper blades, and automatic soft-close doors. The sedan and coupe get a panoramic sunroof; the coupe’s is available with automatic tinting known as Magic Sky Control. The 13-speaker Burmester surround-sound system comes with 10GB of audio storage and Internet radio (a 24-speaker version is available). As usual for the S-Class, there’s a vast array of leathers, woods, and color schemes to choose from.
The coupe and cabriolet carry additional standard features such as rear parking sensors, an automated parallel parking system, and smart key access and ignition. These upgrades are available on the sedan as part of the Premium package, which also includes power rear window shades, hands-free trunk opening, and multicontour front seats with ventilation, massage, and rapid heating. The two-doors can get a Premium package of their own with the multicontour seats, a head-up display, and a surround-view camera system.
All body styles are eligible for a Sport package with an AMG body kit and 19- or 20-inch AMG wheels.