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The Mercedes-Benz W222 is the version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class produced since 2013, and the successor of the Mercedes-Benz W221. The W222 was designed during 2009. The original design proposal of the car was created by Il-hun Yoon, a Korean designer, who was inspired by the Mercedes-Benz F700 concept car.[3] The exterior design was developed by a team of designers under the direction of Robert Lešnik.[4] W222 has a similar design theme to the CLA-Class and Pre-Facelifted E-Class (W212).

In Europe, sales of the S 400 Hybrid, S 350 BlueTEC, S 350 BlueTEC Hybrid, and S 500 began in September 2013. US sales of the S 550 also began in September; the 4Matic four-wheel drive model went on sale in November, 2013. Additional models, including V12 models and those from AMG were released in 2014.[2][5]

The newest S-Class debuted on 15 May 2013 in Hamburg, Germany and entered production in Sindelfingen, Germany June 2013.[6]

The W222 is the first S-Class using very-high-speed FlexRay optical fiber data bus technology,[8] which interconnects (data fusion) all electrical/electronic systems, particularly the COMAND Online control interface (with Intel Atom processor[9]), MBC road scanning active suspension[10] and the multitude of new driver assistance systems, since all these require very high data bit rates.


Mercedes’ Active Body Control hydraulic active suspension has been updated with a system dubbed Magic Body Control (MBC) that is fitted with a road-sensing system (“Road surface scan”) that pre-scans the road for uneven surfaces, potholes and bumps. Using a stereo camera, the system scans the road surface up to 15 meters ahead of the vehicle at speeds up to 130 km/h (81 mph), and it adjusts the shock damping at each wheel to account for imperfections in the road. Magic Body Control is not available on any of the 4-Matic models, as of Model Year 2017.[5][11]

Safety innovations[8][edit]

  • Sensors: The S-Class uses a total of six radar sensors, plus one long-range and one short-range infrared sensor.[8] New improved versions of the short-range and long-range radars combine with a new multi-mode radar to detect relevant obstacles such as vehicles or people in defined areas in front of, next to and, now, behind the vehicle, too. The system employs 2 x short-range radars at the front (range 30 m, detection angle 80°), 1 x long-range radar at the front (200 m, 18°) with medium-range detection (60 m, 60°), 2 x short-range radars on the sides at the rear (30 m, 80°) and 1 x multi-mode radar at the rear (30 m, 80° and 80 m, 16°). The algorithms for the varying systems amalgamate (data fusion) the radar readings with the visual information from the stereo camera. Many of the assistance systems from Mercedes-Benz work in this way, fusing multiple data sources to ensure more reliable operation.[8]
  • Distronic Plus with Steering Assist: This radar-based function has now been enhanced by the addition of Steering Assist, which helps drivers to stay centred in their lane by generating the appropriate steering torque when travelling on a straight road and even in gentle bends. The stereo camera recognises lane markings as well as vehicles driving ahead together with their three-dimensional positioning, and relays this information to the electric steering assistance system. When driving at slow speeds, e.g. in congested traffic, Steering Assist can use the vehicle ahead as a means of orientation, enabling semi-autonomous following even when there are no clear lane markings visible. As a result, the system is able to further enhance driving comfort and substantially ease the driver’s workload in many traffic situations. DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist can be activated as before with a lever on the steering column in a speed range from 0 – 200 km/h. Any speed between 30 km/h and 200 km/h can be selected as the desired cruising speed. Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times even when Steering Assist is activated, as the function only works in bends above a certain, speed-dependent radius.[12]
  • BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist: can also come to the driver’s aid when there is a risk of a collision with cross traffic at junctions. If this anticipatory system detects a hazardous situation of this type, it prompts the driver to start emergency braking by activating visual and acoustic warnings. If the driver presses the brake pedal too tentatively, BAS PLUS will step in by automatically boosting brake pressure for effective emergency braking, even applying the brakes at full power if necessary. Applying just the right amount of braking power for the situation at hand maximises the available braking distance for traffic behind. The Cross-Traffic Assist function is operative at speeds up to approx. 72 km/h, while BAS PLUS is able to aid the driver in longitudinal situations at any speed.[13]
  • Pre-Safe with pedestrian detection and City Brake function Thanks to the combination of stereo camera and radar sensors, it is now possible to detect pedestrians in front of the vehicle. Visual and acoustic warnings are triggered when a hazard is spotted. If the driver then reacts by braking, the braking power will be boosted by BAS PLUS as the situation requires, right up to a full brake application. Should the driver fail to react, PRE-SAFE® Brake triggers autonomous vehicle braking. The PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection is active up to approx. 72 km/h, and is able to prevent collisions with pedestrians autonomously from an initial speed of up to 50 km/h.[14]
  • Pre-Safe Plus: offers an extension of the familiar occupant protection measures in situations where traffic behind poses a danger. A radar sensor in the rear bumper monitors the traffic behind the vehicle. If the risk of an impact from the rear is detected, the rear hazard warning lights are activated to alert the driver of the vehicle behind (not on vehicles with USA/Canada coding). Apart from this, the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection measures, such as the reversible belt tensioners, are deployed. Plus, if the vehicle is stopped and the driver indicates a wish to remain stationary – by depressing the brake pedal, for example, activating the HOLD function or moving the selector lever to “P” – PRE-SAFE® PLUS will also come to the driver’s aid by increasing the brake pressure in order to keep the vehicle firmly braked during a possible rear-end collision.[14]
  • Pre-Safe Impulse: at an early phase of the crash, before the resulting deceleration starts to increase, the front occupants are pulled away from the direction of impact and deeper into their seats by their seat belts. By the time the accident enters the phase when loads peak, the extra distance they are retracted by can be used while dissipating energy in a controlled fashion. Pre-acceleration and force limitation allow the occupants to be temporarily isolated from the effects of the crash, significantly reducing the risk and severity of injuries in a frontal collision.[14]
  • Beltbags: The beltbag is an inflatable seat-belt strap that is able to reduce the risk of injury to passengers in the rear in a head-on collision by lessening the strain placed on the ribcage. Should the crash sensors detect a severe frontal impact, the airbag control unit will trigger deployment and inflation of the beltbag. A gas generator then inflates the multi-layered belt strap with Velcro seams to nearly three times its normal width. The resulting larger surface area is able to better distribute the force acting on the seat occupant, thereby reducing the risk of injury.[15]
  • Active seat-belt buckle with Pre-Safe function for rear occupants: the active seat-belt buckle is fully integrated in the vehicle’s PRE-SAFE® system. Whenever PRE-SAFE® becomes active in critical driving situations or when the system detects the vehicle approaching other objects at a critical speed, reversible belt tensioning is also performed in the rear via the active seat-belt buckle function. The restraint system and the passengers are thus better prepared for a possible accident system. In contrast to its extended position to facilitate fastening of the seat belt, the belt buckle is retracted by approx. 40 millimetres instead. This reversible function increases the belt tensioning on the occupant by up to 80 millimetres. In addition, the belt buckle branches off at a lower point at the occupant’s hip. This reduces the risk of the pelvis submarining under the belt. Securing the occupants more effectively in this way can reduce the strain to which they are exposed in the event of an accident. The active seat-belt buckle complements the pyrotechnic belt tensioning which has featured as standard in Mercedes-Benz vehicles for many years now, and is triggered in the event of an actual impact.[15]
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus: For the first time, the Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows the high-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently while driving by masking out other road user detected in the beams’ cone of light. It uses LED headlamps. If the camera-based system registers either oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead, it will adapt the light distribution according to the specific situation when the high beam is switched on. Consequently, the driver can simply leave the high-beam headlamps on at all times and use their full range without irritating or even endangering other road users. There is no need to switch them on and off manually, resulting in a significant increase in the overall driving time with high beam.[16]
  • Night View Assist Plus. Besides the twin infrared projectors in the headlamps, an additional (long-range) infrared sensor has now been integrated into the radiator grille.[17] For the first time, the new Night View Assist Plus is capable of detecting not just pedestrians in potentially hazardous positions in front of the vehicle, but animals too. This third-generation night vision system automatically switches the instrument cluster display from the speedometer to a crystal-sharp night view image to alert the driver in unlit areas. Pedestrians or animals detected ahead are highlighted in colour in this image. The spotlight function is additionally used to repeatedly flash pedestrians in the warning zone by means of a special module in the front headlamps. This attracts the driver’s attention to the source of the danger at the same time as warning the person on the side of the road. The pedestrian detection function is now also available in urban areas with the night view image has been activated by the driver. An additional (far) infrared sensor in the radiator grille supplements the proven Mercedes-Benz night vision technology. It is able to detect pedestrians at a distance of up to 160 metres, and animals such as deer, horses and cattle at up to 100 metres. Two separate light sources in the headlamp assemblies light up the area in front of the vehicle with invisible infrared light.[16]
  • Traffic Sign Assist with wrong-way driving warning function: A new Traffic Sign Assist which builds on the capabilities of the previous Speed Limit Assist represents yet another contribution to accident prevention from Mercedes-Benz. The system is now also able to recognise no-overtaking zones and alert drivers to no-entry restrictions.[18]

The W222 S-Class has a unique lighting system: Exterior and interior lighting is composed only of LEDs, the first automobile to do so.[19] All models include all-LED lighting, though the number depends on the equipment of the specific vehicle. Around 500 LEDs attended to all the lighting functions on a car for the first time on the S-Class in 2013.[20] The LEDs are placed as follows:

  • Headlamps – each with up to 56
  • Tail lamps – each with up to 35
  • Interior – approximately 300

It can also park itself.[21]



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