• Mercedes-Benz SL (R 231): side view of a red model.

    #MBsocialcar: SL.

    A two-seater of the absolute luxury class: the combination of comfort and sporty performance marks the SL.

    Photos: Johannes Glöggler

Wallpaper gallery.

  • Mercedes-AMG S 63 Cabriolet (A 217): Front view.

    #MBsocialcar: Mercedes-AMG S 63 Cabriolet.

    Fuel consumption combined: 10.4 l/100 km;
    combined CO2 emissions: 244 g/km.2 | Photos: Thomas Rauhut

Wallpaper gallery.

  • Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 (R 172): side view at the beach.

    #MBsocialcar: Mercedes-AMG SLC 43.

    The Performance roadster from Affalterbach convinces with its package of typical AMG driving dynamics and engine response.

    Fuel consumption combined: 7.8 l/100 km;
    combined CO₂ emissions: 178 g/km2. | Photos: Gijs Spierings

Wallpaper gallery.

  • The new S-Class in front of an orange-red background. A man is leaning against it.

    The new S-Class – First class into the future.

    Powerful, comfortable, and full of innovation. New engines, new assistance systems, driving in a new dimension.

    Fuel consumption combined: 11.7–4.3 l/100 km;
    combined CO₂ emissions: 274–110 g/km.2 | Text: Jörg Heuer | Photos: Jürgen Berderow

Front view of the new S-Class.

A dream becomes reality.

When a long-cherished dream finally becomes a reality, that is one very special moment. When the new S-Class is able to propel car driving quite a way into the future, and also makes the vision of partly automated driving a bit more reachable – that is one such moment. A very special one. The new S-Class brings with it an unprecedented selection of models, features and engine types as well as the self-confidence and image of being best in class. Daimler’s flagship will now be making life easier and more comfortable than ever before, for both driver and passenger, thanks to multiple innovative driver assistance systems, new engines and the Energizing comfort control. A drive in the city, along country roads or on highways will not only be more comfortable, it will also be safer. And more sensual. Simply more beautiful and more relaxed. It will become a holistic experience.

A new generation of engines.

A tour through a long list of innovations: the future promises a new, very powerful and economical generation of engines – the petrol-driven inline six-cylinder, also in tandem with a 48-volt electrical system, electric auxiliary compressor and integrated starting generator. The six-cylinder will be available for the saloon in Europe, China and Japan. The new inline six-cylinder diesel with 210 kW (285 hp) will in future be powering the S 350 d 4MATIC. And the strongest series diesel engine ever built by Mercedes-Benz, with 250 kW (340 hp), will run under the bonnet of the S 400 d 4MATIC.

Hand stroking the trunk lid of the new S-Class.
Man sitting inside the new S-Class looking at his phone.

Fit & Healthy.

The new Fit & Healthy features – such as ambient lighting with three or even five colour schemes for lighting the interior – also raise the bar in terms of comfort. Six Fit & Healthy programmes are available: Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort, Training. They perfectly interact with the new engine types and intelligent assistance systems so that driver and passengers could get out of the car feeling better than when they got in.

The new generation.

The new generation of driver assistance systems is a milestone in partly automated driving: three radar systems and an advanced stereo multi-purpose camera system provide a far-ranging view. Controls for the highly intelligent helpers are accessed on the three-spoke steering wheel. The activated systems are displayed on the cock­pit and on the head unit. The driver sees every­thing clearly at a glance and can easily access the controls.

The assistance system functions have been further improved for the S-Class. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC (which can maintain the distance between the next vehicle up to 210 km/h) and Active Steering Assist are very useful and can help the driver, if necessary.

Data from the navigation system and information provided by the cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors now give the S-Class an extraordinary field of vision. For the first time, the system factors in map and navigation data into the calculation of driving behaviour.

The assistance systems can now also adjust driving speeds to the allowed speed limits, handled by the Active Speed Limit Assist, which recognises traffic signs in conjunction with Comand Online. The helpers also have all details of the driving route under control. The activated systems do not get over-confident. No risks. They register intersections and curves in advance.

View of the interior of the new S-Class. A man is sitting behind the wheel.

Relaxed elegance.

When Active Steering Assist is activated, the S-Class takes curves with even greater relaxed elegance. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC can even adjust the vehicle’s speed when navigating roundabouts. And in Eco mode, the S-Class automatically turns off when idling, which saves valuable fuel during “sailing”.

When driving returns to normal, the assistance system accelerates to the predefined speed. The vehicle also autonomously decelerates when approaching exits or junctions if the route has been programmed into the navigation system. And if things get tense because of fatigue or health problems, the S-Class is on the watch: the Active Emergency Stop Assist recognises if the driver no longer actively intervenes in the driving process, the on-board electronic system issues an optical warning signal, then an acoustic one. If the driver does not react after repeated warnings, the vehicle slows down in a controlled manner until it comes to a standstill. The emergency call system is activated and the vehicle is unlocked.

Mercedes me connect.

Just so many great ideas! The Concierge Service now lets Mercedes me connect customers take
advantage of many personalised services: travel tips, restaurant reservations, tickets for sports and cultural events.

Amidst all the driving fun and luxury, the question remains: which S-Class is the right one for me? The answer is difficult because there are six different body types to choose from. The customer can select from 81 designs.

Clearly, the new S-Class is aiming to defend its title and also remain in future the greatest and most successful luxury car family in the world. The chances are very good. And thanks to the many option combinations, it is even conceivable that no S-Class will be identical to another. Anything more special or more individual than that is just hard to imagine.

Rear view of the new S-Class.
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    A visit to Dalí on the Costa Brava - in the new E-Class Cabriolet.

    Cadaqués bay is considered as one of the most beautiful in Catalonia. Many young artists come here in search of inspiration following in the footsteps of the great surrealists. We pay a visit to artists’ studios in the new E-Class Cabriolet.

    Fuel consumption combined: 8,6-8,3 l/km;

    Combined CO₂ emissions: 194-187 g/km.2 | Text: Alexandros Stefanidos | Fotos: Jan Friese

From another time.

Salvador Dalí grins. Cast in bronze and standing on a concrete base, he is impeccably dressed, leaning on a walking stick with one leg loosely crossed over the other. Sporting his distinctive curled moustache, he still looks like something from another time entirely. But maybe he isn’t grinning. Perhaps his expression is as hard to decipher as the imagination from which his images were created. Maybe he is just making fun of his own presence, as it suggests his own surreal legacy.

Favourite destination for artists.

Cadaqués is unimaginable without Dalí. They used to call him “crazy” because he allowed himself the freedom to break with convention. He has made the bay and the small town nestled on its shores world famous, his figure appears in countless photos and posters still hanging on the walls of local establishments and, to this day, he is frequently the topic of conversation at restaurant tables and bars. Thanks to Dalí, this former fishing village with its white houses and red brick roofs was transformed into a favourite destination for artists, including twentieth century greats such as René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp and Richard Hamilton.

Sleepy Mediterranean bubble.

Today, it is known as the centre of Dalí worship and the most beautiful town on the Costa Brava. It was here that Dalí spent his summer holidays as a child, running through narrow streets that wind up steeply from the picturesque bay. It was here that he decided to settle in the 1930s, buying two fishing huts and converting them into an apartment and studio in the neighbouring bay of Portlligat. He found his source of inspiration here in the national park’s bizarre rock formations of the around Cap de Creus.

Located north-east of Barcelona, close to the border with France, Cadaqués is a relaxed, two-hour drive away in the new E-Class Cabriolet. The region still attracts young, aspiring artists. Some of them moved here years ago and stayed, others see Cadaqués as an essential stop on their journey towards an international career. Peering into the studios, you could be forgiven for thinking that surrealism had never gone away – living on in its sleepy Mediterranean bubble.

Freedom may just be a word.

The German artist Daniel Zerbst, 42, loves the freedom that Cadaqués offers him. Wearing light-blue sunglasses, he drives along the promenade with the top down, waving to friends and fellow artists. “They’re used to seeing me on my bike,” he says, laughing with a Dalí-like mischievousness at the surprised expressions that greet him. He strokes the soft, red nappa leather of the instrument panel. Freedom may just be a word, but sometimes it’s almost palpable.

Zerbst came to Cadaqués in 1995, aged 20, keen to escape the confines of life in Brunswick and the idea of his parents, who wanted him to be a teacher. He had completed an apprenticeship as a goldsmith and attended a college of art. He didn’t see his future in the classroom. So Zerbst left for Spain, first making a living working on construction sites, as a waiter, as a painter. He painted day and night, learned the language. He rarely wakes up before ten in the morning, he explains, calling himself a “night owl”.

'I don’t see myself as a classic surrealist.'

After his drive, he indulges in a cup of coffee and rolls himself a cigarette, sunglasses still perched on his head, shirt still unbuttoned. It is as if time were melting just like the clocks in Dalí’s famous painting. Zerbst is now sitting in his favourite café down at the port. The “Casino” café boasts seven-metre high ceilings and windows almost as tall. It has wooden tables and a long bar at which the friendly barista will serve you with the best café con leche in town for only 1 euro and 50 cents. “I don’t see myself as a classic surrealist,” explains Zerbst, whose impressive studio is located on the second floor of the old Dalí museum, just two minutes’ walk from Casino.

Magical realism.

Close to 40 of his paintings hang on the walls there, most of them rendered in an earthy grey. One painting series stands out from the rest. The title of the series, painted in greenish blue tones and several metres long, is “Analogue Cyber Frieze”. It is set in an archaic landscape, either before or after civilisation. We see Star Wars analogies, shy aborigines, and Joseph Beuys feeding a fawn. The settings in Zerbst’s paintings continually alternate between utopian and dystopian, and we are never sure whether we are looking at the past, present or future. He calls his art “magical realism”. “Everything I paint is, or once was, real. Nothing is entirely made up.” He already has an idea for how to incorporate his recent cabriolet experience into a painting, but he’s not willing to reveal any more about this just yet. “Inspiration is a form of magic,” is all he will say.

Own style.

Zerbst’s efforts to distinguish his art from the Surrealism of artists such as Dalí are in no way coquetry. Anyone wanting to be taken seriously as an artist in Cadaqués needs to find his or her own style, his or her own individual perspective on the world. Dalí’s fame and the fact that this former fishing village was once a hub of the international art scene have left a strong legacy. Richard Hamilton once encouraged Zerbst to paint what he saw and not waste his talent by creating paintings that had been done before. Hamilton is “a friend,” he says.

Staring wide-eyed into the camera.

The sun shines through the tall windows at Casino. Sometimes, Zerbst speaks as if he were living the dream. Other times, you can feel his inner conflict, the sense of agitation that keeps ­him up all night working. He is a calm, gentle, sensitive person. He wears his hair – once blond, now greying – in a ponytail. For his paintings he nowadays makes a four-digit euro amount.

A former favourite haunt of Dalí’s (and, according to the owner, also a place the great painter helped design) is “L’Hostal” restaurant. Dalí is on many of the photos hanging from the restaurant’s walls, often staring wide-eyed into the camera. It is as if, in the next blink of his eye, Dalí is about to take a mental photo of the camera and the scenery behind it. Joaquin Lalanne is a regular at L’Hostal.


“They serve the best fish here,” explains the 28-year old from Uruguay, who moved to Spain in 2009 with an art scholarship. He has lived in Cadaqués since 2010. Many consider him one of the art scene’s rising stars. His last exhibition in Barcelona, at which paintings were priced upwards of €5,000, was sold within one day. Asked about his influences, he cites Raphael, Dalí, Fernando Botero and René Magritte. “But they are giants, I’m just a dwarf,” he says modestly. “My paintings are a mix of pop art, surrealism and renaissance art.”

Lalanne's world.

During the King of Spain’s last state visit to Uruguay, Uruguayan President Tabaré Vasquez presented him with one of Lalanne’s paintings as a gift – the occasion broadcast live on television. “My mum was so proud, she could hardly contain herself,” he laughs. Lalanne likes to laugh. With his tousled hair, unkempt beard, hands covered in paint and disorderly studio, it is clear that Lalanne’s world revolves around his paintings. He is fully booked until next year, and often spends 12 to 14 hours a day painting. “It’s good to get out from time to time, free my head up a bit,” he says.

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Dalís Cucurucu-paintings.

Lalanne shows us the sights while driving the cabriolet slowly around Cadaqués. These include Meliton, the portside bar where Marcel Duchamp used to play jazz every summer, the house that Richard Hamilton once lived in, and, a little further out, a rock jutting out of the sea (see photo on the left). “That is Cucurucu,” he says. Cucurucu? “The rock features in lots of Dalí’s paintings.” Lalanne, it turns out, is an enthusiastic tourist guide. He stops the car and parks it at the side of the road, then googles Dalí’s Cucurucu paintings. His images, too, sometimes feature the rock, in homage to his idol.

“Dalí immortalised Cadaqués,” he says after a pause, his smartphone showing the Cucurucu paintings as well as the “Tudela Eagle” and “Great Masturbator” rock formations in nearby Cap des Creus that so fascinated Dalí. Lalanne’s fascination, as we drive up to the Cap, is directed at the warm wind he can feel around his neck. He had never heard of the Airscarf system that heats the air at neck-level. “An invisible scarf?” he asks curiously, adding cheekily, “Isn’t that a bit surreal?”

Bizarre rock formations.

Up at the lighthouse at Cap des Creus, an invigorating Tramuntana wind is blowing. The Cap is part of a national park known for its sometimes bizarre rock formations, shapes that have been formed by the wind and rain. Daniel Zerbst, too, likes to gaze at the rocks in the changing light. “This brutal, edgy, archaic landscape seems so far removed from the rest of the world; it always gives me a sense of calm,” he says. He looks up at the blue, cloudless sky and blinks. NASA recently selected one of his paintings to send into space. Somewhere up there, a spaceship with his ideas on board is hurtling through the cosmos.

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