Mercedes to roll out new S-Class coupe at Geneva Motor Show

Mercedes to roll out new S-Class coupe at Geneva Motor Show
The full-size 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 coupe will replace the CL when it goes on sale in the fall. (Mercedes-Benz)

Mercedes will debut the next-generation of its two-door, $100,000 land yacht at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March. Just don't call it a CL.

Though Mercedes' full-size coupe has technically always been an S-Class with two doors sliced off, for the last 14 years the automaker has called it the CL. But there's a bit of familial reorganization going on in Stuttgart and the CL name is being sent out to pasture.

Thus, Mercedes announced Tuesday that the all-new 2015 S550 coupe will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The car will sit atop the tri-star brand's portfolio as it always has, positioned as a slightly more exclusive and luxurious version of the S-Class sedan it's based on.

Following in the sedan’s footsteps, S63 AMG, S65 AMG, and S600 versions of the coupe will debut over the next 12 months. But don’t expect Mercedes to stop there: it has big plans for expanding the S-Class lineup further.

The Maybach nameplate Mercedes resurrected from decades ago to compete with Bentley and Rolls Royce probably will be moved under the S-Class umbrella as more of an ultra-exclusive derivative. And a convertible version of the S-Class coupe -- four seats, full-size -- is also a possibility.

In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with this new S550 coupe. Powered by a twin-turbocharged, 4.7-liter V-8, this car will have 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Power flows through a seven-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.

Styling on the coupe differs more from the S-Class sedan than previous Mercedes coupes have dared. There’s a distinctive snout to this model that’s similar to those on lesser Mercedes, including the entry-level CLA sedan. Yet out back, the horizontal tail lights look like nothing else in the tri-star lineup.

This coupe seats four adults, and measures about eight inches shorter than the S-Class sedan. As with other Mercedes coupes, the doors are frameless and there’s no B-pillar. This means that when all four windows are down, there’s an uninterrupted opening for all passengers.

Occupants will be kept in the level of comfort you’d expect for shelling out six figures for a coupe. A “curve-tilting” feature built into the suspension system reads the road ahead. When it detects curves using the stereo camera, it will tilt the vehicle into the curve accordingly, to reduce the forces on the people inside.

Other features include a high-resolution, full-color heads-up display, one of two Burmester surround sound stereo systems, twin 12.3-inch digital display screens on the dashboard, full LED lighting inside and out, a panoramic roof and individual rear seats.

If that’s not 1% enough for your liking, an ionizing and fragrancing air filtration system will be optional, while a special Edition 1 will throw in 47 Swarovski crystals in the headlamps and an ionizing and fragrancing air filtration system will be optional. No word yet on caviar-dispensing armrests.

The S-Class coupe will also include Mercedes’ new touch-pad controller also announced on the upcoming C-Class compact sedan. This feature, mounted on the center console in front of the armrest, enables users to operate the infotainment system with finger gestures similar to those on a touch-screen smartphone or tablet.

This setup seeks to make numerous functions easier, including calling your accountant to explain where that $117,000 went. That’s the starting price of the current Mercedes CL550 that this coupe will replace. Mercedes wouldn’t confirm exact pricing yet for this new model, but it won’t be too far from the CL. The S550 coupe goes on sale in the U.S. in the fall.