Having recently given the S-Class saloon a midlife makeover, Mercedes-Benz has turned its attention over to the two-door Coupé and Cabriolet models, which receive a subtle facelift along with updated engines and the latest cabin technologies and gadgets.

Upfront, the two-door models get mildly restyled front bumpers, with AMG versions gaining a ‘Panamericana’ grille with vertical slats, but the biggest talking point is likely to be the new OLED taillights, which are standard. Each light cluster has 66 of these organic light emitting diodes, which appear to float, and which emit a unique lighting pattern. They also treat you to an animated lighting sequence when you lock and unlock the vehicle.

The updated range sees the return of the ‘560’ badge, with the S560 Coupé and S 560 Cabriolet models replacing the previous S500 versions, and although the badge implies an increase in displacement, the 560 actually has a smaller engine, with the previous 4.7-litre twin-turbo making way for Merc’s 4-litre V8, also with two turbos. It does gain 10kW over its predecessor, however, with outputs of 345kW and 700Nm.

Below that, there’s an S450, powered by a 3-litre V6 that’s good for 270kW and 500Nm.

On the AMG front, Affalterbach's version of the 4-litre twin-turbo V8 replaces the 5.5-litre engine in the S63, which gains 20kW in the process to total 450kW, while peak torque remains at 900Nm. The S63 also receives a new Speedshift MCT 9G transmission and a fully-variable AMG 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system.

The S65 versions remain the rear-driven brutes they always were, however, while retaining the familiar 6-litre V12 engine, still rated at 463kW and 1000Nm.

Inside, the S-Class two-door range gets some new trim and colour options, but the big news is the adoption of Merc’s Widescreen Cockpit, which features a pair 31.2cm screens joined under a single glass cover, one serving as an instrument cluster and the other as the central infotainment interface, and offering three driver-selectable styles: Classic, Sporty and Progressive.

The system also features the latest-generation Comand Online, and the vehicle’s voice control has been extended to more vehicle functions (up to 450 in total!), including seat ventilation and massaging, ambient lighting and fragrancing.

Another highlight is the ‘Energising comfort control’ that brings together many of the comfort functions, including massaging, climate, music, fragrance and lighting, and allows occupants to choose from various ‘wellness programmes’ such as Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort and (muscle) Training. We dare not ask what ‘Joy’ entails.

The driver assistance gadgets have also been brought up to date as Mercedes slowly marches towards an autonomous driving future, and to that end the Active Steering Assist as well as Distronic and Active Distance Control have been updated and can, for instance, now adjust speed ahead of bends, junctions and roundabouts.

The optional Magic Body Control suspension system with curve tilting function has been beefed up too, offering improved performance and the ability to work at speeds of up to 180km/h.

South African prices and specifications will be announced closer to launch.

IOL Motoring