Seemingly beating down the advances of the threat posed by the all-new 7 Series from BMW, Mercedes-Benz recently released details of its facelifted S-Class limousine. Exterior changes have been kept discreet with a more pronounced grille and a new front bumper with chrome detailing while at the rear the new S-Class standard with the tailpipes integrated into the rear bumper is evident. Bi-xenon headlamps are now standard although the optional LED light package, with daytime driving lights, indicators and tail lights, shows of a distinctive lighting detail.The Mercedes-Benz flagship's overhaul includes the introduction with the S 400 Hybrid of what it says is the first standard production hybrid model using a lithium-ion battery.Fuel consumption for this model is 7.9 l/100 km and it has a CO2 emissions rating of 186 g/km. In addition to the hybrid S400, the S-Class range is also bolstered with a range of petrol and turbodiesel that collectively use up to 7% less fuel. Interior adjustments include a new Splitview screen for the Comand system that allows the driver and front passenger to view different things simultaneously on the same screen. Comand now also packs additional functions including a revised Bluetooth interface, SD memory card slot and the latest generation Linguatronic voice command system. According to Mercedes-Benz, the S-Class is meant to be an "intelligent partner" for its drivers. State-of-the-art assistance systems include adaptive highbeam assist, lane keeping assist, speed limit assist and night view assist plus that now has a pedestrian detection function. The new attention assist that detects drowsiness and an automatic crosswind stabilisation feature is an option, too. "The aim in developing these systems was to prevent particularly common and serious collisions. With this concept, the S-Class not only protects its own occupants but also plays a key role in enhancing safety for other motorists," Dr Thomas Weber, member of the board of management at Daimler AG and responsible for corporate research and the development of Mercedes-Benz cars, said.