When carmakers launch a new model in Asia, they usually pick glitzy shopping malls or dull trade fair halls for their promotional activities. Mercedes Benz in Taiwan went a whole lot further for the 2013 S-class last Wednesday. It turned the usually bare plaza in front of Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall into a 'lake,' be it one not deep enough to drown even a lizard. The 'island' in the middle featured a drum band and seats for the guests.
When I first passed there at noon, I already managed a close look at the top car models: the S500, the S350, the hybrid S400. The design of the new S-class didn't leave me breathless. I think Mercedes is under threat of falling prey to the same problem that has plagued Audi: too many cars looking too similar. The headlights of most Mercedes models these days, from A-class and CLA to M-class, look all the same.
Fortunately, the taillights of the new S-class saved it for me. When I went back to the site during a short dinner break, the show was in full swing with purple and red lights reflecting in the undeep pool. I went straight for the cars parked at the back, which fortunately had their own lights on but were kept out in the dark away from the big reflecting flashes which make getting nice pictures at regular car shows so difficult.
I have something for taillights, especially the ones on recent BMW models, but the new S-class is not too bad either in that respect. Just enjoy the pictures down here.