The Mercedes-Benz Flagship
The S-Class has long served as the flagship sedan for the world’s first carmaker, and the car has showcased the highest levels of technology, performance and luxury that its engineers and designers could produce. The S-Class has always been the roomiest mainstream Mercedes-Benz model, and has featured many of the company’s most modern comfort and convenience features, not to mention some of its most powerful engines.
Just as important, the latest safety innovations have often appeared first on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. In fact, the S-Class has long been a safety technology leader for the entire auto industry – first with a modern, computer-controlled anti-lock brake system (1978); first in production with the Supplemental Restraint System, of which front air bags were one component (1982); first with a vehicle stability control system with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) (1996).
More than 500,000 of the previous S-Class line were sold globally since its debut in 1998, making it the world’s best-selling luxury sedan. While the S-Class designation did not become official until the 1970s, the “S” had been used in Mercedes-Benz nomenclature since 1965 to identify its top-of-the-line sedans and coupes. In the ensuing 40 years, more than 2.7 million S-Class sedans have been sold.
The term luxury has always been an ideal descriptor for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. However, in the buyers’ market of the past decade or two, luxury amenities such as power windows, power seats, power sunroofs and powerful sound systems have become the norm, even in the mid-priced family sedan segment. And, marketers have been quick to attach luxury labels to their products as a means of gaining attention for competent-but-ordinary automobiles.
Previous generations of S-Class cars essentially established a new segment of luxury – premium luxury – where there’s no room for compromise or badge engineering. And just as the previous S-Class line (model years 2000-2006) incorporated unparalleled safety technology, the new S-Class has surpassed even that car’s milestones.
Arrived In North America In Spring 2006
Historically, North America has been the largest market for the S-Class line outside Germany. In fact, for the previous S-Class, the North American market accounted for nearly half of worldwide sales. Mercedes-Benz projects this trend to continue with the new S-Class.
New from the ground up, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is setting another new standard. In terms of performance, safety, luxury, quality and customer care, the S-Class is leading the auto industry. Every aspect of the new S-Class was designed with the idea of making driving and riding as a passenger even more enjoyable.
A New Generation
At first sight, there can be no mistaking that the new S-Class is truly new, and that it’s a Mercedes-Benz. The new car is not a “redesigned” version of the previous car, and there are few parts carried forward from its predecessor.
The new S-Class maintains its segment leadership in interior room. There is more stretch-out room than long-wheelbase sedans from other premium luxury automakers, and in fact even more than the previous Mercedes S-Class. Yet, clever vehicle packaging – a hallmark of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in all segments – has resulted in only slighter larger exterior dimensions.
Under the Hood
The 2007 S-Class line was introduced with a V8-powered S550 model that features the first of a new-generation V8 engine family with four-valve-per-cylinder technology, variable valve timing and a lightweight crankshaft assembly. Both horsepower and torque have been increased considerably, yet with lower exhaust emissions. Later in 2006, an S600 model arrived powered by a 5.5-litre twin-turbo V12 with 510 hp and 612 lb.-ft. of torque, and followed by a S65 AMG model, powered by a 6.0 litre V12 bi-turbo engine delivering 612 hp.
The new S-Class comes with a seven-speed automatic – a smooth-shifting driver-adaptive transmission that maximizes both performance and fuel economy. A small lever on the right side of the steering column serves as an electronic gear selector that’s more convenient than ever – lift the stalk up for Reverse, push down for Drive, and push a button on the end for Park.
The new S-Class from Mercedes-Benz is truly a milestone car, not only for the world’s oldest car company, but for the entire auto industry. The S-Class introduced the latest safety technology and comfort/convenience advances, along with new manufacturing techniques as well.
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