The new-generation 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, the company's latest flagship sedan and the successor to a long line of premium luxury vehicles, was launched in early 2006 with the S550 model, powered by an all-new 5.5-liter V8 engine delivering 382 horsepower and 391 lb.-ft. of torque, also the first of a new V8 engine family featuring four-valve-per-cylinder technology and variable valve timing.
Now with the fall debut of the full 2007 Mercedes-Benz product line, the S550 is joined by two limited-production V12-powered models – the exclusive S600 and the world's quickest four-door, the S65 AMG.
New Generation S-Class Gets V12 Power
The first version of the new-generation S-Class with a V12 engine, the S600 marks the renaissance of the legendary 600-Class "Grand Mercedes." Fitted with greater levels of wood and leather trim, the new V12-powered flagship comes with nearly all S-Class options as standard equipment, including Distronic Plus with Park Assist, infrared Nightview Assist, Keyless Go, rear view monitor, Active Body Control (ABC), 18-inch forged alloy wheels, four heated and multi-contour front and rear seats, four-zone climate control, and an integrated hands-free communication system with voice control.
The Industry's First Adaptive Brake Lights
The new-generation S600 and S65 AMG models are equipped with adaptive brake lights that can flash rapidly during emergency braking, a feature that's expected to reduce rear collisions. Another industry first from Mercedes-Benz, the rapidly flashing LED brake lights are triggered primarily by the car's Brake Assist system (standard on all Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles since 1998), which automatically provides full-power braking assist whenever it senses faster-than-usual brake pedal application.
The adaptive brake lights can also be activated by the car's Electronic Stability Program (ESP), standard on all Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles since 1999, if it senses low-friction surfaces such as snow or ice. The new adaptive brake light system turns on the hazard flashers automatically as soon as the vehicle stops, and the flashers shut off automatically when the vehicle accelerates to 10km/h.
Twin-Turbo V12 Engine
Powered by a twin-turbo V12 engine that generates 510 horsepower and an astonishing 612 lb.-ft of torque, the new S600 model blends the whisper-smooth performance of the flagship Mercedes-Benz four-door sedan with the astonishing power of a Bi-turbo V12 engine. At the same time, the Bi-turbo V12 comes clothed in luxury, convenience and refinement that define the market segment.
The 60-degree V12 engine provides effortless thrust with turbine-like smoothness, featuring a vast torque band with peak torque beginning as low as 1,800 rpm. With the high-tech engine, Direct Select five-speed transmission and state-of-the art aerodynamics, the new S600 can reach 100 km/h in less than 4.7 seconds, quicker than many sports cars. To handle the torque of the V12 engine, transmission planetary gear sets have been widened, and the input and output shafts adjusted accordingly.
AMG-Developed V12 Powers World's Quickest Four-Door
Joining the S550 and S600 models, the new S65 AMG blends the whisper-smooth performance of the flagship Mercedes-Benz four-door sedan with the astonishing power of AMG's six-litre Bi-turbo V12 engine.
The AMG engine makes 604 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque, for 0-100 km/h test track times of about 4.4 seconds, making it the world's quickest four-door sedan. AMG is the renowned high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz that combines its ingenuity and performance tuning expertise with the global technology resources and car-building expertise of Mercedes-Benz to take engine, braking and handling performance technology to the highest level.
AMG designers made subtle enhancements to the S65 AMG body while remaining true to the car's fundamental design. First, an AMG front apron with large cooling air intakes and integral front clear-lens fog lamps gives the vehicle a distinctive appearance. The dynamic side view of the S65 AMG is emphasized by AMG side skirts, which follow the line of the front apron, and by a chromed "V12 Bi-turbo" badge on each front fender. The powerful lines of the AMG rear apron are finished off by two sets of AMG chrome twin tailpipes, and eye-catching 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels enhance the car's overall appearance, marking the first use of original-equipment 20-inch wheels and tires on a Mercedes-Benz.
Stopping Power to Match Go Power
To handle the high speed potential of the AMG Bi-turbo engine, the front brakes of the AMG V12 model are equipped with high-performance eight-piston calipers and compound brake rotors. For the design of the AMG high-performance braking system, engineers drew on their extensive racing experience acquired through more than three decades of motorsports competition. The internally ventilated and perforated front discs measure 391 mm (15.4 inches) in diameter and are fitted with eight-piston fixed calipers.
The S65 AMG front brakes use two-piece rotors and hubs made from cast iron and aluminium. Compared with conventional brake systems, this compound technology offers a weight saving of some 20 percent, while the brakes' increased capacity to handle thermal stress measurably increases durability. The rear brakes use 365 mm (14.4-inch) internally ventilated and perforated discs with four-piston fixed calipers.
Staggered-width AMG twin-spoke wheels, 9½ x 20 inches up front and 10 x 20 at the rear, carry high-performance tires – 255 35 ZR 20 in front and 275 35 ZR 20 at the rear. The new S65 AMG is fitted with a specially modified version of the Mercedes-Benz five-speed automatic transmission.
ACTIVE BODY CONTROL (ABC)
Mercedes-Benz was the first automaker to develop active-suspension technology for production cars, and both V12-powered S-Class sedans are equipped with Active Body Control (ABC) that uses special AMG spring struts with firmer damping. ABC reduces body roll in cornering, squat under acceleration, and dive during braking.
Mercedes-Benz engineers use its interplay of hydraulic, electronic and mechanical parts to reduce body roll by 68 percent, ensuring that the suspension still provides the driver with feedback through the vehicle chassis, and a switch on the console allows the driver to further reduce body roll by 95 percent.
Reworked ESP and ASR traction control systems complement the enhanced chassis setup. As on all Mercedes-Benz models, standard ABS anti-lock brakes help maintain directional stability when braking and turning, while Brake Assist can reduce braking distances in "panic" stops.
More PRE-SAFE® Features
Standard equipment on all S-Class models, the revolutionary S-Class PRE-SAFE® system that made its debut in 2002 on the S-Class automatically tightens the front seat belts during those valuable seconds just before a possible impact, and the front passenger seat (and optional power rear seats) move to positions that can provide better protection. If the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof also closes. On the new-generation S-Class, side windows also close to provide better support for the window curtain air bags, and special seat cushions can inflate to provide greater lateral support for occupants and to help the side air bags provide even better collision protection.
New Distronic Plus Helps in Stop-and-Go Traffic
The well-known Distronic cruise control feature that maintains a pre-set following distance behind the vehicle ahead is replaced by an optional "Distronic Plus" system. Integrated with the latest PRE-SAFE, the latest radar-based system operates at nearly all speeds up to 200 km/h and can be especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic. Newly developed short-range radar with a frequency of 24 gigahertz sweeps the first 30 metres in a fan-shaped 80-degree pattern, working in tandem with a narrower nine-degree beam of longer-range 77-gigahertz radar.
The two radar frequencies complement each other to cover a full range of more than 140 metres. During approval of the new 24-gigahertz radar frequency, government agencies cited its potential to improve traffic safety, reduce injuries and ultimately save lives.
Radar-Based Park Assist
Distronic Plus also incorporates 24 GHz radar-based Park Assist. This new option utilizes six radar sensors mounted behind the front and rear bumpers – eliminating the need for the visible "portholes" of the previous ultrasonic-based system. The result is clean, integrated and invisible, with greater range and sensitivity.
Brake Assist Now Teams Up With Distronic Plus
In the early 1990s, Mercedes-Benz engineers conducting simulator tests discovered that many drivers don't push the brake pedal hard enough in emergency braking, a discovery that led to the development of Brake Assist, standard equipment on all Mercedes-Benz vehicles since late 1990s. Brake Assist has proven itself a million times over, and tests show that vehicles equipped with Brake Assist are involved in 26 percent fewer accidents!
Making its debut on the new-generation S-Class, an enhanced version of the Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist system not only supplies appropriate braking assist in emergencies as soon as the driver applies the brake pedal, but also measures the distance to the vehicle ahead (thanks to Distronic Plus) and adjusts brake pressure if the driver doesn't brake hard enough. While conventional Brake Assist is only triggered by the driver's reflex reaction on the brake pedal, Brake Assist Plus also considers the closing speed of the vehicle ahead based on radar signals from the Distronic Plus system.
Brake Assist Plus Can Reduce Rear Collisions by 75 Percent
In extensive tests conducted by Mercedes researchers using 300 drivers, the new integrated system reduced rear collisions in heavy city traffic by 75 percent. During testing, data recorders and video cameras documented more than 400,000 real-world kilometres covered by 200 drivers in the U.S. and Europe, while 100 drivers participated in months of intense testing on the DaimlerChrysler driving simulator in Berlin.
Infra-Red Night View Assist
Another innovative technology making its debut on the 2007 S-Class is Night View Assist, a new option that can extend the driver's ability to see ahead to nearly 150 metres. An industry first, and in contrast to passive systems that rely only on thermal imaging, this active system bathes the road ahead with invisible infra-red light from two projector beams mounted in the headlights. An infra-red camera discreetly mounted in the windshield receives the reflected images and displays them in a high-resolution display in the instrument cluster. The result is akin to a highly detailed black & white video image.
Among the advanced features of the car is a slot in the dash that accepts a PCMCIA card. Such cards never need to be charged, and some versions can hold up to 1500 digital songs. Its data be displayed on the screen of the COMAND system, and titles can be selected through the multifunction steering wheel controls.
Newly developed front seats are electrically adjustable 16 ways and offer several optional choices of ventilation and ergonomic adjustability. The available Drive Dynamic seats feature 11 individual pneumatic chambers to help the driver find a perfect seating position, and 14 more chambers provide four levels of pulsating massage to relieve fatigue and help keep drivers alert.
About Mercedes-Benz Canada
Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the three brands within the Mercedes Car Group in Canada; Mercedes-Benz, smart, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada employs approximately 900 people in 18 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 17 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 17,567 vehicles in 2006, the best year ever reported for Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.
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