The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Generation-change at the pinnacle of automotive engineering: Mercedes-Benz presents the new S-Class. The new luxury saloon will be appearing in the showrooms of company-owned outlets and authorised dealerships as of spring 2006.
For more than five decades, the letter ‘S’ in the model designation of Mercedes cars has signified a special aura, intelligent technology and the highest quality. The new S-Class not only continues this tradition, but lends a new meaning to it. It is a technological pacemaker with its pioneering innovations for more safety, comfort and practicality, and like its predecessors it will influence the automotive development of the future. The saloon exudes this poise and assurance even at first glance. Its design emphasises the confident, powerful and elegant character of the new S-Class, which makes every journey an experience.
A dozen technical innovations are entering series production for the first time on board the new S-Class - from Brake Assist PLUS with radar sensors to seats with an extended massage function, from the night view assist system with the latest infra-red technology to the new COMAND system, and from preventive PRE-SAFE® occupant protection with additional functions to Parking Assist. The new flagship model by Mercedes-Benz is larger than its predecessor in every respect. There is a choice of two body lengths -- 5076 or 5206 mm - which is 33 and 43 mm, respectively, more than the previous S-Class. The wheelbase has increased by 70/80 mm to 3035 and 3165 mm, respectively. The body is also 16 mm wider and 29 mm higher than before.
New S-Class will launch in the UK with four engines - three petrol and one diesel - three of which are new developments by Mercedes-Benz. They generate up to 26 per cent more power and up to 15 per cent more torque. In addition to the 3.5-litre V6 engine with 272 hp (first seen in the SLK-Class), a new eight-cylinder unit developing 388 hp and a muscular 530 Nm of torque from 2800 rpm upwards will already be available. This new V8 will accelerate the S 500 from standstill to 62.5 mph in just 5.4 seconds.
The output of the 12-cylinder engine in the top-of-the-range S 600 has increased to 517 hp, while torque has increased by just under four per cent to a remarkable 830 Nm from 1900 rpm. As standard equipment, the V6 and V8 engines for the new S-Class are combined with the unique seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC.
The new S-Class is replacing a successful series which has captured the top end of this market segment in every region of the world. Even in its last year of production the flagship saloon by Mercedes-Benz is the worldwide market leader among the world’s luxury saloons, with around 17,000 units sold world wide (as of May 2005).
ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter