Mercedes-Benz at the International Motor Show: World premiere of the new S-Class
By Mike Hanlon
August 30, 2005
August 31, 2005 The new S-Class will be taking centre stage at the Mercedes-Benz presentation for the 61st International Motor Show in Frankfurt (15 to 25 September 2005). The motor show will see the world premiere of this luxury saloon, which features a number of pioneering innovations. The saloon’s options include the anticipatory Brake Assist PLUS, the DISTRONIC PLUS proximity-controlled cruise control and the Night Vision system. There’s also the preventive occupant safety system PRE-SAFE to create a unique safety system, which goes into action before a threatening accident has a chance to happen.
In the comfort area, there’s an all-new dynamic multicontour seat with massage function, the AIRMATIC air suspension, the newly developed automatic climate control system and further improvements to the Active Body Control (ABC), with which it achieves an unprecedented level of driving comfort and handling.
The new S-Class that will be hitting showrooms at Mercedes-Benz dealerships later this year will offer a range of engines, with output ranging from 173 kW/235 hp to 380 kW/517 hp. Three of the four engines are new developments, offering up to 26 per cent more performance and up to 15 per cent more torque, while at the same time cutting fuel consumption by up to nine per cent.
At its market launch in the northern hemisphere autumn 2005, the luxury saloon will initially be available with a new eight-cylinder (285 kW/388 hp) and a V6 petrol engine (200 kW/272 hp), which are among the most powerful and fuel efficient engines in their displacement classes. In the first quarter of 2006, the engine line-up will be rounded off by the new S 320 CDI and the top-of-the-range S 600. The six-cylinder diesel engine develops 173 kW/235 hp and generates a peak torque of 540 Nm starting at 1,600 rpm. This performance allows the saloon to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds. The combined fuel consumption rating of the S 320 CDI ranges from 8.3 to 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
12 cylinders: Increased output and high-tech equipment as standard for the S 600
Sports car-like performance is offered by the flagship model of the new S-Class, the S 600. With its enhanced Mercedes 12-cylinder engine, with an output that has been boosted to 380 kW/517 hp, the saloon can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. Compared to the predecessor model, the engine’s maximum torque has been increased from 800 to 830 Nm, which is available from 1,900 rpm. Despite the increase in power, the car’s fuel consumption has been reduced by 0.5 litres to 14.3 litres per 100 kilometres. The V12 model is equipped with the very best technology as standard, including Active Body Control.
Dimensions: More spacious car body for even greater comfort
Compared to its predecessor, the brand’s new top model has grown in every dimension. Two different body shells are available, measuring either 5,076 or 5,206 millimetres in length, which represents increases of 33 and 43 millimetres over the former S-Class. Likewise, the wheelbase has been increased by 70 and 80 millimetres to 3,035 and 3,165 millimetres, respectively. In addition, the body shell is now 16 millimetres wider and 29 millimetres higher than that of the predecessor.
The new dimensions create the conditions for an interior layout that provides every passenger with first-class comfort. Interior parameters such as shoulder room and elbow width have increased by up to 39 millimetres, while headroom has been further improved by up to five millimetres. The effective legroom, which is a key factor for determining seating comfort, has been increased by five millimetres at the driver’s and front passenger’s seats, and by 24 millimetres for rear-seat passengers. In the long wheelbase version, rear-seat legroom has even grown by 52 millimetres. The boot capacity has meanwhile increased by 60 litres to 560 litres (VDA measuring method).
Interior: Harmonious blend of colours, shapes and functions
Exquisite fine wood and chrome trim, stylishly shaped aluminium controls and carefully coordinated colours provide the interior with an incomparable ambience in which drivers immediately feel at home and know their way about. Contributing to this user-friendly environment is the all-new operating concept, which was purposefully designed with a number of redundant features in order to allow the driver to quickly access frequently used functions. Depending on the driver’s habits, he or she can operate the car radio, TV receiver, CD/DVD changer, car phone, navigation system and climate control by either turning conventional switches, pushing buttons on the multifunctional steering wheel, or using the enhanced COMAND system.
The chief control element is the new COMAND Controller on the transmission tunnel. It is used to select the COMAND system’s main and sub-menus and to activate the desired functions. If the car comes with a pre-installed car phone, the soft armrest behind the Controller can be opened to reveal the phone’s keypad. The COMAND system’s large, rotatable colour display is positioned at the same height as the instrument cluster and is therefore more in the fields of vision of the driver and front passenger alike.
With its world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA), the new S-Class will succeed the predecessor model, which won numerous awards as the world’s best car. This top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz remained the world’s best selling upper-range saloon even in the last year of its production run.