See Also: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500 | 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300 | 1992 Mercedes-Benz 400

1992 Mercedes-Benz 600

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 600

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Available in 1 styles:  600SEL 4dr Coupe shown
Asking Price Range
$345–$10,961
Estimated MPG

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By 

IndyStar.com
"S" may be the 19th letter of the alphabet, but at Mercedes-Benz it's the first.

Mercedes has unveiled its long-awaited S-Class luxury sedans on the American market, and the technology as well as the accouterments in the automobiles surpass anything the German automaker has done in the past.

The word class can be used quite liberally throughout the entire line. The company put itself in high gear in designing five all-new S-Class models for 1992. The upscale vehicles will be represented in the Indianapolis area by World Wide Motors and by McGeehan Motor Cars in Noblesvile.

The five are the 300SE, 300SD, 400SE, 500SEL and 600SEL, but it is the 600SEL that is going to be a real image maker for Mercedes-Benz.

"It's the pinnacle," said McGeehan Motor Cars President Robert McGeehan. "It's the one which everyone will try to measure themselves to."

This beauty is a limited-production item from the standpoints of both market demographics and price.

McGeehan said the 600SEL's window sticker will read $133,000. At that level, the sedan can function quite appropriately as a backup to the turbocharged $26l,800 Bentley Continental R Coupe.

Powered by the first production V-12 ever built by Mercedes, the four-door qualifies in the fullest sense as the banker's hot rod.

The engine is fairly big in overall size and also in its 6.0 liters of displacement. In addition to the 12 cylinders, there are 48 valves, four overhead cams, and anti-knock control. The engine is the first V-12 with anti-knock control, and its four-valves-per-cylinder configuration follows the best of the Indianapolis Motor Speeday's race-engine tradition.

The 48-valver is the reason the 360-cubic-inch V-12 is rated at 402 horsepower and 428 foot-pounds of torque. With number like that, expect the long-wheelbased (123.6 inches) sedan to be a real flying machine.

Mercedes says it accelerates from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds, just one-tenth of a second slower than its V-8-powered 500SL two-passenger sports coupe. A more graphic illustration of what's in hand with this V-12 is the weight: The 500SL weighs 4,145 pounds. For the 600SEL, it's 4,985 pounds, due in part to the weight of the big engine.

"That's the car everyone is talking about," McGeehan said. "But it's not the one of which we will sell the most.

"We'll sell more 300SEs. They'll be 72 ($72,000). The 400SE is 82 ($82,000). And the 500SEL is 96 ($96,000)."

Actually, Mercedes-Benz has a line of automobiles with a price spread of $100,000. McGeehan says the 190E 2.3 starts at around $31,000, with the line going on up to the 600SEL.

All the new S-Class cars except the SD diesel use dual-overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, automatic variable intake valve timing, electronic fuel injection, and knock-sensor ignition control. In controlling knock, or pre-ignition detonation, Mercedes' system provides individual cylinder timing in a manner that allows its engines to run a fairly high compression ratio of 10-to-l.

T he SD sort of does its own thing in that it is a 3.5-liter, single overhead cam, in-line 6 that is turbocharged. Horsepower may be only 148, but its fuel mileage is the best of all the S-Class cars.

Burning either No. 1 or No. 2 diesel fuel, the mileage rating is 20 miles per gallon in the city, 23 mpg for the highway. As might be expected, the big V-12 has the lowest rating: 11 mpg in the city and 14 mpg on the highway. However, at $133,000 a copy, who cares?

Being upstream automobiles, the S-Class cars offer few options. On the 600SEL there are only three: a glass power sunroof with rear pop-up feature, front seats with reinforced frames, and the availability of four-passenger seating if you want a rear storage compartment with electrically adjustable rear seats.

Actually, there is a fourth option -- an owner's choice of metallic paint -- but there is no charge for this.

The500- and 600-series cars are on a fairly rarified marketing plane. McGeehan says the 300S E and the 400 SE combined are expected to account for about 36 percent or 37 percent of total dealership sales.

"We sell a lot of the 190 series and the 300E series," he said. They fit more people's pocketbook. But we've gotten a lot of inquires about the new 500SEL."

While these new S-Class cars are exciting automobiles, there is more to come from Mercedes-Benz. McGeehan said there will be a new SEC coupe that will have the V-12 engine.

"They will introduce it at the Detroit Auto Show in January," he said. "It will be the first time that Mercedes-Benz has first introduced a new model in the United States."




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