Mercedes-Benz's flagship S-Class sedan was redesigned for the 2007 model year and emerged as a larger car with a raft of safety features. The S-Class shares luxury-sedan real estate with competitors like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Bentley Continental Flying Spur.
New for 2009
Newly optional visual aids for 2009 include the Parking Guidance system, which can help direct you into a parallel parking space, and Blind Spot Assist, which keeps tabs on your blind spot and can notify you when something is in it. The base S550 gains standard ventilated front seats, a wood and leather steering wheel, and a trunk closer. All models have new shift paddles on the steering wheel and new power window switches.
The S-Class' exterior shape features pronounced fender flares that resemble those of the automaker's recently redesigned M-Class SUV. The sedan's trunklid calls to mind the BMW 7 Series.
- Conventional Mercedes grille with hood ornament
- S550 gets newly styled 18-inch wheels for 2009
- S600 gets new 19-inch wheels for 2009
- More-aggressive styling for S63 AMG and S65 AMG performance sedans
Chrome and wood accents adorn the inside of the S-Class, which has room for up to five people. As opposed to a console-located gearshift, the driver selects Park, Drive and Reverse via a stalk on the right side of the steering column. Drivers who wish to manually control the automatic transmission can do so with the new shift paddles on the steering wheel.
- Comand system with 8-inch dash screen and center console control knob
- Optional massaging front seats
- Massive backseat
- Optional infrared night vision system that can project a black-and-white video image onto a display in the instrument cluster
Under the Hood
Available engines include two V-8s and two V-12s, all of which team with automatic transmissions.
- S550 features a 382-horsepower, 5.5-liter V-8 and drives a seven-speed automatic
- Rear-wheel drive is standard on S550, but 4Matic all-wheel drive is optional
- S600 powered by a 510-hp, twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-12 and features a five-speed automatic
- S63 AMG has a 6.3-liter V-8 that makes 518 hp and works with a seven-speed automatic
- S65 AMG uses a 604-hp, twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 and a five-speed automatic
Available safety features include Mercedes-Benz's Pre-Safe system, which can tighten the front seat belts, close the sunroof and side windows, and adjust passenger seats for optimal safety when a collision is unavoidable. The S-Class can also get Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control and Brake Assist Plus. Brake Assist Plus works in conjunction with Distronic Plus radar signals and can increase brake pressure to avoid a collision. Standard safety equipment includes:
- Antilock brakes
- Front and rear side-impact airbags
- Side curtain airbags
- Active front head restraints
- Electronic stability system
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