13 Oct 2012
Refined motoring pleasure and responsible handling of the resource "fuel" were the challenges faced by the engineers at Mercedes-Benz when developing efficient drive concepts for the S-Class. The result: the engines are significantly more efficient than those of the previous model. The most prominent innovation is the entirely newly-developed hybrid drive concept with lithium-ion batteries in the S 400 HYBRID and the S 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, comprising extensive measures for energy savings. These two new models, in particular demonstrate impressively, that luxury class driving refinement can be consistently combined with economically-efficient consumption and low emission levels.
But it is not only the drive system that makes the S-Class dynamic. The suspension technology with the electronically-controlled AIRMATIC suspension system and the optional Active Body Control (ABC) active suspension system with crosswind stabilisation, assist the driver and ensure comfortable road holding.
In addition, the Direct-Steer system provides a more direct steering ratio with increasing steering angle and reduces the required steering for very large angles, for example when parking or in very tight curves.
The S-Class is fitted as standard with the 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission developed by Mercedes-Benz (not available for the S 600 or S 65 AMG). The seven gears make for smaller shifts in engine speed – which means that you’ll hardly notice the gear changes. Having seven gears also reduces the average engine speed and consequently fuel consumption. This automatic transmission is operated using the selector lever of the DIRECT SELECT transmission, which is located next to the steering wheel.
Apart from this, with the setup switch you can choose among three transmission setups: manual, comfort and sporty. The manual gearshifts are done with the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel – the way it's done in motorsport.
In the S-Class, the improved AIRMATIC (electronically controlled suspension system) and the optionally available Active Body Control (ABC) with crosswind stabilisation (standard for the S 600 and AMG models, optional for V8 engines in conjunction with rear-wheel drive) ensure optimum ride comfort. These two technologies not only enable relaxed cruising in the S-Class, they also contribute towards a dynamic, safe, driving style as well.
The standard AIRMATIC air-suspension system ensures a fine balance between agility and comfort. The integrated level control system guarantees a stable vehicle level, independently of its load. At high speeds the car's level is reduced automatically, which makes for enhanced driving dynamics, aerodynamics and consumption values..
The ADS Adaptive Damping System makes different suspension setting possible. The choice is yours: either sporty-taut (Sports) or more comfortably damped (Comfort) – quite according to your individual preference.
Maximum ride comfort is offered by the Active Body Control (ABC) suspension with crosswind stabilisation, by means of a combination of active suspension and passive damping. The squatting movement of the vehicle body when pulling away and pitching when braking are just as significantly reduced as is vehicle roll in curves. The crosswind stabilisation function automatically helps the driver to remain on course and in the lane in the event of strong crosswind gusts, by modifying the wheel load distribution in accordance with the direction and intensity of the crosswind in order to counteract its effect upon the vehicle.
The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system increases safety in wet weather conditions, on ice, snow and on poor roads. Instead of using conventional differential locks, the new 4MATIC generation from Mercedes-Benz employs electronics perfectly attuned to the vehicle.
4MATIC delivers 45 percent of the engine's output to the front axle, 55 percent to the rear - for optimum traction in every driving situation. 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive makes use of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) and the 4ETS Electronic Traction System.
4ETS applies precisely-metered braking pressure to wheels showing a tendency to losing traction, in order to allow powerful starting-off and acceleration – however bad the weather and road surface conditions.
A further advantage: thanks to compact design, intelligent choice of materials and high efficiency there is hardly any weight increase over the rear-wheel drive model. 4MATIC is available exclusively in conjunction with the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission and therefore is not available for 12-cylinder models nor for AMG vehicles.
The automatic climate control system allows the driver and front passenger to adapt the climate in their respective seats to suit their individual requirements – independently of each other. The system keeps the temperature at the desired level automatically, even in strong sunlight. To this end, sensors register the temperature inside and outside the S-Class, controlling the heating, cooling and fan for each temperature zone individually, according to requirements. Would you like the air to be cool, but are too sensitive to draughts? Then the "Diffuse" automatic mode is just the thing for you. The "Medium" mode, on the other hand, is stronger; and the "Focus" mode distributes the air in a focused manner in the vehicle interior. The system also includes an activated charcoal filter.
The temperature of the footwells can be adjusted independently of that of the rest of the vehicle interior; it can be warmer or cooler. Separate rear air conditioning is available as an option for the two rear zones. A control unit on the rear face of the centre console allows the rear passengers to set their preferred climate individually. As well as offering an automatic mode, the unit features manual controls with which the air temperature and distribution can be set separately for the left and right sides.
Most accidents start long before the actual collision: with a lapse in concentration, poor visibility or an unanticipated hazard. That’s why the S-Class features safety equipment which contributes to a relaxing drive and helps you to avoid critical driving situations in everyday operation.
When Mercedes-Benz first unveiled PRE-SAFE® in 2002, the primary aim was to combat the problem of the invaluable seconds wasted just before an accident happens. PRE-SAFE® can use this time very effectively. The sensors at the heart of the ESP® and BAS Plus systems detect critical driving situations, such as heavy over- or understeer, critical steering movements, panic braking and emergency stops. In the S-Class, PRE-SAFE® is aided by the short-range sensors of DISTRONIC PLUS .
The PRE-SAFE® system evaluates this information and can initiate preventive measures in typical critical situations in order to protect the vehicle occupants. The front passenger seat can be moved into a more favourable crash position, the side windows and sliding sunroof can be closed, and the front seat belts tightened by the action of electric motors. In addition, the chambers in the side bolsters of the optional active multicontour seats are filled with air, which improves lateral support in critical handling situations. This permits the sidebags, for example, to deploy their full protection potential.
The crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints are also part of the PRE-SAFE® concept. They can reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in the event of a rear-end collision, releasing in split-second a pre-tensioned spring that pushes the head restraints forwards and upwards, supporting the front seat occupants’ heads more swiftly.
In addition, the Brake Assist Plus system and the optional PRE-SAFE® Brake* can assist you. If the distance to a vehicle travelling ahead narrows down too fast, BAS Plus warns the driver by means of audible and visual signals, while it automatically calculates the brake pressure needed to reduce the impact speed and thus the severity of a possible collision. If the driver does not react, PRE-SAFE® can brake autonomously – first a partial application, then if a collision is unavoidable, a full brake application.
Passive safety comprises all measures designed to offer protection in an accident. Examples include the NECK-PRO head restraint, a standard feature on the front seats: when the sensor detects an impact from the rear, in a matter of a microseconds it thrusts the head restraint forwards by 44 mm and 30 mm upwards to reduce the gap between it and the occupant’s head.
In addition, the S-Class is equipped with nine airbags, including a kneebag and two windowbags covering virtually the entire side window area. Extensive development work was invested in particular in the sensors system for sidebag and windowbag deployment.
In the S-Class air pressure sensors are employed which detect the air pressure change in the door caused by deformation. They then trigger the restraint systems within microseconds. This can further reducing the danger of injury of the vehicle occupants.
Quality and beauty provide a feeling of true comfort. The interior of the S-Class is true to this concept: through carefully-selected, perfectly harmonising and skilfully crafted materials. And the shaping of all equipment and appointment elements was examined in the light of their aesthetic appeal and functionality – an example of this is the redesigned centre console with fine wood trim, which is also applied on doors and rear armrests.
The multifunction steering wheel, too, has been redesigned. It is covered in fine nappa leather and is optionally available in wood-leather. The ergonomically-formed front and rear seats are upholstered in leather as standard in the long-wheelbase version, or optionally upholstered in PASSION leather. PASSION leather was specially developed for the S-Class. It is an unpressed, only lightly coated leather which distinguishes itself with its natural appearance and soft touch and feel. The seams are precisely crafted and show the careful attention to detail with which the work was done.
The new colour schemes in the vehicle interior are chosen to match perfectly. The following combinations are available: alpaca grey/basalt grey, cashmere beige/savannah beige, chestnut brown/black, sahara beige/black and black/black.
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