The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is now available with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. Developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-Benz, this all-new drive system combines perfect traction, first-class comfort and impressive driving dynamics with good fuel economy. Two powerful eight-cylinder models are available in the form of the S 500 4MATIC and S 450 4MATIC while the S 320 CDI 4MATIC is the first S-Class all-wheel-drive variant to be equipped with a particularly economical V6 diesel engine. The new models with all-wheel drive are identified clearly by the 4MATIC legend which appears both on the boot lid and on the wooden trim element on the centre console.
The top model from Mercedes-Benz with the new 4MATIC all-wheel-drive is aimed at drivers whose principal requirement is for a luxury saloon able to cope with all weather conditions with absolute assurance. This need is met by the S-Class 4MATIC models, whose newly developed drive system features a planetary-type centre differential. The permanent, fixed power split between the front and rear wheels in a ratio of 45 to 55 percent guarantees assured and absolutely predictable handling on all road surfaces. An integrated multiplate clutch ensures additional traction and optimum directional stability as soon as the wheels show any sign of slipping. With the support of the ESP®, ASR and 4ETS electronic driving safety systems, the S-Class 4MATIC offers a dynamic, comfortable and safe transport solution, even in adverse road conditions.
Trend-setting all-wheel-drive system developed by Mercedes-Benz
The 4MATIC system’s compact, light and friction-optimised design offers clear advantages over other systems with regard to weight, fuel consumption, comfort and passive safety. Depending on the engine type, the all-wheel-drive technology results in an unrivalled low additional weight of just 66 or 70 kilograms.
Mercedes-Benz will also be offering this trend-setting all-wheel-drive technology in other passenger cars in the future. The new 4MATIC drive for the S-Class was developed independently by a team of specialists at the Mercedes Technology Center in Sin delfingen and in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. The all-wheel-drive components are produced in a coordinated production system comprising the Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Esslingen-Hedelfingen and Esslingen-Mettingen major component plants.
Two powerful eight-cylinder models with 4MATIC
Assured performance of the highest order is guaranteed by the S 500 4MATIC und S 450 4MATIC eight-cylinder models. In the S 500 4MATIC, the advanced 5.5-litre V8-engine with four valves per cylinder, 285 kW/388 hp and 530 Newton metres offers first-class performance: the new S 500 4MATIC accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds and is therefore as fast as the rear-wheel-drive variant. Thanks to the optimised weight and friction characteristics of the all-wheel-drive system, the additional fuel consumption is agreeably low. With figures of 12.1 to 12.3 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined) compared with 11.7 to 11.9 litres per 100 km for the S 500 without all-wheel-drive, it is clear that the new drive system is able to offer impressive savings.
The S 450 4MATIC is powered by a 4663-cc, eight-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder which develops, 250 kW/340 hp and 460 Newton metres of torque. Here, too, this V8 model with all-wheel-drive accelerates as quickly as its rear-wheel-drive counterpart, attaining 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds. With NEDC combined fuel consumption of 11.6 to 11.8 litres per 100 kilometres, the additional fuel consumption – as in the case of the S 500 4MATIC – is only 0.4 litres.
A first for the S-Class: all-wheel drive in combination with a diesel engine
An even more economical choice is available in the form of the new S 320 CDI 4MATIC – a model which marks a first for the S-Class by combining all-wheel drive with a diesel engine. The advanced V6 turbodiesel with common rail high-pressure injection develops 173 kW/235 hp and 540 Newton metres of torque, accelerating the saloon to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds; the top speed is 245 km/h. With fuel consumption of between 8.7 and 8.9 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, this model has a range of more than 1000 kilometres. Like the V8 petrol models, the S 320 CDI 4MATIC consumes just 0.4 litres more fuel than the equivalent model with a standard drive system.
On all S-Class 4MATIC models, power management is performed by the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with steering-column DIRECT SELECT gear selector and steering-wheel gearshift buttons. The V6 and V8 petrol-engined models are equipped as standard with the 7G-TRONIC Sport transmission, which is tuned for more direct, faster response.
Immediate market launch for V8 models, V6 CDI follows in December 2006
The S 500 4MATIC, S 450 4MATIC and S 320 CDI 4MATIC are available in short and long wheelbase versions. The market launch of the V8 models in Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlets and authorised dealerships will start in September 2006. The diesel variant will appear in December 2006, to be followed by the S 350 4MATIC with a 200-kW/272-hp V6 petrol engine in mid-2007.
Wide variety: 48 all-wheel-drive models from Mercedes-Benz
The extended choice of all-wheel-drive vehicles from Mercedes-Benz now comprises seven model series and impresses with its great diversity: it starts with the C and E-Class, both of which are available with 4MATIC in Saloon and Estate form, and includes the new S-Class and the R-Class touring SUV, both of which are available in two body variants. Furthermore, the Stuttgart-based auto maker produces three off-roaders – the new GL-Class, the M-Class and the G-Class, a classic among cross-country vehicles. In total, therefore, Mercedes-Benz offers no less than 48 all-wheel-drive models.
This product initiative reflects the considerable emphasis which Mercedes-Benz is placing on the market for all-wheel-drive passenger cars and off-roaders – a market characterised by a distinct year-on-year growth trend. A look at the S-Class segment also makes this clear: in the German market, the share of all-wheel-drive models increased from six percent in 2002 to nine percent in 2005. During the same period, the all-wheel-drive share of this segment in the European market also increased from six percent to nine. Worldwide sales of the S-Class 4MATIC predecessor model, which was launched in 2002, amounted to almost 29,000 vehicles in just under three years. In 2005, the all-wheel-drive S-Class models had a worldwide share of about 18 percent of the total sales volume of this model series. Overall, Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 1.2 million passenger cars and cross-country vehicles with permanent all-wheel-drive (figures correct as of July 2006).
Over 20 years of 4MATIC from Mercedes-Benz
The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system made its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1985. One year later, Mercedes-Benz presented the new technology in the E-Class of the time, the 124 model series. Delivery of the first models with the automatically engaging all-wheel-drive system began in spring 1987.
The succes-sor model series, the 210, premiered a completely new permanent all-wheel drive system in 1997. As the first all-wheel-drive passenger car from the Stuttgart-based car brand, the E-Class paved the way for the adoption of this innovative drive and safety technology in other Mercedes-Benz model series.
Powerful six-cylinder diesel engine
A glance at the technical refinements which characterise the 3.0-litre engine explains the impressive performance data. The high-tech features of this compact V6 power plant include third-generation common rail direct injection. The combination of an injection pressure of up to 1600 bar and particularly fast-acting piezo-electric injectors ensures efficient mixture formation. Further highlights of the 320 CDI engine include electrically controlled intake port shut-off, intake air throttling, a VNT (Variable Nozzle Turbine) turbocharger with electrically adjustable guide vanes and exhaust gas recirculation with a control valve. Like all Mercedes-Benz diesel passenger cars, the S 320 CDI 4MATIC is equipped as standard with a maintenance-free particulate filter system.
7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with Sport program as standard
Power transfer in all S-Class 4MATIC models is handled by the 7G-TRONIC auto-matic transmission with steering-column DIRECT SELECT gear selector and steer-ing-wheel gearshift buttons. This combination ensures that optimum use can be made of the impressive performance and torque capabilities in every driving situation. Furthermore, the all-wheel-drive models have identical gear spacing and ratios, which has a positive effect on the performance and fuel consumption figures.
An all-new development for all S-Class V6 and V8 petrol models is the 7G-TRONIC Sport transmission. The S/C/M button on the centre console can be used to activate the manual "M" driving mode, allowing the seven gears to be shifted using the two steering-wheel shift buttons – downshifts are performed by pulling briefly on the left button while the right button is used for shifting up. In "M" mode, the system’s electronics reliably maintain the last gear selected, even at full throttle. It is thus possible to make optimum use of the high pulling power of the V6 and V8 engines. However, fully depressing the accelerator (kickdown mode) causes the transmission to shift down in order to deliver maximum acceleration. 7G-TRONIC Sport reduces shift times by up to 30 percent in manual mode.
PRE-SAFE® as standard, Brake Assist PLUS as an optional extra
The unique PRE-SAFE® occupant protection system also forms part of the standard equipment of the S-Class all-wheel-drive models. PRE-SAFE® recognises a potential accident situation in its early stages: if the braking deceleration exceeds a certain level or there is a risk of skidding, the system tightens the front seat belts and pumps air into the chambers of the multicontour seats so that they envelop and support the driver and other vehicle occupants.
Available as an option, Brake Assist PLUS (BAS PLUS) uses radar to register vehicles ahead and warns the driver if the distance is too small or if he or she is approaching the vehicle ahead too quickly. If a collision is imminent, the system instantly calculates the ideal braking assistance, which is immediately supplied even if the driver applies the brakes too gently. This makes it possible to reduce substantially the number of rear-end collisions. The combination of the new Brake Assist PLUS and PRE-SAFE® makes it possible to provide a higher level of occupant protection. Mercedes-Benz is the first and only automaker in the world to offer such a comprehensive safety system, which goes into action as soon as an accident risk is detected.
PRE-SAFE® Brake uses the latest radar technology
For the first time in the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz is complementing this multiple-award-winning anticipatory protection system with the newly developed PRE-SAFE® Brake. This works in combination with Brake Assist PLUS (BAS PLUS), which not only gives the driver visual and audible warnings that he or she is in imminent danger of running into the vehicle ahead, but also automatically calcu-lates the brake pressure required to prevent an accident. This braking assistance is available as soon as the brake pedal is operated. If the driver does not react to the BAS PLUS warnings, the PRE-SAFE® Brake system triggers automatic partial braking if an acute accident risk is detected and decelerates the S-Class with about 40 percent of the maximum braking force. The automatic partial braking provides the driver with another clear signal of the need to take action. If the driver then immediately applies the brakes, the maximum braking force is avail-able and it may be possible – depending on the situation – to avert the accident at the last moment. If an accident is unavoidable, the PRE-SAFE® Brake system re-duces the impact severity and, in turn, the risk of injury to the vehicle occupants.
As with Brake Assist PLUS, the new PRE-SAFE® Brake system also utilises state-of-the-art radar technology to scan the situation in front of the car and detect a potential accident. Two short-range radar sensors with a range of 30 metres and a scanning angle of 80° are located behind the front bumper fascia on the S-Class. The additional long-range radar in the radiator grille has a range of 150 metres. Mercedes-Benz offers BAS PLUS and the PRE-SAFE® Brake system in conjunction with the optional DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control system.
DISTRONIC PLUS: even operates in stop-go traffic
The radar-based DISTRONIC PLUS system works in a speed range from 0 to 200 km/h and makes driving even more comfortable. In stop-go traffic, DISTRONIC PLUS keeps the S Class at the right distance from the vehicle ahead, automatically brakes the car to a standstill if necessary and accelerates it back to the pre-programmed speed following intervention by the driver. In this way the assistance system reduces the driver’s workload and provides considerable benefits with regard to driver-fitness safety.
The Brake Assist PLUS and DISTRONIC PLUS equipment package also includes a radar-based Parking Assist system. The system provides early warning if there is danger of a collision when manoeuvring backwards and forwards.
Night view assist: infrared headlamps for greater safety after dark
Night view assist represents another contribution by Mercedes-Benz to reducing the risk of accidents at night. This system uses infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye and therefore does not dazzle oncoming traffic. Two infrared headlamps illuminate the road, significantly extending the driver’s range of vision when on low beam. An infrared camera mounted on the inside of the windscreen picks up the reflected image of the road ahead and displays this in the instrument cluster.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class traditionally embodies the state of the art with regard to technical innovations – indeed, these have always made this top-of-the-range Mercedes the model for all passenger-car development. The same holds true for the new 4MATIC models, which are equipped with a trend-setting all-wheel-drive system of the latest generation. During the concept, design and development stages of this new drive technology, the principal objectives were:
- Top traction performance on all road surfaces.
- Retention of the outstanding handling characteristics and first-class ride comfort.
- Performance and fuel consumption figures which are almost as good as those of two-wheel-drive vehicles.
- Compact and weight-optimised design.
- Attainment of the highest possible passive-safety standards.
In order to achieve these ambitious goals, the engineers and technicians of the Mercedes Technology Center (MTC) in Sindelfingen and Stuttgart-Untertürkheim decided to undertake a complete redesign of the all-wheel-drive system. The permanent 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system in the S-Class has a planetary-type central differential which splits the power between the front and rear wheels in a fixed ratio of 45 to 55 percent. The permanent all-wheel-drive system is active all the time, operates without the need for electronically controlled clutches and does not require any reaction time. As a result, the S-Class 4MATIC offers assured, clearly defined handling which is always predictable on all road surfaces – a clear advantage over other systems. On snow and ice in particular, the adhesion of all four wheels is maximised by a multiplate clutch whose locking force of 50 Nm ensures optimum traction. Complementing the high-precision mechanical compo-nents, the 4ETS and ASR electronic traction systems interact intelligently with the ESP® active safety system. The new 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system is designed in such a way that other Mercedes-Benz passenger cars will be able to benefit from it in the future.
Space-saving design with integrated transfer case
The power supply to the driven front wheels is provided via a transfer case which requires no additional installation space as it is integrated in the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. From here, a driveshaft supplies the power to the front axle. From the front differential, power is transmitted to the front left axle shaft by an intermediate shaft which runs through an encapsulated shaft channel in the engine oil sump.
The transfer case is notable for its compact design: by dispensing with one complete gear stage and by integrating the rear universal joint in the output gear, it is possible for the drive shaft to the front differential to run very close to the automatic transmission. Together, all these design measures allow identical floor as-semblies to be used as for vehicles with rear-wheel drive. As a consequence, cus-tomers who choose the new S-Class 4MATIC no longer have to compromise on space. Packaging the all-wheel-drive technology in this way also has the advan-tage that the results of all the relevant crash tests are almost identical to those obtained with rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
Noise and vibration comfort to typically high S-Class standards
Another benefit of this compact drive concept relates to the fact that the engine mounts are positioned on the new integral subframe and thus permit the use of extremely compact and rigid engine supports. This has a positive effect on noise and vibration comfort; on both counts, the 4MATIC models match the acknowl-edged high standard of the rear-wheel-drive S-Class. A no less important factor in this context is the high natural bending frequency of the entire engine-transmission unit, including the favourable integrated transfer case. The noise-optimised design of the oil supply system and all rotating components also plays an important part in this.
Additional all-wheel-drive-related fuel consumption just 0.4 litres
The inter-wheel speed difference is absorbed by means of a rear differential whose design (it is linked to the engine by a shortened propshaft) offers particular benefits with regard to fuel economy. The principle of the friction-optimised design of the rear differential has also been adopted for the newly developed front differential which has a diecast aluminium housing: by integrating the transfer case in the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission it has been possible to dispense entirely with one gear stage and the associated seals. Optimum lubrication effi-ciency is achieved by sharing the oil circuit with the automatic transmission; low-friction bearings are also used. Together, these measures allow the S-Class 4MATIC models to return additional (NEDC combined) fuel consumption of just 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres – a figure so low as to be unrivalled – compared with the rear-wheel-drive models. Furthermore, the compact and weight-optimised design results in an all-wheel-drive weight premium of just 66 to 70 kilograms, depending on the engine – a clear advantage over all the competitor models. The low additional weight makes modified gear spacing and final drive ratios super-fluous – another factor which has a positive effect on fuel consumption and per-formance figures.
Multiplate clutch offers additional traction
In addition to the permanent all-wheel-drive system, an innovative multiplate clutch also helps ensure high traction in all road conditions. It is fitted to the central differential and produces a basic locking force of 50 Newton metres between the front and rear axles. If extremely low friction values – as encountered on ice, for example – are preventing one of the axles from transmitting any drive torque, the multiplate clutch helps by transferring the engine power from the axle which is turning faster to the one which is turning more slowly without any time-lag whatsoever. As a result, the wheels without traction are prevented from spinning. As well as enhancing traction, this system improves stability, too.
ESP®, ASR und 4ETS active safety systems completely redeveloped
This highly effective technology is complemented by the ESP®, ASR and 4ETS electronic active safety systems which have been completely redeveloped to take account of the specifics of all-wheel drive. The 4ETS traction control system uses a whole series of sensor data about the speeds of the different wheels, the steering angle as well as the vehicle’s rotational motion and transverse acceleration. A micro-computer uses this data as a basis for correctly adjusting the automatic braking impulses in accordance with the driving situation. This improves traction when starting out from a standstill on a slippery surface and provides greater stability during challenging driving manoeuvres.
4ETS replaces conventional mechanical differential locks and is able to brake one or more wheels at the first sign of a loss of traction, thereby instantly increasing the drive torque to the wheels with best traction. 4ETS and ASR intervene almost imperceptibly as far as the vehicle occupants are concerned and combine optimum traction with maximum driving stability and excellent handling. At low speeds, 4ETS brakes up to three wheels, which provides the same effect as three differential locks and ensures maximum traction. At higher speeds, the system reduces the automatic braking impulses to ensure stability. As well as making the S-Class 4MATIC models extremely safe cars, this combination of ESP® and 4ETS with permanent all-wheel drive also opens up a new dimension of dynamic driving for motorists.
As with ESP® in model variants with rear-wheel drive, the all-wheel-drive vehicles also immediately warn drivers when they approach their physical limits. In this case, a yellow warning light in the instrument cluster begins to flash. This is a clear signal warning drivers to adjust their driving behaviour to the road conditions.
Four-link front suspension and multi-link independent rear suspension for optimum comfort and handling
Another key element which underpins the excellent driving dynamics and high ride comfort typical of the brand is the suspension design of the S-Class. Unlike the predecessor model series, the all-wheel-drive versions now feature the four-link front suspension which offers the best compromise between agility, precision and ride comfort. Equipped with the tried and trusted multilink independent rear suspension, the 4MATIC Saloons are characterised by handling that is always predictable and neutral with slight understeer. At the same time, the power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering makes for precise and effortless vehicle control. Thanks to its variable ratio (50.1 to 60.5 millimetres per steering wheel revolution), it works somewhat more indirectly in the middle of the range than at the extremes.
Comfort is considerably enhanced by the speed-sensitive feature that comes as standard: the lower the speed, the greater the power assistance. Below 200 km/h, the required steering input diminishes continuously as a function of the driving speed, so that the driver need apply only about a third of the maximum steering effort during slow parking manoeuvres. Variable centring is a special feature common to all S-Class models: the electro-hydraulic speed-sensitive servo is used to generate a centring moment that increases with the speed and gives the driver a secure and stable feeling in the straight-ahead position. In slow driving, this additional steering moment is not activated, so the benefits of the speed-sensitive steering can be fully exploited.
Standard: AIRMATIC all-round self-levelling air suspension
The standard-fit AIRMATIC all-round self-levelling suspension makes an important contribution to the high standard of ride comfort offered by the S-Class 4MATIC versions. When the vehicles are stationary, there is no difference between the ground clearance and ride height of the all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel drive models. On rough roads, where greater ground clearance is required, the S-Class driver can simply press a button to raise ride height by 30 millimetres. AIRMATIC is combined with the Adaptive Damping System (ADS). ADS constantly regulates the shock absorber force in line with requirements, taking the road conditions, the driving style and the car’s load into account. The system is able to adjust the damping force at each wheel to the requirements of the prevailing situation within just 50 milliseconds. In doing so, the skyhook algorithm regulates the damping forces in such a way that the forces exerted on the car body by the movement of the wheels are reduced. Depending on the commands received, the ADS solenoid valves on the shock absorbers can actuate any of four different damper settings:
- Stage 1: Comfortable ride with little body movement and low acceleration values, due to soft compression and rebound.
- Stage 2: Skyhook mode - soft rebound setting and hard compression.
- Stage 3: Skyhook mode - soft compression setting and hard rebound.
- Stage 4: Hard compression and rebound setting to reduce wheel load fluctua-tions during dynamic driving.
When experiencing few body movements, the new S Class remains in the comfortable ADS Stage 1. If the speed of body movements exceeds a certain value, the system shifts to the skyhook algorithm and continuously switches between the second and third damping stages, with the help of fast solenoid valves, in order to offset body roll and pitching.
Another special feature is the S/C/M button in the centre console. The motorist can use this button to switch the saloon’s characteristics from "comfortable" to "sporty", thereby influencing the suspension settings, ride height and transmis-sion programming. On 4MATIC models, the shift points for all gears are optimally adapted to all-wheel drive.
- Comfort: In this mode, the ride height of the 4MATIC saloons is raised by ten millimetres over that of the rear-wheel drive versions, provided the speed re-mains below 80 km/h. When the speed exceeds 80 km/h, AIRMATIC automatically lowers the ride height by ten millimetres at both axles in order to improve stability and reduce drag. At more than 160 km/h, the body is low-ered by a further ten millimetres and the compression damping is changed to "hard". When the speed drops below 40 km/h again, the system returns the body to its normal height. The automatic transmission shifts gears at lower engine speeds and allows the S Class to move off in second gear.
- Sport: In this mode, the ride height is the same when on the move as for rear-wheel drive S-Class models. At speeds exceeding 100 km/h, ride height is lowered by ten millimetres at both axles and is not raised again until the speed drops below 60 km/h. The shock absorbers are set to the "hard" compression setting from 40 km/h. Gear changes take place at higher rpm.
- Manual: The automatic transmission can be operated manually by means of buttons on the steering wheel. The alterations to ride height and suspension settings take place in the same way as in "Sport" mode.
Standard equipment and appointments
Many high-tech systems which increase safety and comfort are standard in the S-Class 4MATIC models. They include the ADAPTIVE BRAKE system, second-generation PRE-SAFE®, AIRMATIC air suspension with the Adaptive Damping System, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, the COMAND system with a DVD player, the DIRECT SELECT gearshift and automatic climate control.
Highlights of the standard equipment list include:
- Adaptive driver and front-passenger airbags
- Adaptive brake light
- AIRMATIC with Adaptive Damping System
- 7G-TRONIC Sport automatic transmission
- Brake Assist
- ADAPTIVE BRAKE
- COMAND system with CD/DVD player and PCMCIA slot
- Diesel particulate filter
- DIRECT SELECT gearshift
- Electric parking brake
- Belt force limiters on front and outer rear seats
- Belt tensioners on all seats
- Automatic climate control
- 17-inch seven-spoke light-alloy wheels
- Multifunction steering wheel
- NECK-PRO head restraints
- Speed-sensitive power steering
- Two-stage rain sensor
- Tyre pressure loss warning system
- Front and rear outer seatbelts with automatic comfort-fit feature
- Sidebags front and rear
- Front seats with lumbar supports and electric adjustment for height and fore/aft position
The specification of the S 450 4MATIC V8 Saloon includes the following additional features:
- Tinted, sound-insulating, infrared-reflecting laminated glass all round
- 17-inch five-spoke light-alloy wheels
The S 500 4MATIC includes the following additional top-level features:
- Automatically dimming rear-view mirror and driver’s side exterior mirror
- Leather upholstery
- Memory package for front seats, steering column and exterior mirrors
- Metallic paintwork
- Heated front seats
The long-wheelbase version of the S-Class includes the following additional features as standard:
- Leather upholstery
- Roller blind for rear window, electrically operated
- Tilting/sliding glass sunroof, electric, with PRE-SAFE® function
- Front passenger seat also electrically adjustable from the rear
- Rear bench seat with electrically adjustable outer seats; outer seats and outer head restraints with PRE-SAFE® positioning function
- Heated front and rear seats
AMG bodystyling and AMG light-alloy wheels for an even more dynamic character
Two optional packages from Mercedes-AMG – AMG bodystyling and AMG light-alloy wheels – are also available for the S-Class 4MATIC models. The AMG equipment features give these potent yet elegant top-of-the-line Mercedes models an even greater air of power and authority.
AMG bodystyling, consisting of front and rear aprons and side skirts, is designed in the typical AMG mould: at the front, the restyled bumper with large air intakes, black honeycomb grille and chrome-rimmed fog lamps all add to the sporty theme and give the "made by AMG" S-Class an even wider and lower-slung appearance. The distinctively styled side skirts continue the lines of the front apron and provide a link between it and the rear apron. At the rear, the styling comes to a powerful conclusion in the striking bumper design, with further highlights provided by two large, oval, chromed AMG tailpipes (not for the S 320 CDI 4MATIC).
The sporty theme continues with the new 19 and 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels, which are available in two different 5-spoke designs. The high-sheen 19-inch 8.5 x 19 AMG wheels are equipped with 255/40 R 19 wide-base tyres while the titanium-silver-painted 20-inch 8.5 x 20 AMG light-alloy wheels are fitted with 255/35 R 20 tyres. As well as filling the wheel arches perfectly and being decidedly sporty in appearance, the AMG alloy wheels also provide further enhanced handling charac-teristics. AMG bodystyling and the handsome AMG light-alloy wheels are available for all the 4MATIC models and both wheelbase versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
designo: individually tailored range of colours, leather and select woods
The designo range allows Mercedes-Benz customers with particularly demanding tastes to create a highly individual S-Class 4MATIC by choosing from a comprehen-sive collection of paint finishes, leather colours and trim elements. It is a measure of the exclusivity of the designo range that Mercedes-Benz is the only car maker in the world to offer customers a choice of trim elements made from real stone (designo Star Galaxy and designo Labrador blue pearl in the case of the S-Class). Special designo interior appointments packages allow the S-Class to be enhanced with specially selected combinations of designo leather upholstery and designo trim elements. Two different packages are available:
- The designo Edition I equipment package puts the accent on contrast: the very soft pastel yellow designo aniline leather on the seats and armrests combines with trim parts in deep-black high-gloss piano lacquer and the Alcantara roof lining in anthracite to create unusual highlights in a predominantly black interior.
- designo Edition II creates a tasteful lounge atmosphere. This classic combination consists of designo aniline leather upholstery in armagnac, high-class trim parts in designo natural maple grain and the Alcantara roof lining in anthracite.
In both packages, the seats feature distinctive ten-rib vertical fluting, double top-stitching and designo metal badges in the front and rear backrests. The designo equipment packages also include black velour floor mats with edging in black designo leather and designo metal badges.
Both designo equipment packages are available for all S-Class 4MATIC models in both wheelbase lengths.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class 4MATIC range impresses with its wide variety and its ability to meet the most diverse customer requirements. Four different engines and two body variants with a long and a short wheelbase are available. At the top of the range, the S 500 4MATIC has a 5.5-litre V8 engine which develops 285 kW/ 388 hp and thus offers an increase in performance of more than 26 percent com-pared with the previous eight-cylinder power plant. Its torque figure of 530 Newton metres is also significantly higher (by some 15 percent) than the peak value at-tained by its predecessor. Maximum torque is available from 2800 rpm and re-mains constant across a wide engine speed range up to 4800 rpm, for excellent acceleration and mid-range power:
- The new S 500 4MATIC accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds, the same time as that taken by the S 500 with rear-wheel drive. Compared with the predecessor model, the Saloon is more than a second faster.
- In third gear, the S 500 4MATIC accelerates from 60 to 120 km/h in just 5.6 seconds.
- The top speed is 155 mph (electronically governed).
The eight-cylinder power plant in the S 500 4MATIC is the top unit in the new generation of Mercedes-Benz V-engines which was successfully introduced in mid-2004. Equipped with four valves per cylinder, infinitely adjustable intake and exhaust camshafts, a two-stage intake module and tumble flaps in the intake ducts, the V8 is among the engines with the highest power output and torque in its displacement class. Other technical highlights of this eight-cylinder engine include special shifting camshafts. These reduce the inherent pressure fluctuations in the exhaust train and thereby considerably improve the engine’s gas cycle. This makes itself felt among other things by smoother running and higher torque in the lower and medium engine speed ranges. The Mercedes V8 employs the latest lightweight construction principles, with an aluminium crankcase, low-friction cylinder liners of aluminium/silicon alloy, a forged steel crankshaft and weight-optimised connecting rods.
Fuel consumption up by just 0.4 litres compared with S 500
The fact that the combined NEDC fuel consumption of 12.1 to 12.3 litres per 100 km returned by the S 500 4MATIC represents a saving of almost one litre compared with the predecessor model – despite the new unit’s higher power and torque – clearly demonstrates the efficiency of the up-to-date design and high-tech features of the new Mercedes eight-cylinder engine. Furthermore, the newly developed all-wheel-drive system also has a positive impact. Optimised for weight and friction characteristics, it results in only a slight increase in fuel consumption – just 0.4 litres – compared with the two-wheel drive version of the S 500 (11.7 to 11.9 litres per 100 km).
S 450 4MATIC – second V8 model with 250 kW/340 hp
The second V8 model is the new S 450 4MATIC which is now also available as a rear-wheel-drive model. Its engine technology is closely related to that of the 5.5-litre eight-cylinder unit and includes four valves per cylinder, infinitely ad-justable shifting intake and exhaust camshafts, a two-stage intake module, tumble flaps in the intake ducts, an aluminium crankcase, low-friction cylinder liners, a forged steel crankshaft and weight-optimised connecting rods. With a displacement of 4663 cc, it develops a peak output of 250 kW/340 hp and its maximum torque of 460 Newton metres is available across a wide engine speed range from 2700 to 5000 rpm. The 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time of 5.9 seconds puts the S 450 4MATIC on a par with its rear-wheel-drive counterpart. The top speed is 250 km/h (electronically governed). At 11.6 to 11.8 litres per 100 kilometres, its fuel consumption is only 0.4 litres higher than that of the "normal" S 450. This is analogous to the difference in fuel consumption between the corresponding S 500 models.
Premiere for S-Class with diesel engine and all-wheel drive
The third S-Class all-wheel-drive model – and also the most economical one – is the S 320 CDI 4MATIC. This is the first time that all-wheel drive has been combined with a turbodiesel engine in the top Mercedes-Benz model series. The advanced six-cylinder CDI unit develops 173 kW/235 hp and offers maximum torque of 540 Newton metres which is available between 1600 and 2800 rpm. These impressive figures put the direct-injection diesel among the engines with the highest power output and torque in its displacement class. As the figures suggest, the powerful six-cylinder engine offers extremely respectable performance: with a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time of 7.8 seconds, the all-wheel-drive Saloon performs to the same high standard as its two-wheel drive counterpart; the top speed is 245 km/h; Thanks to the favourable NEDC combined fuel consumption figure of between 8.7 and 8.9 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, operating ranges in excess of 1000 kilometres are possible. Compared with the rear-wheel-drive S 320 CDI, the 4MATIC model consumes only an additional 0.4 litres of diesel fuel per 100 km.
Perhaps its greatest luxury is peace of mind: the 2007 S-Class S550 4MATIC can handle a variety of weather and road conditions with its 4MATIC standard™ all-wheel drive.
4MATIC also incorporates our 4-wheel Electronic Traction System. This advanced feature monitors wheel speed and, upon sensing slippage, can brake any one of the wheels individually, routing power to the wheel or wheels with traction. 4MATIC can get the S550 moving — even if only one wheel has traction — until the other wheels regain their grip.
All combined, the S550 4MATIC will take you places few luxury sedans can — quite literally — and in the most refined and confident manner.
- MSRP $89,525
- Engine5.5L 32-valve V-8 engine
- Net Power382 hp @ 6,000 rpm
- Net Torque391 lb-ft @ 2,800 - 4,800 rpm
Fuel and ignition system Sequential fuel injection and twin-spark ignition. Four valves per cylinder with continuously variable intake and exhaust valve timing.
Fuel Tank Capacity 23.8 gal/90 liters - 2.9 gal/11 liters
Transmission Steering-wheel-mounted shift buttons allow for Touch Shift gear selection. Electronically controlled shifting. Driver-adaptive programming adjusts shift points to the driver’s current driving style. Driver-selectable Comfort mode starts vehicle moving in 2nd gear or a 2nd Reverse gear, and upshifts at lower rpm to help improve control on slippery surfaces.
Drive configuration 4MATIC™ permanent all-wheel drive.
Rear axle ratio 2.65:1