Innovations and facts: S-Class and preceding model series

Oct 19, 2017
Stuttgart

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the preceding model series have always stood for innovative automobile engineering. Again and again, they bring new features into the market which subsequently become widespread. Here is a brief overview of the special features in the individual model series.

Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP (1903 to 1905)

  • Modern high-performance engine: large-capacity four-cylinder with overhead intake valves
  • Highly efficient honeycomb radiator
  • Long wheelbase and low centre of gravity

Mercedes-Benz Nürburg (W 08, 1928 to 1933)

  • First series production Mercedes-Benz car with an eight-cylinder engine
  • Luxurious and spacious Pullman body
  • Overdrive transmission as an optional extra (from 1931, in conjunction with larger displacement)

Mercedes-Benz 770 “Grand Mercedes” (W 07 and W 150, 1930 to 1943)

  • First series production car with a supercharged eight-cylinder engine
  • Twin-spark ignition with two spark plugs per cylinder (high-voltage solenoid ignition and battery ignition)
  • Overdrive transmission (five-speed manual transmission from 1938)
  • Oval tubular box section frame (from 1938)
  • De-Dion rear axle (from 1938)

Mercedes-Benz 320 (W 142, 1937 to 1942)

  • Smooth-running six-cylinder engine
  • Fully-synchronised four-speed manual transmission, from 1939 with overdrive
  • Very wide choice of bodies: saloon, Pullman saloon (from 1939 with external luggage boot), Streamline saloon, several convertibles

Mercedes-Benz 300 (W 186 and W 189, 1951 to 1962)

  • Modern six-cylinder engine with overhead camshaft
  • Fastest serial car of German production
  • Mechanically controlled manifold petrol injection (from 1957)
  • Conical-pin safety door lock to prevent doors from bursting open
  • Electrically selectable torsion bar suspension for level control with heavy loads
  • Heating with fan as standard
  • Air conditioning system as special equipment (from 1958)
  • Power steering as special equipment (from 1958)
  • Production numbers (saloon): 10,705

Mercedes-Benz 220 (W 187, 1951 to 1954)

  • Very modern six-cylinder engine with overhead camshaft
  • Conical-pin safety door lock to prevent doors from bursting open
  • Heater with fan as special equipment
  • Production numbers (saloon): 16,066

Mercedes-Benz 219/220/220 S/220 SE (W 105/W 180/W 128, 1954 to 1959)

  • Self-supporting bodyshell
  • Improved spaciousness and comfort with modern “Ponton” form
  • Front suspension subframe
  • Single-link swing axle with low pivot point
  • Brake drums with “turbocooling”
  • Heater and fan as standard, separately controlled for driver and front passenger
  • “Hydrak” hydraulically automated clutch as special equipment (from 1957)
  • Mechanically controlled manifold petrol injection (220 SE, from 1958)
  • Production numbers (saloon): 111,021
  • Mostly built model: 220 S (55,268)

Mercedes-Benz 220 to 300 SE/300 SE long (W 111/W 112, 1959 to 1965)

  • Passenger safety cell with crumple zones (front and rear)
  • Padded steering wheel and “injury-reducing interior”
  • Conical-pin door locks with two safety detents
  • Disc brakes (300 SE, from 1961)
  • Dual-circuit braking system (from 1963)
  • Four-speed automatic transmission as standard (300 SE) or option (from 1961)
  • Air suspension (300 SE, from 1961)
  • Long version available (300 SE, from 1963)
  • Central locking as optional equipment (300 SE long)
  • Production numbers (saloon): 344,417
  • Mostly built model: 220 S (161,119)

Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100, 1963 to 1981)

  • Powerful, large-capacity V8 engine
  • Four-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual-circuit braking system with disc brakes
  • Air suspension
  • Power steering
  • Comfort hydraulics for seat adjustment, opening and closing of doors, windows and boot
  • Electronically controlled heating/ventilation system
  • Production numbers (saloon): 2618

Mercedes-Benz 250 S to 300 SEL 6.3 (W 108/W 109, 1965 to 1972)

  • Safety steering system (from 1967)
  • Hydropneumatic compensating spring at the rear axle
  • Air suspension (300 SEL, 300 SEL 6.3, 300 SEL 3.5)
  • Top model 300 SEL 6.3 with 184 kW (250 hp) V8 engine and performance at sports car level (from 1968)
  • Production numbers: 383,341
  • Mostly built model: 280 S (93,666)

Mercedes-Benz S-Class series 116 (1972 to 1980)

  • Officially designated the “S-Class” for the first time
  • Integral safety concept
  • four-spoke safety steering wheel
  • collision-protected fuel tank over the rear axle
  • safety door handles
  • large headlamps and direction indicators
  • dirt-resistant rear lights
  • dirt-resistant side windows
  • Anti-lock braking system ABS as optional equipment (from 1978)
  • Cruise control as optional equipment (from 1975)
  • Double wishbone front axle
  • Coupled-link axle with anti-squat control (450 SE, 450 SEL, 450 SEL 6.9)
  • Automatic transmission with torque converter as optional equipment (standard for 450 SE, 450 SEL, 450 SEL 6.9)
  • Hydropneumatic suspension with level control (450 SEL 6.9, from 1975)
  • First luxury class saloon with a diesel engine, first production car with a turbodiesel engine (300 SD, from 1978)
  • Production numbers: 473,035
  • Mostly built model: 280 SE (150,593)

Mercedes-Benz S-Class series 126 (1979 to 1991)

  • Bodyshell structure with forked member, the first series production vehicle worldwide to meet the frontal offset crash criteria
  • Low drag coefficient of Cd= 0.36
  • New V8 engines with light-alloy block
  • Closed-loop catalytic converter as as optional equipment (from 1985), then standard equipment (from 1986)
  • Electrically adjustable steering column as optional equipment (from 1985)
  • Driver airbag and belt tensioner for front passenger as optional equipment (from 1981)
  • Front passenger airbag as an option (from 1988)
  • Automatic locking differential as optional equipment for the six-cylinder models (from 1985)
  • Acceleration skid control ASR as optional equipment for the V8 models (from 1985)
  • To this day, the most successful Mercedes-Benz saloon in the executive and luxury class
  • Production numbers (saloon): 818,036
  • Mostly built model: 280 SE (133,955)

Mercedes-Benz S-Class series 140 (1991 to 1998)

  • Low drag coefficient of Cd= 0.31
  • Systematically designed for recyclability
  • Complete absence of chlorinated fluorohydrocarbons (CFCs)
  • Petrol engines with four-valve technology and adjustable intake camshafts
  • First Mercedes-Benz production car with a twelve-cylinder engine, and the brand’s most powerful car engine to date (600 SE, 600 SEL)
  • Luxury class diesel 300 SD available to world markets for the first time
  • Five-speed automatic transmission with electronic control (standard for V8 and V12 models, from 1995)
  • Speed-sensitive power steering with speed-dependent steering torque
  • Double-glazed side windows for maximum noise comfort
  • Automatic air conditioning with activated charcoal filter and CO/NOx-sensitive sensors as standard equipment (S 600) or optional
  • Electrically folding exterior mirrors
  • Power closing for doors and boot lid as optional equipment
  • Headlamps with variable-focus reflectors
  • Electronics networked by CAN bus
  • Belt system with automatic height adjustment
  • Sidebags for driver and front passenger (from 1996)
  • Adaptive Damping System ADS as optional equipment
  • Electronic Stability Program ESP® as standard equipment (S 600, from 1995) or optional equipment (S 420, S 500, from 1995)
  • Brake Assist BAS (from 1996)
  • Electronic parking aid PARKTRONIC as standard equipment (S 600, from 1995) or optional equipment (from 1995)
  • Auto Pilot System APS navigation system as optional equipment (from 1995)
  • Voice control system LINGUATRONIC as optional equipment (from 1996)
  • Emergency call system TELE-AID as optional equipment (from 1997)• Xenon headlamps with dynamic range control as optional equipment (from 1996)
  • Production numbers (saloon): 406,717
  • Mostly built model: 300 SE / S 320 (98,095)

Mercedes-Benz S-Class series 220 (1998 to 2005)

  • Lightweight body with weight-reducing material mix (high-strength steel, light alloys, plastics)
  • Aluminium crash boxes in the front and rear end structures
  • Drag coefficient Cd= 0.27
  • Automatic cylinder shutoff as standard equipment (S 600) or optional equipment (S 500)
  • 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission with electronic control (S 430, S 500, from 2004)
  • AIRMATIC air suspension with electronically controlled Adaptive Damping System ADS
  • Active Body Control ABC as optional equipment (standard equipment in the S 600)
  • Indicator repeaters integrated into the exterior mirrors
  • Auto on/off headlamps
  • Control and display COMAND with dynamic navigation system as optional equipment
  • Windowbags
  • Sidebags in the rear
  • Front passenger airbag with two-stage gas generator
  • Seat belt tensioners and belt force limiters in the rear
  • Laminated glass side windows
  • Multi-zone automatic air conditioning with individual control for each seat depending on the angle of the sun
  • Comfort seats with ventilation and dynamic multicontour backrest as optional equipment
  • Autonomous intelligent cruise control DISTRONIC as optional equipment
  • Keyless access and drive authorisation system KEYLESS GO as optional equipment
  • Bi-xenon headlamps with dynamic range control as optional equipment (from 2002, standard equipment for S 600)
  • Preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® (from 2002)
  • First AMG model of the S-Class in the official portfolio (S 55 AMG, from 1999; from 2002 with supercharger and 700 newton metres of torque)
  • S 65 AMG with 450 kW (612 hp) and 1000 newton metres of torque (from 2003)
  • V8 diesel engine with light-alloy block (S 400 CDI, from 2000)
  • 4MATIC all-wheel drive as optional equipment (S 350, S 430, S 500, from 2002)
  • Production numbers (saloon): 484,697
  • Mostly built model: S 500 long (108,823)

Mercedes-Benz S-Class series 221 (2005 to 2013)

  • Drag coefficient Cd= 0.26
  • First car with an environmental certificate
  • 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission with electronic control and DIRECT SELECT steering wheel gearshift
  • Active Body Control ABC with cross-wind stabilisation as optional equipment (standard equipment in the S 600)
  • ADAPTIVE BRAKE braking system
  • Adaptive brake lights
  • Brake Assist Plus as optional equipment
  • Improved autonomous intelligent cruise control DISTRONIC PLUS (with braking to standstill) as optional equipment
  • PRE-SAFE® Brake with autonomous partial braking (from 2006) and autonomous emergency braking (from 2009) as optional equipment
  • Improved COMAND system with Controller on the centre tunnel
  • SPLITVIEW display as optional equipment (from 2009)
  • Parking Assist as optional equipment
  • Panoramic tilting/sliding roof as optional equipment
  • Active Night View Assist as optional equipment
  • Blind Spot Assist as optional equipment (from 2007, from 2010 as Active Blind Spot Assist)
  • Lane Keeping Assist as optional equipment (from 2009, from 2010 as Active Lane Keeping Assist)
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist as optional equipment (from 2009)
  • Speed Limit Assist as optional equipment (from 2009)
  • First luxury class car with hybrid drive and lithium-ion battery (S 400 HYBRID, from 2009)
  • First S-Class with a four-cylinder engine (S 250 CDI, from 2010)
  • New xenon headlamps with 20 percent higher colour temperature (5000 kelvin) for daylight-like light (2010)
  • Production numbers: 547,698
  • Mostly built model: S 500 long (96,032)
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