Under the microscope: history - Milestones in comfort

Mar 26, 2013
The luxury-class models from Mercedes-Benz are always at the vanguard of the very latest automotive technology. Time and time again, they showcase brand new features which then come into widespread use. Here is an overview of the comfort innovations premiered by the individual S‑Class model series:
Model 220, W 187 (1951 to 1954)
  • Heater with blower as optional equipment
Models 220 a/220 S/220 SE, W 180/W 128 (1954 to 1959)
  • Improved spaciousness and comfort thanks to modern unitary structure
  • Separately adjustable heater and blower as standard for driver and front passenger
  • "Hydrak" automatic hydraulic clutch as optional equipment item (from 1957)
Models 220 b/220 Sb/220 SEb/300 SE/300 SE long-wheelbase, W 111/W 112 (1959 to 1965)
  • Four-speed automatic transmission (from 1961)
  • Air suspension (300 SE, from 1961)
  • Long-wheelbase version available (300 SE, from 1963)
  • Central locking system as optional equipment (300 SE long-wheelbase)
Models 250 S to 300 SEL 6.3, W 108/W 109 (1965 to 1972)
  • Hydropneumatic compensator spring at the rear axle
  • Air suspension (300 SEL, 300 SEL 6.3, 300 SEL 3.5)
S-Class 116 series (1972 to 1980)
  • Cruise control as optional equipment (from 1975)
  • Hydropneumatic suspension with level control (450 SEL 6.9, from 1975)
  • Automatic transmission with torque converter as optional equipment (standard for 450 SE, 450 SEL, 450 SEL 6.9)
  • Large headlamps and indicators, soiling-resistant tail lights and side windows
  • Coupled-link axle with anti-squat control (450 SE, 450 SEL, 450 SEL 6.9)
S-Class 126 series (1979 to 1991)
  • Electrically adjustable steering column as optional equipment item (from 1985)
S-Class 140 series (1991 to 1998)
  • Electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission (standard for V8 and V12 models, from 1995)
  • Speed-sensitive power steering
  • Double-glazed side windows for maximum noise comfort
  • Automatic climate control with activated charcoal filter and CO/NOX-sensitive sensors as standard (S 600) or as optional equipment
  • Electrically folding exterior mirrors
  • Power closing for doors and boot lid as optional equipment
  • Adaptive Damping System ADS as optional equipment item
  • PARKTRONIC electronic parking aid as standard equipment (S 600, from 1995) or as optional equipment (from 1995)
  • Auto-Pilot-System APS navigation system as optional equipment (from 1995)
  • TELE-AID emergency call system as optional equipment (from 1997)
  • LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system as optional equipment (from 1996)
  • Seat belts with automatic height adjustment
S-Class 220 series (1998 to 2005)
  • 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission with electronic control (S 430, S 500, from 2004)
  • AIRMATIC air suspension with electronically controlled Adaptive Damping System
  • Active Body Control suspension as optional equipment (standard for S 600)
  • Laminated glass side windows
  • DISTRONIC proximity control as optional equipment
  • Automatic headlamp mode
  • COMAND control and display system with dynamic navigation as optional equipment
  • Multi-zone automatic climate control with individual control at each seat depending on the sun's position
  • Luxury seats with ventilation and dynamic multicontour backrest as optional equipment
  • KEYLESS-GO access and drive authorisation systemas an optional extra
S-Class 221 series (from 2005)
  • 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission with electronic control and DIRECT SELECT steering wheel gearshift
  • Active Body Control (ABC) with crosswind stabilisation as an optional extra
  • Further development of DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control (with braking to standstill) as an optional extra
  • New control concept with a COMAND Controller on the transmission tunnel
  • Dynamic multicontour seat with new massage function
  • Foot-operated parking brake with electric assistance
  • SPLITVIEW display as an optional extra (from 2009)
  • Parking Assist as an optional extra
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist as an optional extra (from 2009)
  • Speed Limit Assist as an optional extra (from 2009)
  • Night View Assist based on infra-red technology as an optional extra