Mercedes S-class

17 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mercedes S-class
Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Mercedes S-class (1959)

I n the 50 years, Mercedes-Benz S-class was recognized as the best series luxury car in the world. Without car, Mercedes would not been considered as the best car manufacturer, especially now its sales is eclipsed by BMW. The point is, no one luxury, comfort and safety as and as consistently as the big Mercedes.

How far the history of goes back is always Mercedes started using the S-class in 1972 (on series but the line obviously had been long before that. the early cars got only names, say, 220 or 250SE, it is to tell whether they are models from names.

It was not 1993 that the new corporate (model designation started C, E or S and followed by 3 digits denoting capacity) could clearly the model class.

Mercedes said the earliest S-class was series (born 1951). to wikipedia (well, not always a source) the S-class started W180 (1954). In my opinion, deserved the S-class title.

you may trace its roots to these they were not good and enough to be seen as a top notch car, because they mechanically and visually close to the offerings from Mercedes-Benz If S-class means the classiest model of Mercedes, then the S-class has to be W111/W112 from

W hich luxury brand the late 1950s. Not Mercedes-Benz of It was Cadillac. As you can see from our article of the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and the Cadillac. the American luxury was leading the fashion and technology of the thanks to the wealth of General

Born in 1959, Mercedes and W112 series could not from the Cadillac’s influence, notably its tailfins and self-leveling air However, it also got some breakthroughs, such as the world’s safety chassis (a rigid cell sandwiched between and rear crumple zones) and the all-wheel disc brakes in the Besides, its 4-speed automatic Bosch mechanical fuel all independent suspensions (by double-wishbones up and low-pivot swing axle at the and dual-circuit braking system also considered advanced then.

The W111 series was the market version. It was powered by well-proven SOHC straight-six displacing 2.2 liters. Fitted carburetors it was called 220 or 220S, fuel-injected version was called Both saloon and coupe were offered.

Autocar tested a 220SE Coupe in and was impressed by its overall completeness, no speed, roadholding, ride, comfort or refinement. The 120hp car a two-way average of 106 mph in the test, for a large car.

W112 was the version of W111. Apart more chromed features and equipment (including air suspensions, disc brakes and power it was available with a 100mm wheelbase version. Moreover, it was exclusively by a 185hp 3.0-liter straight-six, which was the mass and alloy-block version of the one serving

The resultant 300SE was good for 114 mph and in just over 10 seconds.

The / W112 was probably not yet the best car in the world. However, from its technology and overall refinement it had shown a promising future.

H seen it in person, I think the series from 1965-72 is the graceful looking S-class of all W126 is close). On the one hand, it the classical elements of traditional designs, such as a round a prominent radiator grille and a lot of On the other hand it introduced a shape that is characterized by lines, large glass and rounded corners. In other it combined the best of both

This remarkably refined was penned by Paul Bracq, who had a lot of to Mercedes in the 1960s and BMW in the 1970s.

W108/109 was a development from the generation. The basic design of and powertrains were carried but the six-cylinder engine was enlarged 2.2 to 2.5 liters and later on 2.8 liters. The came with Bosch electronic fuel injection, was a progress from the previous injection.

The 2.8-liter engine not only 280SE, but also the 300SEL since the old 3.0-liter retired in 1967. Such situation continued until when Mercedes finally a new V8 engine. Destined primarily to the USA it appeared in two forms: 3.5-liter or 4.5-liter 230hp.

Performance and were greatly enhanced.

As W108 was the mass market while W109 was luxurious with 100mm longer and air suspensions. The W108 models called 250S, 250SE, or 280SE depending on engines. styles included sedan, and convertible. All W109 models called 300SEL regardless of

Interestingly, 3.5-liter and 4.5-liter were never called or 450SEL etc. but 280SE 280SE 4.5, 300SEL 3.5 and 4.5.

Also worth is the high-performance 300SEL 6.3, was fitted with a mega V8 the 600 limousine. It will be covered by a article .

Thanks to its solid quality, superb mechanical and elegant yet restrained style, the S-class overtook the American and Lincoln to be the world’s best car. Since then it looked back.

T his S-class the streets in my childhood. Nevertheless, I do not very fond memory of it, to its unrefined design. The W116 was at a time new safety regulations effective.

This demanded plastic and rubber side stripes. like everyone else, had not masterminded the art of integrating these features into the body so they looked ill-fitted and at to the rest of the car.

Style-wise, the was a brave (an unsuccessful) attempt for Its body shell was widened and The radiator grille evolved and wider, while traditional headlights were replaced two large rectangular ones signal lamps integrated. went up by around 100 kg, mostly due to safety. To enhance crash the cabin section was made and further research improved the crumpling of the front and rear zones.

In the cabin, collapsible wheel, recessed switches and surfaces reduce the level of in collision. Fuel tank was from the tail to above the axle. These features the S-class the safest car in the world.

in its final year, it introduced the first ABS anti-lock brake

The chassis was a big departure from the generation. While the front setup sounds similar, it got geometry and zero Kingpin (i.e. the steering axis onto the center of tire patch). The latter improved its response and reduced kickback a

At the rear, the low-pivot swing finally became history, as were replaced with arms. This tamed the of its predecessor, making its handling and more predictable.

In the powertrain the 2.8-liter straight-six of 280SE/SEL twin-cam and delivered an impressive (up 25hp). V8 models finally got names #8211; 350SE/SEL and They were good for and 225hp respectively, more or the same as the ones introduced in the life of the previous generation.

The transmissions now got torque converter of the previous fluid coupling for smoothness.

Autocar tested 280SE and 450SEL. They 125 mph and 134 mph respectively, and accelerated from to 60 mph in 9.7 and 9.1 seconds respectively. The 280SE was for sweet revving engine, handling and ride. Performance of was disappointing, partly due to the power-sipping automatic (lesser models 4-speed auto), partly due to its weight.

However, the British praised it for refined ride, handling that belied its and superb power steering. The was light yet quick and free of No wonder 450SE/SEL was crowned Car of the Year in 1974.

Like the generation, W116 was offered a high-performance model, 450SEL This will be dealt a separate article .

W ith a total of nearly 900,000 units sedan and coupe), W126 is by far the selling S-class of all. It had the longest life (12 years). If not the of the best, how could it be so successful.

A couple of things mark out of other S-class series. The is a timeless design. Most age within a few years. Good may manage 20 years. But the W126 never age.

Even 30 years after its debut, it looks as handsome and elegant as A key contribution is the way it treated bumpers and skirts, making them in harmony with the rest of the However, most important is it did so right. The transition from one to another is smooth and flawless. The of features into the car approaches

The only thing prevents it matching W108 is the lack of features, which made it special from modern That said, give it 20 years and car collectors then may different view.

Another marks the W126 out is the sense of it delivers. This can be seen of course, but the feel gets once you have sat inside. its structure and build quality, S-class feels incredibly

It is void of the complication and unreliability of S-classes, just gives you a dependable feel.

The chassis of was an evolution from the previous This mean it continued to semi-trailing arms as rear The biggest advancement was aerodynamics of drag lowered from to 0.36) and weight reduction. contributed to a 10-percent reduction of consumption.

Besides, more features were introduced to it at the forefront of safety, for example, air seatbelt pretensioners and the standard of ABS.

At launch, it offered 3 of engines: the carried over 2.8 dohc straight-six (280SE/SEL), new 3.8-liter sohc V8 (380SE/SEL) and 5.0-liter sohc V8 (500SE/SEL). The V8s developed from the old 3.5 and 4.5-liter respectively, but with capacity and changed to alloy block to weight. 4-speed automatic became standard on most and now they were computer-controlled.

provided two shift patterns, and Economy, and shift points adaptive to driving conditions.

its long life, the S-class was once and got engine updates times. The 3.8 V8 was superseded with unit (420SE/SEL). The 2.8 engine was by 2.6 and 3.0-liter sohc sixes. the introduction of 5.6-liter V8 in 1985, became the flagship model.

In it was good for 300hp and 155 mph, Autocar thought it was not as accomplished as BMW which was V12-powered.

On the road, was praised for well-weighted power excellent high-speed stability and a handling for its size. Its semi-trailing arm made it an inherent understeerer, but by power it could be turned progressive power slide. On the its ride was slightly too firm for a car (I can confirm this, as I had a couple of in the car), and both wind and noises were not very insulated from the cabin.

Such a combination of handling and characteristic was quite surprising.

W 140 how things could go wrong if you luxury, quality, power and at all costs. It was born when LS400 and Infiniti Q45 started the German at the top luxury segment. To off the competition, Mercedes spent money to develop W140.

It the car much larger than the gave it a modernized look by the 1989 SL-class), all-new (subframe-mounted double-wishbones up front; setup at the rear), a new 4-valve family (231hp 3.2 straight-six, 4.2 V8 and 326hp 5.0 V8) and even a 6.0-liter V12 good for 408 hp. The latter was a response to V12, and overwhelmed it easily.

the W140 got many luxury not available to the class, such as glazing windows, electric and boot lid closing, electric door mirrors and speed-sensitive steering. As a result, it weighed 400 kg than its predecessor, hampering its and fuel economy. Moreover, it extremely expensive, so it managed half the sales of W126 its 7 years life span.

The resulted in loss.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

However, it is that the W140 was the world’s luxury car at the time. Especially in the of 600SEL, it was powerful and quick mph was possible in 6.7 seconds), spacious, and refined. Noise suppression and quality were not as good as but the big Mercedes had better handling, a triumph considering its size and

The over-engineering perfected most As long as buyers could larger engines and the resultant bills, nothing could match the S-class in the world of motoring.

On the other hand, the thought it was simply too much too big, too expensive and too environmental It did not beat its rivals squarely and just overwhelmed them more mass, more and more money. This image would not be overcome the next generation arrived.

It be noted that the model of S-class were changed in Following the new corporate nomenclature, 400SE, 500SE and 600SEL renamed to S320, S420, and S600 respectively.

H aving a lesson, the next generation W220, was designed to be lighter, and less costly to build. Its shell was smaller in all dimensions, the class norm. This, with using more steel, all-alloy engines and the double-glazing windows, made the car 300 kg than its predecessor. Besides, the was 40% more rigid than the old while a sleeker shape a much lower drag at 0.27.

As a result, the W220 could use engines to achieve the same For example, the new S320 was as fast as the S420, while S500 was than the old S600. This it was much more frugal the old car.

The W220 was being at a time Mercedes started radical – both in and development process – the leadership of its CEO Jurgen Schrempp. Its new look appeared to be much than ever, but many elements, such as the peanut-shaped round bumper intakes and radiator grille, aged over time. This it looks rather outdated

The build quality and reliability took a nose dive as drove for cost-effective engineering. The used cheaper materials in its and its development and testing process was The latter resulted in many glitches.

This was not helped by its extension of electronic technologies, AIRmatic adaptive air suspensions, CCS cut-off (on 5.0-liter V8), and Speedtronic computer cruise ESP stability control, BAS brake integrated infotainment system.

To engine production and save W220 employed a 90-degree V6 and V8 The former needed a balancer to cancel first order Mercedes believed 4 valves per could not comply with the emission requirements of EU 2004 standard (which was proved to be so these engine reverted to 3 valves per cylinder.

The resultant loss was largely compensated by dual ignition, variable manifolds and intake variable timing. Broader torque actually made the cars better in real world. At the top of the a new 367hp 5.8-liter V12 was developed for again based on the SOHC design of the V6 / V8.

In 2002, the V12 was added twin-turbo, boosting output to an 500hp. The new S600, equipped Active Body Control became an Autobahn rocket. AMG joined the party with two S-class, S55 (powered by 500hp 5.5 V8) and S65 (612hp 6.0 twin-turbo V12). had sportier handling and coarser than the standard car.

the regular W220 was never of talent in handling. The switch recirculating ball to rack-and-pinion improved its steering feel and a lot, while adaptive (AIRmatic or ABC) improved its control without sacrificing quality. It was considered to be a good between handling and comfort.

the W220 was more successful W140. However, its downgraded and build quality cost heavily in reputation.

M ercedes from mistakes in the past. the over-engineered W140 and the underdeveloped it finally hit the right balance W221. The new S-class is sized the two, offers enormous space yet weighs only 65 kg than W220, thanks to aluminum hood, trunk doors and front fenders.

It keeps a sleek profile and low but the detailed design is far more than the old car.

Inside, the new has its materials and build quality improved, getting back to the top of the High-tech features like LCD panel, Night View camera and Pre-Safe safety distinguished it from rivals. go for the super-comfortable front chairs, come with heating, massagers and side bolsters inflate automatically during cornering to hold the occupants in place.

Besides, the cabin is quiet and free from intrusions.

The chassis is an evolution of the series. The suspension geometry, air suspensions and steering were without big changes. S600 to employ active body

Again, the S-class does not as well as BMW 7-series, but it provides a and quieter ride, thus is the better luxury car.

The V12 of S600 is largely the same as only got a slight, 17hp in output. Other engines renewed. The 90-degree V6 and V8 got 4-valve dual continuous variable timing as well as extra boosting output considerably. the automatic gearbox was upgraded 5 to 7-speed (S600 kept the as the 7G-Tronic could not withstand its torque).

As a result, all S-class bar the S600 are significantly quicker their predecessors. AMG models S63 and S65, the former got an all-new 6.2-liter 32-valve V8, while the carried over the old engine.

By the of the decade, Mercedes focused its to the green side. In Europe, and more sales fell to its maturing V6 turbo diesel. Mercedes also introduced Hybrid (powered by V6 plus a electric motor integral transmission) as an attempt to narrow the gap Lexus.

In 2010, the V6 and V8 family was to achieve a 25 percent reduction in and fuel consumption. The 90-degree V6 was with a 60-degree V6 with injection, auto start-stop and fuel-saving designs. The new V8 got the same plus a reduction in capacity and of twin-turbocharger. The result is even performance, drivability yet more friendly.

AMG’s 6.2 V8 was also with a twin-turbo 5.5 V8, with improvements.

Although the W221 is in production at the time of writing, we can that it is a better car than its two However, as the S-class is facing competition than ever, it difficult to repeat the success of in the foreseeing future.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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