BY THEODORE OPARA
IT is luxury all the way. The Mercedes Benz S-Class is the car other luxury cars would like to look like. No wonder it has survived many decades as the trendsetter in the luxury car segment and has remained the choice luxury car of many presidents across the globe.
An automotive icon of a kind, the S-Class has turned out a better car with every successive model since it first hit the showrooms in the 70s. Outstanding comfort, innovative technology and comprehensive safety features have been characteristic traits of the luxury saloon ever since.
It might interest you to know that the S-Class gave the automobile world most of the trailblazing innovations before others joined. Features like crumple zone, anti-lock brake system (ABS), airbags and ESP first made their debut in the S-Class and now, Mercedes has raised the bar again with the new S-Class, hence it is referred to as the benchmark for future mobility.
The ninth generation (current generation) lives up to the S-Class tradition as it has world’s first standard production hybrid with lithium-ion battery as well as fuel consumption and emission-reducing measures across the whole range. Numerous sensors and intelligent electronic system also set milestone in terms of occupant protection, driving assistance and entertainment.
Available in both diesel and petrol engines, the S-Class delivers unmarched smooth ride in its class.
The S-Class diesel engines are characterised by power, refinement and efficiency. This include four and six-cylinders. The S 250 CDI BlueEfficiency impresses with its powerful, efficient four-cylinder diesel engine which accelerate from 0 to 100 in 8.2 seconds, with a rated output of 150kw. Its fuel consumption stands at 5.8-5.7 1/100 with the CO2 emissions level reduced to the lowest.
The sophisticated six cylinder BlueTec technology in the S 350 BlueTec developing 190kw boasts extremely low emissions.
The S-Class is blessed with more petrol engines ranging from six, eight, and twelve cylinders and this is where most presidents’ choice falls.
The six-cylinder power unit features spray-guided direct petrol injection with Piezo injectors, four valves per cylinder and adjustable camshafts.
With output of 225kw and peak torque of 370Nm at 3500rpm, this engine consumes less fuel. Also, the eight-cylinder engine of the S-Class has power output of 320kw and maximum torque of 700Nm. It fuel consumption is 15% less than its predecessor. It accelerate from 0 to 100 in just five seconds.
But the top of the range S-Class is a world-class racing machine, offering outstanding refinement, spontaneous power delivery and sublime sound. The V12 biturbo engine achieves its peak torque of 830Nm before even reaching the 2000rpm mark and it takes a mere 4.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h with an output of 380kw.
The ECO start/stop function integrated in the six and eight cylinder petrol engines also reduces fuel consumption in traffic jam.
The S-Class offers three automatic transmissions for the different engines. The V6 and V8 engines as well as the 4-cylinder diesel engine come with either the 7G-Tronic and7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission. The transmissions are controlled by means of direct select lever on the steering column. With seven forward gears, these system allow an optimum engine speed, thus reducing the amount of fuel used.
The 12-cylinder engine version is equipped with five-speed automatic transmission which ensures faster and smoother gear changes and is hardly noticeable.
The S-Class is the benchmark in the luxury car segment and this reflects in the finishing and kind of equipment in the car for comfort, safety, etc. Features like 4matic (all wheel drive), Attention Assist (drowsiness detector which warns the driver as soon as it detects sign of inattention), Adaptive highbeam assist (ensures excellent visibility) Night View Assist plus, and driving Assistance package plus are available in the S-Class.
Others include, pre-safe Brake and Bas plus (part of the Driving Assistance package). This provides the drive with a visual warning, then an audible alert if a risk of collision is detected. Pre-safe system, Neck-pro head restraints, airbags, bi-Xenon headlamps, led light package, tail lights ambient lighting which can be adjusted using command. The S-Class is available in long and short wheelbase as well as Pullman Guard, a state Limousine offering the highest protection.