Yesterday a small number of photos of the S-Class was leaked, to which Mercedes-Benz responded by giving out the photos of the all new S-Class’es interior. As the S-Class is the epitome of german automotive engineering for every car fan, it’s easy to understand the level of excitement raised by the S. We already know that the original release date was May 15, but we hope for an earlier release due to the leak. Until then, let’s take a quick look through the first seven generations of Stuttgart’s flagship sedan.
The S-Class was first introduced in 1951, the year MB returned to the high-end segment after the end of WWII, with the introduction of the 220 model (W187) and, launched at the same time, the 300 (W186), also known as the “Adenauer Mercedes”, because it was the favourite official car of German chancellor Konrad Adenauer. In 1954 came the 220 model (W180), the first Mercedes-Benz six-cylinder car to feature a unitised body design. Known as the “Ponton”, its rear fender design inspired the rear fender of the pre-facelift E-Class (W212) that was presented a few years ago and recently facelifted.
1959 marks the change of the S-Class nickname to “Fintail” inspired by the understated sight lines adorning the rear wings of the 111/112 model series, a milestone in automotive history, as this was the first time that Béla Barényi’s safety shell had been put into service in a series-production car. In 1963 the famous 600 (W100) model was launched, featuring the pinnacle of what was technologically possible at the time. Being the most favourite car of most dictators of that time, it was available as standard, long wheelbase, or as a landaulet. This generation was then succeeded by the 108/109 model series in 1965. The highlight this time was the SEL 6.3 model that appeared in 1968.
The S-Class name was first introduced in 1972 with the 116 model series. In 1978, the 116 model series became the world’s first mass-production car to offer anti-lock brakes. Its replacement came in 1979 with the 126 model series, featuring a modern design that had plastic bumpers instead of the traditional chrome ones. The driver airbag made its debut with the 126 model in 1981, and the passenger airbag in 1988. In 1991 came the next generation, the W140, the first Mercedes-Benz saloon to be powered by a V12 engine in the form of the 600SE and 600SEL. In 1995 ESP was fitted as standard in the V12 versions.
The S-Class of the 21-st century was the W220, that debuted in 1998. The innovations list for this model series was quite extensive, including the COMAND control and display system, the DISTRONIC proximity-controlled cruise control system, Active Body Control (ABC, available from 1999), and the preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE (2002). The last generation was unveiled in 2005. The W221 S-Class was the first S-Class to feature a hybrid drive, with the S400 Hybrid being the first series-production car to be fitted with a lithium-ion battery.
Please click “more” to see our photo gallery and MB’s original press release.
Posted in: Mercedes-Benz