The range of engines for the 2009 S-Class comprises six powerful units: one diesel variant and five petrol engines with six, eight and twelve cylinders. Detailed fine-tuning of these engines has been supplemented with additional fuel economy measures as part of the BlueEfficiency package. These include aerodynamic optimisation, demand-controlled fuel pumps and the fuel-efficient gearshift programme for the standard 7G-Tronic automatic transmission. These measures have enabled Mercedes-Benz developers to improve fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions by up to ten percent compared to the preceding models. By means of additional well-aimed aerodynamic measures, the Mercedes-Benz engineers have also managed to reduce wind noise, thus further enhancing the standard of ride comfort.
With diesel fuel consumption of 37.2 mpg and CO2 emissions of 199-201 grams per kilometre, the S 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY (235 hp) likewise boasts outstanding figures for the luxury class. Mercedes-Benz achieves this exemplary efficiency with a tailor-made BlueEfficiency package, which also includes closed underbody panelling and decoupling of the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission at standstill.
The range of petrol engines comprises the six-cylinder S 350 (272 hp) with a displacement of 3.5 litres and the eight-cylinder unit in the S 500 (388 hp; displacement 5.5 litres). The flagship model is still the S 600 with the 517 hp twelve-cylinder biturbo unit (displacement 5.5 litres), which accelerates the luxury saloon from 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds. The Mercedes-AMG high-performance contributions to the range are the S 63 AMG with its 525 hp V8 engine (displacement 6.2 litres) and the S 65 AMG with a 612 hp twelve-cylinder engine (displacement 6.0 litres).
Mercedes-Benz deploys cameras which scan the road far ahead of the vehicle, monitor the surrounding area and interpret typical critical situations. Such cameras are employed as standard on the Adaptive Highbeam Assist system, for example. This system detects vehicles with their lights on which are travelling towards or ahead of the car in which the system is fitted and controls the headlamps such as to ensure the largest possible range without dazzling other drivers.
The Sindelfingen-based engineers have also enhanced Night View Assist, which is now equipped with a special pedestrian detection function: as soon as the system detects pedestrians ahead of the car, they are highlighted on the display to make them more readily noticeable.
Lane Keeping Assist is another system that "looks ahead" for safer driving. The system's computer is able to recognise lane markings by evaluating the contrasting images of the road surface and the markings. If the vehicle leaves the lane identified by the Assist function unintentionally, the driver is warned by short vibrations of the steering wheel. Unlike conventional systems of this kind, the Mercedes system is able to evaluate the driver's activities as well, and can reliably ascertain whether the car is leaving its lane intentionally or not. There is therefore no warning if the driver accelerates before overtaking or joining a motorway, brakes heavily or enters a bend, for example.
With the drowsiness detection system Attention Assist, the 2009 S-Class has a very sensitive feel for the attention level of its driver, and warns them in good time when they become drowsy. This technology continuously monitors more than 70 different parameters. Once the high-resolution steering angle sensor recognises the steering behaviour that typically indicates the onset of drowsiness, a warning signal is sounded and "Attention Assist. Break!" appears in the instrument cluster.
Mercedes-Benz developers have also added a crosswind stabilisation function (standard for S600) to Active Body Control (ABC). For this purpose ABC uses the yaw rates and lateral acceleration sensors of the Electronic Stability Program ESP to vary the wheel load distribution via the ABC spring struts, depending on the direction and intensity of the crosswind. This enables the effects of crosswinds to be compensated, or reduced to a minimum in the case of strong gusts.
As a world first, on request Mercedes-Benz will equip its flagship model with the new Splitview technology for the Comand control and display system centrally located in the centre console. This innovative display concept allows the driver and front passenger to view different content simultaneously on one and the same screen. While the driver uses the map-based navigation system, for example, the front passenger can be watching the latest film on DVD.
Mercedes-Benz has also extended the standard control and display system Comand with additional functions, for example an SD memory card slot. Other new features include a modified Bluetooth interface, which provides for a wireless link between a mobile phone and the standard onboard hands-free system, and a USB interface. These enable customers to export saved data and import them into any other S-Class. It is also possible to transfer navigation data. As an optional extra Mercedes-Benz also offers a Media Interface – a universal interface in the glove compartment for mobile audio devices such as an iPod® and USB stick (standard for S 600).
Mercedes-Benz has also increased the range of rear-seat entertainment functions in the 2009 S-Class. Passengers in the rear now have a remote control unit which enables all the audio and telematics functions of Comand to be operated, plus access to external devices via the Media Interface. Mercedes-Benz also offers a rear-seat entertainment package with two eight-inch displays on the rear surfaces of the front seat head restraints, two wireless headphones and a separate CD/DVD player with connections for external audio and video devices.
The modified design reflects the power of the S-Class Saloon. It is characterised by the more pronounced arrow-shape of the radiator grille, plus a new front bumper with a discreet light-catching contour and a chrome strip below the cooling air intakes. In future the exhaust tailpipes of all S-Class variants will be visibly integrated into the rear bumper. The headlamps have bi-xenon technology as standard.
A more dynamic look is ensured by the standard LED Light package with its striking LED arrays for daytime driving lights, indicators and marker lights. These lend an unmistakable day-and-night design to the front end. The rear end is characterised by tail lights in an innovative LED design. Here too, a total of 52 LEDs in the form of a double-C form an unmistakable light signature.
Mercedes-Benz also makes more use of light as a styling element in the interior. In future customers who specify the optional ambient lighting (standard for S 600) will have a choice between three lighting moods: solar (amber), neutral (white) and polar (ice-blue).
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be on sale in the UK in Autumn 2009. UK specification and pricing is still to be confirmed.RS-design kit by Carlsson for Mercedes S
27 November 2008 Mercedes to introduce Attention Assist
12 August 2008