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History of the Mercedes-Benz S Class Flagship Sedan

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Mercedes-Benz S Class

History of the Mercedes-Benz S Class Flagship Sedan

John Stone
February 11, 2014


The Mercedes Benz S Class sedan is the leading and top of the line vehicle by Mercedes Benz. The S Class is their flagship sedan, and retails at around $91,000 to $140,000. Many of the world's richest people drive S Class sedans, and I hope to become one of them. After sitting in several S Class sedans, and driving several other Mercedes Benz vehicles, it's easy to say there's nothing else that can even compare. The S Class sedan is the sedan that you see has the latest and greatest features in a car first, which are then passed down to the E and C Class Mercedes Benz models.

The first official S Class sedan dates back to 1972, although there were comparable Mercedes Benz models to the S Class as far back as 1954. In 1973, Mercedes Benz introduced the W116 S Class sedan, which was produced through 1979. The car was one of the first vehicles to have extra safety features, such as ABS or Antilock Braking system, as well as having an extremely roomy interior and large exterior, which helped protect you in collisions. This model of the S Class features either an 8 cylinder engine available from 3.5 liters to 6.9 liters, as well as a 3.0 liter turbo diesel, for the more economical fuel efficient choice.

In 1979, the upgraded S Class, known as the W126 was released. The styling for this model was changed slightly, although the overall size and general concept of the vehicle remained the same. Various safety and other features were added, to help make this vehicle even more ahead of the times, and luxurious. This model featured 6 cylinder engines, 8 cylinder, and turbo diesel engines, as it was trying to be more fuel efficient, and even had certain aerodynamics changed. This model was one of the best selling Mercedes vehicles of all time, and one of the most popular versions of the S Class luxury sedan.

In 1991 a new design was released, and this personally is one of my favorite designs. It has the classic look of Mercedes in the 1990s, which was changed slightly from the previous Mercedes designs to make them look a little more modern. I still see these S Classes on the road often, despite them being so old, because these cars were built to last hundreds of thousands of miles. The car was available in both 6 and 8 cylinder engines, ranging from 2.8 to 6.0 liters. Like previous versions, it was also available in a turbo diesel, although it was upgraded to 3.5 liters.

1999, the S Class would be redesigned again, and this is another very popular look among S Classes, and are still seen on the road today. This model was available in both a V6 to a V12, which is 6.0 liters. The fuel efficiency of this vehicle is very poor, usually around 12 mpg city, although it has never been exceptional for such a large vehicle.

2005, the S Class was redesigned again, and as of now this redesign still remains. This is one of my favorite designs also, and the inside of this vehicle is absolutely gorgeous. The car is extremely luxurious, and has the most luxury feel to any car, or even house I've ever been in. sitting in one of these new S Classes was unbelievable, and was great motivation to work hard to get what you may want in life.

Overall, the Mercedes Benz S Class is an excellent vehicle, if you can afford one, I'd highly recommend you give one a try. The comparable BMW 7 series is also a great vehicle, but typically scores lower in Consumer Reports ratings, as well as reliability ratings, etc. For more information, check out MBUSA.com, to check out the Mercedes Benz S Class, and other great new things by Mercedes Benz.


John Stone recommends two resources for Mercedes. The first is a excellent Youtube video showing you the progression of the Mercedes-Benz S class over its history. You can find that here John also recommends http://www.DiscoverLavish.com as a great blog and resource for Mercedes and all things luxury.



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