Image credits: © Mercedes-Benz.

2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class

Mercedes-Benz Launches New S-Class 4MATIC Company Celebrates 100 Years of Building All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles

2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class
Mercedes-Benz is launching an all-wheel-drive version of its new-generation S-Class sedan. (concept carz) With the addition of the S550 4MATIC, all-wheel drive is now available on all three sedan lines (C-, E-, and S-Class), and with its four sport utility families (ML-, R-, G-, and GL-Class), the company now offers 18 different 4MATIC models in the Ú.S. market.

A Full Century of AWD Experience2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class
Mercedes-Benz has been building all-wheel-drive commercial vehicles since 1907 – a full 100 years of experience with all-wheel-drive systems. The S550 4MATIC is the latest in a long tradition of Mercedes-Benz all-wheel-drive vehicles that began with the 'Dernburg Car' of 1907. Designed by Paul Daimler, the Dernburg was the precursor of every all-wheel-drive vehicle bearing the three-pointed star – from the Únimog range and the G-Class to the first E-Class with 4MATIC and the current model range headed up by the new S-Class 4MATIC.

The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system made its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1985, and Mercedes-Benz launched 4MATIC-equipped passenger cars in the Ú.S. market for the 1989 model year. The full-time 4MATIC system made its debut on the 1998 E-Class sedan and wagon as well as on the M-Class SÚV.

S-Class 4MATIC Features New-Design Fuel-Efficient Drive System

2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class
The new-generation 4MATIC featured in the S550 sedan is redesigned and integrated into the seven-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) The new system fits right into the rear-drive body and utilizes the existing front suspension – gone are the special suspension parts and wider transmission tunnel that were necessary on earlier 4MATIC systems.
The extra gears and shafts that drive the front wheels now weigh only 145 pounds more than the rear-wheel-drive model. Beginning from the right side of the transmission tail section, a driveshaft powers a front final drive and differential unit just to the right of the engine oil pan. The axle shaft for the left front wheel passes through a tube that's encapsulated in the engine oil pan.

Fuel efficiency has been improved over earlier 4MATIC systems, due to a number of innovative measures that minimize the energy needed to turn the extra all-wheel-drive shafts and gears.

In particular, only two gears now power the front driveshaft (instead of the previous three), and the direction of rotation is cleverly corrected in the front final drive without additional gears. Recessing the universal joint for the front driveshaft into the transmission output gear also saved space, helping to better fit the entire drive system into the standard body shell.

Even Better Traction with Multi-Plate Diff Clutch

2008 Mercedes-Benz S ClassThe new S550 4MATIC also comes with a multi-plate clutch tucked into the center differential that provides the extra traction benefits of a limited-slip diff while complementing the four-wheel traction-control system. Sometimes called a 'breakaway' clutch, the multi-plate unit helps provide power equally to the front and rear wheels when driving straight ahead, but still allows the front wheels to rotate faster in turns. In a sense, the clutch is a proactive traction aid, while four-wheel traction control reacts after wheel slippage is sensed. Developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-Benz engineers, the new S-Class 4MATIC drive layout is expected to find its way into a full range of other models, including diesel-powered vehicles.

Full-Time 'Center-Diff' System Features Four-Wheel Traction Control

2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class
The full-time all-wheel-drive system used in Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC cars and all SÚVs features a center differential that can vary front-to-rear torque distribution for great on-road handling, not to mention stellar traction in a wide range of conditions. In addition, the system includes innovative four-wheel electronic traction control that keeps the vehicle going even if only one wheel has traction.
With a full-time mechanical all-wheel-drive system, four-wheel traction control eliminates the need for differential locks. However, in addition to the 4MATIC system, the venerable G-Class is also fitted with three differential locks for an extra measure of heavy-duty off-road performance, and the optional Off-Road package for the GL-Class includes two differential locks.

4MATIC Cars Get Rear-Biased Torque Distribution

Únder normal conditions, Mercedes sport utility vehicles distribute torque equally between the front and rear wheels. However, 4MATIC-equipped passenger cars come with a planetary gear set within the center differential that begins with 40:60 percent front:rear torque distribution (45:55 on the new S550 4MATIC). Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC SÚVs (M-, R-, GL- and G-Class) employ a 50:50 torque split front:rear. To skilled drivers, this rear-bias all-wheel-drive system feels much like rear-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz cars, in which subtle throttle-steering effects at the rear wheels can enhance handling, especially in spirited driving.

Two-Speed Transfer Case Keeps Mercedes SÚVs Going in the Rough

A dual-range transfer case is standard on the G-Class and optional on the GL-Class sport utility vehicles. A 'high' range of 1.00:1 is used for most conditions, while a powerful low range of 2.93:1 (2.16 on the G-Class) can provide impressive control going up and down steep grades. In low range, a modified transmission shift program and ABS mode are engaged for optimal off-road performance.

AWD – A Trend in the Luxury Car Market

As modern all-wheel-drive systems become even more refined, they are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the luxury car market. With negligible weight and fuel-efficiency tradeoffs, full-time all-wheel-drive systems provide year-round traction and stability benefits on both wet and dry roads. Overall, Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 1.2 million full-time 4MATIC cars and sport utilities, and in Europe, the all-wheel-drive segment of the high luxury market has increased 50 percent over the past three years.

Source - Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz S-Class – A Technology Flagship S63 and S550 4MATIC Complete the Lineup

2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class
The new-generation 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is being showcased at the North American International Auto Show, open to the public January 13-21 in Detroit's Cobo Center. With the debut of the 2007 Mercedes-Benz product line, the S550 is joined by the new S550 4MATIC along with three limited-production models – the V12 S600 and S65 AMG as well as the V8-powered S63 AMG.

The successor to a long line of premium luxury vehicles, the new S-Class sedan was launched in early 2006 with the S550 model, powered by an all-new 5.5-liter V8 engine delivering 382 horsepower and 391 lb.-ft. of torque, also the first of a new V8 engine family featuring four-valve-per-cylinder technology and variable valve timing. The new S550 4MATIC features a totally redesigned all-wheel-drive system that's integrated into the seven-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)

AMG Racing Success Spawns High-Power Production Engine2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class
One of the most powerful naturally aspirated production V8s ever, the new engine boasts a wealth of exciting features derived from AMG's highly successful racing efforts. The S63 AMG features a 6.3-liter normally aspirated V-8 engine that produces 518 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. Built almost completely from a high-strength silicon-aluminum alloy, the high-rpm 6.3-liter features four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, bucket-type cam followers (rather than rocker arms), and a variable intake manifold. Designed exclusively by AMG, the engine shares no parts with other Mercedes-Benz V8 engines.

A first for a production engine, the cylinder bores feature a twin-wire-arc-sprayed (TWAS) coating, a new process that results in impressively low friction and running surfaces that are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinders.

Exclusive AMG Styling, Inside and Out

2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class
Available in mid-2007, the model year 2008 S63 AMG comes with special body styling, alloy wheels, sports suspension and high-performance brake system – all designed by AMG specifically for this new model. A muscular front bumper with large air intakes houses round fog lights ringed in chrome, and a '6.3 AMG' badge marks each front fender.
Contoured side skirts carry the aggressive lines of the front bumper to the rear, where an AMG rear apron emphasizes the width of the vehicle. A pair of twin tailpipes completes the exclusive look and sound of the new models.

Inside the S63 AMG, drivers are greeted by an AMG sport steering wheel with distinctive aluminum shift paddles and AMG multi-contour leather sport seats finished in special cross piping. Completing the interior package is an exclusive analog clock modelled on the design of the 'IWC-Ingenieur' series in the center of the dashboard.

Race-Car Suspension and Brakes for the Road

2008 Mercedes-Benz S ClassThe S63 AMG suspension and brake systems are designed for high-performance driving. AMG makes good use of the Mercedes-Benz ABC active suspension, tuning it for even flatter cornering and less body movement when accelerating and braking.

A Sport-Comfort-Manual button on the center console allows the driver to choose between three different transmission shift programs that also fine-tune accelerator pedal response and the sport suspension spring-shock settings.

A new twin sliding caliper is used for the front brakes. This new technology combines the performance of a large fixed caliper with the distinct advantages of a floating caliper – lower heat transfer to the brake fluid and better ride comfort. Large composite brake discs also help ensure short stopping distances even during high-speed driving.

The S63 AMG sedan comes with 20-inch staggered-width AMG light alloy wheels, 8.5 inches wide in front and 9.5 inches at the rear, wearing low-profile 255/35 (front) and 275/35 (rear) tires.

V12 Power for the New-Generation S-Class

2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class
Turning to the V12-powered half of the new-generation S-Class family, the S600 marks the renaissance of the legendary 600-Class 'Grand Mercedes.' Fitted with greater levels of wood and leather trim, the new V12-powered flagship comes with virtually all S-Class options as standard equipment, including Distronic Plus with Park Assist, infrared Nightview Assist, Keyless Go, rear view monitor, ABC active suspension, 18-inch forged alloy wheels, four heated and multi-contour front and rear seats, four-zone climate control, and an integrated hands-free communication system with voice control.
Twin-Turbo V12 Engine

Powered by a twin-turbo V12 engine that generates 510 horsepower and an astonishing 612 lb.-ft. of torque, the new S600 model blends the whisper-smooth performance of the flagship Mercedes-Benz four-door sedan with the astonishing power of a twin-turbo V12 engine. At the same time, the bi-turbo V12 comes clothed in luxury, convenience and refinement that define the market segment.

The 60-degree V12 engine provides effortless thrust with turbine-like smoothness, featuring a vast torque band with peak torque beginning as low as 1,800 rpm. With the high-tech engine, Direct Select five-speed transmission and state-of-the art aerodynamics, the new S600 can reach 60 miles per hour in less than 4.5 seconds, quicker than many sports cars. To handle the torque of the V12 engine, transmission planetary gear sets have been widened, and the input and output shafts adjusted accordingly.

AMG-Developed V12 Powers World's Most Powerful Four-Door

The S65 AMG blends the whisper-smooth performance of the flagship Mercedes-Benz four-door sedan with the astonishing power of AMG's six-liter twin-turbo V12 engine. The AMG engine makes 604 horsepower and 738 lb.-ft. of torque, for 0-60 mph test track times of about 4.2 seconds, making it the world's quickest four-door sedan. (concept carz) AMG is the renowned high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz that combines its ingenuity and performance tuning expertise with the global technology resources and car-building expertise of Mercedes-Benz to take engine, braking and handling performance technology to the highest level.

AMG designers made subtle enhancements to the S65 AMG body while remaining true to the car's fundamental design. First, an AMG front apron with large cooling air intakes and integral front clear-lens fog lamps gives the vehicle a distinctive appearance. The dynamic side view of the S65 AMG is emphasized by AMG side skirts, which follow the line of the front apron, and by a chromed 'V12 Biturbo' badge on each front fender. The powerful lines of the AMG rear apron are finished off by two sets of AMG chrome twin tailpipes, and eye-catching 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels complement the car's overall appearance, marking the first use of original-equipment 20-inch wheels and tires on a Mercedes-Benz.

Stopping Power to Match Go Power

To handle the high speed potential of the AMG twin-turbo engine, the front brakes of the AMG V12 model are equipped with high-performance dual sliding calipers and compound brake rotors. For the design of the AMG high-performance braking system, engineers drew on their extensive racing experience acquired through more than three decades of motorsports competition. The internally ventilated and perforated front discs measure 15.4 inches in diameter and are fitted with dual-sliding fixed calipers.

The S65 AMG front brakes use two-piece rotors and hubs made from cast iron and aluminum. Compared with conventional brake systems, this compound technology offers a weight saving of some 20 percent, while the brakes' increased capacity to handle thermal stress measurably increases durability. The rear brakes use 14.4-inch internally ventilated and perforated discs with single-piston sliding calipers.

Staggered-width AMG twin-spoke wheels, 8.5 x 20 inches up front and 9.5 x 20 at the rear, carry high-performance tires – 255 / 35 ZR 20 in front and 275 / 35 ZR 20 at the rear. The new S65 AMG is fitted with a specially modified version of the Mercedes-Benz five-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)

ABC Active Suspension

Vital Stats and Specifications
Vital Stats
Engine : 5.5 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 382 hp
Torque: 391 ft-lbs


Mercedes-Benz was the first automaker to develop active-suspension technology for production cars, and both V12-powered S-Class sedans, as well as the V-8 powered S63 AMG, are equipped with ABC active suspension. ABC active suspension reduces body roll in cornering, squat under acceleration, and dive during braking.
Mercedes-Benz engineers use its interplay of hydraulic, electronic and mechanical parts to reduce body roll by 68 percent, ensuring that the suspension still provides the driver with feedback through the vehicle chassis, and a switch on the console allows the driver to further reduce body roll by 95 percent.

Reworked ESP stability control and ASR traction control systems complement the enhanced chassis setup. As on all Mercedes-Benz models, standard ABS anti-lock brakes help maintain directional stability when braking and turning, while Brake Assist can reduce braking distances in 'panic' stops.

The Industry's First Adaptive Brake Lights

The new-generation S600 and S65 AMG models are equipped with adaptive brake lights that can flash rapidly during emergency braking, a feature that's expected to reduce rear collisions. Another industry first from Mercedes, the rapidly flashing LED brake lights are triggered primarily by the car's Brake Assist system (standard on all Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles since 1998), which automatically provides full-power braking assist whenever it senses faster-than-usual brake pedal application.

The adaptive brake lights can also be activated by the car's ESP stability control system (standard on all Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles since 1999) if it senses low-friction surfaces such as snow or ice. The new adaptive brake light system turns on the hazard flashers automatically as soon as the vehicle stops, and the flashers shut off automatically when the vehicle accelerates to six miles per hour.

More PRE-SAFE® Features

Standard equipment on all S-Class models, the revolutionary S-Class PRE-SAFE® system that made its debut in 2002 on the S-Class automatically tightens the front seat belts during those valuable seconds just before a possible impact, and the front passenger seat (and optional power rear seats) move to positions that can provide better protection. If the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof also closes.

On the new-generation S-Class, side windows also close to provide better support for the window curtain air bags, and special seat cushions can inflate to provide greater lateral support for occupants and to help the side air bags provide even better collision protection.

New Distronic Plus Helps in Stop-and-Go Traffic

The well-known Distronic cruise control feature that maintains a pre-set following distance behind the vehicle ahead is replaced by an optional 'Distronic Plus' system. Integrated with the latest PRE-SAFE, the latest radar-based system operates at nearly all speeds up to 125 mph and can be especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic. Newly developed short-range radar with a frequency of 24 gigahertz sweeps the first 33 yards in a fan-shaped 80-degree pattern, working in tandem with a narrower nine-degree beam of longer-range 77-gigahertz radar.

The two radar frequencies complement each other to cover a full range of more than 160 yards – more than 1½ football fields. During approval of the new 24-gigahertz radar frequency, government agencies cited its potential to improve traffic safety, reduce injuries and ultimately save lives.

Radar-Based Park Assist

Distronic Plus also incorporates 24 GHz radar-based Park Assist. This new option utilizes six radar sensors mounted behind the front and rear bumpers – eliminating the need for the visible 'portholes' of the previous ultrasonic-based system. The result is clean, integrated and invisible, with greater range and sensitivity.

Brake Assist Now Teams Úp With Distronic Plus

In the early 1990s, Mercedes-Benz engineers conducting simulator tests discovered that many drivers don't push the brake pedal hard enough in emergency braking, a discovery that led to the development of Brake Assist, standard equipment on all Mercedes-Benz vehicles since late 1990s. Brake Assist has proven itself a million times over, and tests show that vehicles equipped with Brake Assist are involved in 26 percent fewer accidents!

Making its debut on the new-generation S-Class, an enhanced version of the Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist system not only supplies appropriate braking assist in emergencies as soon as the driver applies the brake pedal, but also measures the distance to the vehicle ahead (thanks to Distronic Plus) and adjusts brake pressure if the driver doesn't brake hard enough. While conventional Brake Assist is only triggered by the driver's reflex reaction on the brake pedal, Brake Assist Plus also considers the closing speed of the vehicle ahead based on radar signals from the Distronic Plus system.

Brake Assist Plus Can Reduce Rear Collisions by 75 Percent

In extensive tests conducted by Mercedes researchers using 300 drivers, the new integrated system reduced rear collisions in heavy city traffic by 75 percent. During testing, data recorders and video cameras documented more than 250,000 real-world miles covered by 200 drivers in the Ú.S. and Europe, while 100 drivers participated in months of intense testing on the DaimlerChrysler driving simulator in Berlin.

Infra-Red Night View Assist

Another innovative technology making its debut on the 2007 S-Class is Night View Assist, a new option that can extend the driver's ability to see ahead to nearly 500 feet. In contrast to passive systems that rely only on thermal imaging, this active system bathes the road ahead with invisible infra-red light from two projector beams mounted in the headlights. An infra-red camera discreetly mounted in the windshield receives the reflected images and displays them in a high-resolution display in the instrument cluster. The result is akin to a highly detailed black & white video image.

Among the advanced features of the car is a slot in the dash that accepts a PCMCIA card. Such cards never need to be charged, and some versions can hold up to 1500 digital songs. Its data be displayed on the screen of the COMAND system, and titles can be selected through the multifunction steering wheel controls.

Newly developed front seats are electrically adjustable 16 ways and offer several optional choices of ventilation and ergonomic adjustability. The available Drive Dynamic seats feature 11 individual pneumatic chambers to help the driver find a perfect seating position, and 14 more chambers provide four levels of pulsating massage to relieve fatigue and help keep drivers alert.

Source - Mercedes-Benz

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