2006 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W221) official pics and info


After what seemed like , the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W221) is finally here. For reference, the maroon car is the short-wheelbase version and the silver one is the long-wheelbase version.

Mercedes Benz has revealed the all-new S-Class ahead of its on sale date in spring 2006. The current S-Class has been around since 1998 and will be eight years old when it is replaced next year, by which time more than 500,000 will have been sold.


The new S-Class is longer, wider and taller than the current model. And significantly, the wheelbase is a huge 70mm longer, which should result in masses of cabin space. Indeed, Mercedes claims that head, shoulder and legroom are all increased on the new car, which will be launched in long and short-wheelbase guise.


The official pictures reveal a car with very dramatic styling, especially around the enormously swollen wheelarches. The side profile has also gained a much more rakish look in keeping with other more recent Mercs such as E and C-class. Indeed, the new S-Class’s styling already makes the current car look quite dated, much in the way current 7-Series did to the previous model.


As well as moving the bar from a styling standpoint, the new S-Class also majors on technical innovation, especially on the safety front. Prices have yet to be revealed, but we’d expect a reasonably healthy increase across the board for this all-new Merc.

This is the most spacious S-Class ever, with the cabin gaining up to 39mm of elbow room, 5mm of headroom and 11mm of legroom (in the long wheelbase model). The boot also gains an extra 60 litres of capacity compared with the current model. And as you’d expect, Mercedes offers a mind boggling choice of wood-and-alloy trims.


Even though the new S-Class’s sweeping dashboard looks a little like that of the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes Benz has clearly taken lessons from early criticism of BMW’s complex i-Drive control system. The latest version of the Mercedes COMAND operating system controls functions such as the radio, climate control, CD, telephone and navigation system. And the company is at pains to explain that its operating system has been developed using “findings from extensive ergonomic and perceptive psychology studies, and takes into account the results of acceptance tests with Mercedes customers around the world.” And just in case, the COMAND controller is backed up by conventional knobs and switches, located in places you’d expect to find them. Techno-phobes should be right at home, then.


Another interesting feature of the cockpit is the Direct Select wand controller on the steering column, which allows the driver to select gears on the standard-fit seven-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic gearbox. The idea here is to free up the space on the centre console where a gear selector would usually live.

The S-Class also gains new, 16-way adjustable front seats with lumbar support. Optional chairs include those with heating and ventilation, so-called ‘multicontour’ seats (front and rear) and dynamic multicontour seats (front) whose squab and backrest contours adapt to the way the car is being driven. Hooligan driving, for example, will prompt the seats to provide more lateral support.


Even better, the new S-Class will provide a massage function. The dynamic multicontour seat is equipped with separate air chambers in the backrest which are inflated and deflated at the touch of a button, massaging the back muscles of its occupant. The intensity and speed of the massage function can be adjusted in four stages by means of the COMAND system. Impressive, as not many massage parlours we know of can hit 155mph.


As with most competitors in the high-end luxury segment, Mercedes includes air suspension as standard on all S-Class models. Merc’s AIRMATIC system allows the driver to select a ‘comfort’ or ‘sport’ setting, depending on how energetic he’s feeling. In Sport mode, when the car exceeds 75mph the suspension is automatically lowered by 20mm to improve handling and aerodynamics. Bearing in mind that this is a feature that, in order to be enjoyed in the UK, will require the driver to break the law.

The newly developed adaptive braking has features that holds the car when moving off on gradients and also shorten braking distances in the wet. And now, following suit with its major competitors, the S-Class’s parking brake is electrically operated - the brake is applied by pressing a button, and is released automatically when the car moves off.


The big news here is Brake Assist PLUS. This system looks at vehicles ahead with radar and gives a warning if the gap is too small or the closing speed is too high. If a collision looks likely, Brake Assist PLUS calculates the ideal braking assistance the driver needs in fractions of a second and then makes it so. So if you haven’t nailed the brakes quite hard enough, the system steps in and makes up the difference. This, says Mercedes, significantly reduces the incidence of rear-end collisions. The adaptive brake light, which warns following traffic by flashing during emergency braking, also helps the driver avoid a big whack up the backside.

Then there is PRE-SAFE, which takes electronic nannying to an all new high. It recognises potential accident scenarios as they arise: if deceleration exceeds a certain level or a skid is imminent, the system tensions the front seat belts as a precaution and inflates air cushions in the multicontour seats to envelop and support the driver, front passenger and rear seat occupants. The big Merc will also automatically close the windows when an accident threatens. All of these measures should make life interesting for passengers when the driver is pushing very hard.


Then there is Distronic Plus, which also uses radar to keep the Merc at a safe distance to the car in front. It will automatically brake the car to a standstill if necessary, and then accelerate back up to the selected speed when it’s clear.

Even more high-tech is the night view assist programme, also new to the S-Class. Based on infra-red light, which is invisible to the human eye and won’t dazzle oncoming traffic, two infra-red headlamps illuminate the road, extending the driver’s range of vision to more than 150 metres when on low beam. The idea is to make pedestrians, cyclists, parked cars and other obstacles visible much sooner than with headlights alone. An infra-red camera mounted on the inside of the windscreen records the reflected image of the road ahead and displays it on a dash display. 4Car has experienced a similar system currently used by Cadillac, and in that application, it works amazingly well.

Three of the four engines - three petrol and one diesel - that new S-Class will launch with in the UK are all new to the S. In addition to the 3.5-litre V6 engine with 272 bhp (first seen in the SLK-Class), a new petrol V8 unit developing 388 bhp and a big 390 lb ft of torque from 2800 rpm upwards will be available. This new V8 will accelerate the S500 from standstill to 62 mph in just 5.4 seconds.


Also available from launch will be the new V6 CDI engine, which has a particulate filter as standard. This direct-injection unit has an output of 231 bhp and generates a maximum torque of 398 lb ft from 1600 rpm.

The output of the 12-cylinder engine in the top-of-the-range S 600 has increased to 517 bhp, while torque has increased to a quite spectacular 612 lb ft from 1900 rpm.

As standard equipment, the V6 and V8 engines for the new S-Class are combined with the seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC. Which, we’ve always maintained, is at least one more gear than you really need.

Article from: http://www.channel4.com/4car/feature/preview/2005/mercedes-s-class/2006-s-class.html
Pics from: http://www.dubspeedracing.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=795



Outside looks clean but inside it’s really cheap looking. Not a great job.

it looks like a kia or hyundia with those headlights.

eghh…its ok…im not particularly huge on benz

not a fan of the wheels on the purple one

and with those headlights in mind…they should have used those on maybe a different smaller model

i like it, i think it looks classy.

if i were and old man with lots of money that what i would probably use for my cruiser.

I dont know how i feel about the front end. A bit iffy at best. but i like the rest of it. pretty high class

mah, looks like they are trying to immitate the interior of the 7series

and that rear end is awful, it looks like a skylark or something

Interior looks nice…that’s about it.


I think it will grow on me like the 7 series bimmer did. I have always been a huge fan of the current s class, so it might take a while to adjust.