Cars > Mercedes > 2009 Mercedes Benz S550 ENHANCED

By Ketan Patel


2009 Mercedes Benz S550 ENHANCED

Mercedes-Benz's S-Class sedans have long been associated with the elite. They can trace their heritage back to Mercedes-Benz's early days of building luxury cars.

The S550 comes in both rear-wheel and 4Matic all-wheel-drive. The S550 features a 5.5-liter V8 that puts out 382 horsepower and 391 lb-ft. of torque through a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The S550 gets new standard equipment – active ventilated and heated front seats, a wood-leather steering wheel, a power trunk lid and new seven twin-spoke 18-inch wheels. On the latest 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.

MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS LINE RECEIVES ENHANCEMENTS FOR 2009

10/20/08

 

MONTVALE , NJ – The Mercedes-Benz S-Class – the company's top-of-the-line sedan – is viewed in many circles as the finest car in the world.  The current-generation S-Class debuted for the 2007 model year with the S550, powered by a 5.5-liter V8 engine delivering 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque; the S550 4MATIC, which features a state-of-the-art all-wheel-drive system; and the V12-powered S600, fitted with a 12-cylinder engine that makes 510 hp and 612 lb.-ft. of torque.  Two high-performance AMG models were added last year – the S63 AMG, with a 518-hp V8 that produces 465 lb.-ft. of torque; and the S65 AMG, powered by a 604-hp V12 that makes an unbelievable 738 lb.-ft. of torque.

 

More Features for a Fully Equipped Premium-Luxury Sedan

Already considered a fully equipped vehicle, the S-Class features a number of technology and comfort enhancements for 2009.  New S-Class models now come with gear shift paddles on the steering wheel, as well as new push-pull power window switches and a “Hold” convenience braking feature.  The S550 gets new standard equipment – active ventilated and heated front seats, a wood-leather steering wheel, a power trunk lid and new seven twin-spoke 18-inch wheels.

 

Radar-Based Blind Spot Assist and Park Assist

The optional Distronic Plus system now includes Blind Spot Assist, which monitors both blind spots and warns the driver whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot.  The latest radar-based Distronic Plus also incorporates Park Assist, which utilizes six radar sensors mounted behind the front and rear bumpers – eliminating the need for the visible “portholes” of the previous ultrasonic-based system.  At low speeds, the system scans available parking spaces and displays a “P“ in the dash if the car will fit in the space.  When reverse gear is engaged, the parking system superimposes guidance lines on the rear-view camera display, and the guidance lines actually change with steering input to make parking easier.

 

AMG Racing Success Spawns High-Power Production Engine

The S63 AMG engine is one of the most powerful naturally aspirated production V8s ever, boasting a wealth of exciting features derived from AMG's highly successful racing efforts.   Built almost completely from a high-strength silicon-aluminum alloy, the engine 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.   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

The 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 enhances 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

The 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 twin sliding caliper is used for the front brakes.  This technology combines the performance of a large fixed caliper with the distinct advantages of a floating caliper – primarily lower heat transfer to the brake fluid.  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 S-Class

Turning to the V12-powered half of the 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 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 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 rarified 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, planetary gear sets in the transmission are wider.

 

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.  With 0-60 mph test track times of about 4.2 seconds, the S65 AMG is the world's quickest four-door sedan.  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.

 

ABC Active Suspension

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, 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 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 reaches six mph.

 

More PRE-SAFE ® Features

Standard equipment on all S-Class models, the revolutionary PRE-SAFE ® system that made its debut on the 2002 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 latest 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.

 

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 now features 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.   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 24-gigahertz radar frequency, Federal agencies cited its potential to improve traffic safety, reduce injuries and ultimately save lives.

The latest Distronic Plus system includes Blind Spot Assist, which monitors both blind spots and warns the driver whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot, as well as Park Assist, which identifies right-size spaces and makes parking easier.

 

Brake Assist Now Teams Up 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 emergencies, a discovery that led to the develop-ment 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!

On the latest S-Class, an enhanced version of the Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist system not only supplies 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 speed of the brake pedal, Brake Assist Plus also considers the closing speed to the vehicle ahead based on radar signals from Distronic Plus.

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 U.S. and Europe , while 100 drivers participated in months of intense testing on the Daimler driving simulator in Berlin .

 

Infra-Red Night View Assist

Another innovative technology on the S-Class is Night View Assist, an innovative 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.

 

Useful Technology Abounds

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 thousands of 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.

 

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