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CHICAGO – Mercedes-Benz is featuring their new 2007 S600 sedan at the Chicago Auto Show, the largest auto show in North America, open to the public February 10-19, 2006 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The first version of the new-generation S-Class with a V12 engine, the S600 model marks the renaissance of the legendary 600-Class “Grand Mercedes” and will join the V8-powered S550 that recently made its retail debut at U.S. Mercedes-Benz dealerships.


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Fitted with greater levels of wood and leather trim, the new V12-powered flagship comes with nearly all S-Class options as standard equipment, including Distronic Plus, infrared Night View Assist, Parktronic, Keyless Go, rear view monitor, ABC active suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, four heated and power-operated seats, four-zone climate control, and a digital cellular phone with voice control. The new S600 also comes with two features that are totally new to the S-Class – rear multi-contour seats and luxury head restraints for both the front and rear seats. With the S550 priced at $ 86,175, the new S600 will make its retail debut with a suggested retail price of $140,675. Both prices include a destination charge of $775.


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Twin-Turbo V12 Engine


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Powered by a twin-turbo V12 engine that generates 510 horsepower and an overwhelming 612 lbs.-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 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, smart TouchShift 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 out-and-out sports cars.

The twin-turbocharged V12 engine was designed with the goal of developing the power characteristics of a much larger naturally aspirated engine. Sophisticated electronic fuel injection and ignition mapping help reach this goal, along with two intercoolers that are positioned downstream from the turbos. The 12-cylinder has a 60-degree “V” design, and therefore has the best possible inherent balance to compensate for vibration forces. The block, cylinder heads and oil sump are made from die-cast aluminum, with die-cast magnesium valve covers.

An aluminum bedplate design at the engine bottom end uses cast-iron crankshaft bearing cap inserts that are cross-bolted. This also allows the use of an oil pan completely decoupled from the crankcase, which, in turn, minimizes resonance or combustion vibration. Combustion noise is also minimized because a dual ignition system keeps pressure gradients within the chambers at low levels, and the presence of both turbochargers inherently dampens intake and exhaust noise.

Lightweight components include magnesium valve covers, aluminum crankcase sections, Silitec cylinder liners and lightweight hollow-bore camshafts with indexed, pressure-fit steel lobes.

Because of the V12’s prodigious torque output, the familiar five-speed Touch Shift automatic transmission went through a comprehensive fitness program to keep up. To handle the torque, the Planetary Gear sets have been widened, and the input and output shafts adjusted accordingly. Surprisingly, with all the beefing up, the transmission gained only 4.4 pounds.

A First-Class Cabin

Punctuated by sweeping lines of exotic wood accented with chrome trim, all S-Class sedans feature high-quality materials throughout the cabin, forming a luxurious yet practical environment that emphasizes easy access to vehicle features.

The centerpiece of the S-Class dash is an eight-inch, high-resolution display for a new COMAND system, positioned high in the dash and operated by an intuitive COMAND controller on the lower center console. Instead of requiring occupants to use the COMAND system exclusively, many vehicle controls are accessible in several ways – by conventional hard keys, the multifunction steering wheel or voice control as well as via COMAND.

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

The S600 front seats are electrically adjustable 16 ways, with 11 individual pneumatic chambers to help occupants find a perfect seating position, in-seat ventilation fans to keep them cool, and 14 more chambers that provide four levels of pulsating massage to relieve fatigue and help keep drivers alert. Also standard on the S600, Drive Dynamic front seats respond to every curve by providing extra support through the outside seat bolster. Even in a tight “S” turn, the side bolsters inflate and deflate in a split second to help keep occupants comfortably in position.

More PRE-SAFE Features

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 a possible rollover, the sunroof also closes. On the 2007 S-Class, when PRE-SAFE is activated in response to an impending rollover, 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 adaptive cruise control feature that can maintain a pre-set following distance behind the vehicle ahead is replaced by “Distronic Plus,” standard only on the new S600.

Integrated with PRE-SAFE, this latest version of the radar-based Distronic 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 1 football fields. During the approval process of the new 24-gigahertz radar frequency for automotive use, government agencies cited its potential to improve traffic safety, reduce injuries and ultimately save lives.

Brake Assist Teams Up With Distronic Plus

Making its debut on the 2007 S-Class, an enhanced version of the Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist system not only supplies appropriate braking assist during emergency brake application, but in combination with Distronic Plus, also adjusts brake pressure during pedal application based on the distance to the vehicle ahead. While conventional Brake Assist only provides full brake assist when triggered by the speed of brake pedal application (suggesting an emergency braking situation), 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 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 DaimlerChrysler driving simulator in Berlin.

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 sensitivit

Infra-Red Night View Assist

Another standard feature on the S600 is Night View Assist, an innovative technology that can extend the driver’s ability to see ahead to nearly 500 feet. An industry first, and 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.

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Zerin Dube

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