Luxury Series 140 and 220 (1991 to 2005)
W140. Its developers set their sights on maximum luxury & comfort
In 1991 the 140-series S-Class appeared as the new top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz. Its developers set their sights on maximum comfort, achieved partly with generous dimensions and double-glazed windows for optimum noise insulation. This was the first time a series production Mercedes-Benz car was equipped with a V12 engine, in the flagship 600 SE and 600 SEL models.
The power range began with the 300 SD Turbodiesel, which now also made the luxury class diesel available in markets outside North America. This generation of the S-Class also introduced a trailblazing safety innovation into automobile engineering: the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, which became standard equipment for the V12 models in 1995 and optional for the V8 models. In the following year Brake Assist BAS was also added.
W220. For the first time there is an AMG model officially appeared in the S-Class
When it was time a model change in 1998, the new 220-series S-Class featured a rather understated exterior. Among the key development aims were further weight reduction and a further increase in safety and comfort. Despite dispensing with the weight-intensive double-glazing, the new model generation offered further improved comfort due e.g. to the new, electronically controlled AIRMATIC air suspension, the control and display system COMAND and the innovative proximity cruise control system DISTRONIC. The Active Body Control (ABC) suspension available from 1999 reduced body roll tendencies and allowed a previously unprecedented level of handling refinement. The interior design, which was for the first time closely coordinated with the exterior, ensured a high-class ambience in the S-Class.
Customers with sporty ambitions were catered for by the S 55 AMG: for the first time an AMG model officially appeared in the S-Class price list. In autumn 2002 the regular top model without the AMG badge, the S 600, benefitted from a power increase that for the first time reached the magic output threshold of 368 kW (500 hp). At the same time a further trailblazing innovation had its debut in the 220 series: the preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®. By virtue of this system, the vehicle autonomously initiates measures to protect the occupants as well as possible when a collision threatens.
As part of the model facelift, Mercedes-Benz also offered the S-Class with the intelligent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC for the first time.
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