Taking its place at the top-end of the regular (non-AMG) S-Class lineup is the new Mercedes-Benz S600, a V12-powered luxury sedan that has now made its grand entrance at the Detroit motor show, with the market launch to follow in March 2014.
While enjoying all the luxuries and technology features of the other S-Class models, the S600 adds a 6.0-liter bi-turbo V12 engine to the mix, which packs a stronger punch than the older 510hp (517PS) 5.5-liter V12, delivering 523hp (530PS) between 4,900 and 5,300 rpm and 830Nm (612 lb-ft) of peak torque from 1,900 to 4,000 rpm.
For the first time the S600 comes equipped with an ECO start/stop function as standard, allowing the car to meet the stricter Euro 6 emissions standard, while the combined fuel consumption of the S 600 stands at 11.3 l/10km (20.8mpg US or 25.0mpg UK), a 21 per cent improvement over its predecessor. Power is transferred to the rear wheels through a 7-speed automatic transmission.
In addition to the release of the new S600, Mercedes also announced some model-year updates for the existing S-Class range.
Beginning from March 2014, all the functions of the head unit can be controlled by fingertip gesture, as with a smartphone, from the new, optional touchpad that also allows letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting in any language that is available on the unit.
A head-up display is also available as an option for the S-Class, while Mercedes is adding a new optional electric (front) windscreen heating system.
Finally, the COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system is being replaced on all S-Class models by the COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS as standard. According to Benz, along with the adaptive Brake Assist system that helps protect against collisions at speeds of over 4 mph (6 km/h, the new system features an addition function in which, if the danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, it can carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 124 mph (200km/h). The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 31 mph (50km/h) and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at up to 25 mph (40km/h).
"The S-Class has always been the embodiment of our claim to deliver the very best in terms of both technology and design” said Ola Källenius, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz. "And our flagship model, the S 600, epitomises the focus of our development work, the 'Essence of Luxury', in a way that no other model can. Our customers in North America and Asia in particular will enjoy this new top model with its exciting V12 engine," he added.