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For a complete overview of all S-Class models see Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class
aka W221
Production 2006–present
Class Full-Size Executive / Luxury
Body Style 4-door sedan
Length 200 in (5076 mm/5206 mm)
Width 74 in (1871 mm)
Height 56 in (1431/1473 mm)
Wheelbase 124.6 in (3165 mm)
Weight 4376 lb (1985 kg)
Transmission 5-speed automatic, RWD
7-speed automatic, RWD
Engine 3.0 litre turbo diesel V6
3.5 litre V6
4.0 litre turbo diesel V8
4.7 litre V8
5.5 litre V8
6.2 litre V8
5.5 litre twin turbo V12
6.0 litre twin turbo V12
Power 235 hp @ N/A rpm
398 lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm

272 hp @ N/A rpm
258 lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm

310 hp @ N/A rpm
538 lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm

340 hp @ N/A rpm
339 lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm

382 hp @ N/A rpm
391 lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm

525 hp @ N/A rpm
465 lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm

510 hp @ 5000 rpm
612 lb-ft @ 1800-3500 rpm

604 hp @ N/A rpm
738 lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm
Similar BMW 7 Series
Audi A8
Maserati Quattroporte
Porsche Panamera
Bentley Flying Spur
Lexus LS 600hL
Jaguar XJ
Aston Martin Rapide
Volkswagen Phaeton
Designer {{{Designer}}}

The W221 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a full-size luxury sedan built by Mercedes-Benz, and produced since late 2005. The successor to the W220 S-Class, the W221 is slightly larger than the W220 in all dimensions. The W221, Mercedes' flagship vehicle, also features new interior and exterior styling and a number of technologies and features to improve safety, handling, and comfort.

Recent Changes

  • A few days later, On April 15 2009, Mercedes-Benz released the AMG Appearance Package for the facelifted S-Class and the CL-Class. [1]
  • On April 8 2009, Mercedes-Benz released details and images of the 2010 W221 series S-Class facelift on the internet, coinciding with the eve of the 2009 New York Auto Show. Largely subtle, the most significant change is the reformed front bumper which eschews the awkward triangular foglamps in favor of an AMG-like fascia with the foglamps now being thin LED strips similar to the 997 Porsche 911s. Other changes include a different LED-incorporating headlamp cluster, LED taillights that are no longer sectioned by strips of sheetmetal and a new rear bumper which sports a faux-diffuser bookended by two parallelogram exhaust pipes. Inside, the car is largely unchanged. However, all the techno-gizmos that define the supremacy of the S-Class have been given an upgrade. [2]


S400 Hybrid

  • For the 2008 Paris Motor Show, coinciding with the 80th Anniversary of the GUARD special protection division, Mercedes unveiled its latest variation of the ultimate luxury limousine for African dictators and other high-profile heads of state. Welcome to the S600 Guard Pullman, a 6356 mm extended wheelbase S-Class bristling with the latest developments in protection technology.[3]
  • For the 2008 Saks Fifth Avenue's KEY TO THE CURE charity, Mercedes-Benz created a 1000 unit special edition S-Class. It is distinguished from the regular S550 by a sport bodykit that includes a front air dam, side skirts and rear bumper with dual stainless-steel exhaust pipes, 20-inch AMG 5-spoke alloys, Diamond White metallic livery and unique Sahara Beige / Black Leather leather accented by Burl Walnut. The cars are expected to generate US$1 million for charity.
  • Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first ever diesel-hybrid with at the 2007 IAA with its S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID. The vehicle is powered by a 224 hp (165 kW), 560 Nm torque (combined) diesel-hybrid engine that sips 43.6 mpg (5.4 litres of diesel per 100 km). CO2 production is 142 g/km, 30 percent less than the rest of the S‑Class lineup and according to Mercedes, potentially meets ultra-strict EU6 or the BIN5 emission standards. [4][5]


  • RECALL ALERT: On November 25, 2008, Mercedes-Benz issued a recall affecting 1,515 MY2007 W221 S-Class sedans due to a defective radial knuckle of the front strut made by a supplier. According to the NHTSA, said item may fail after significant mileage accumulation combined with exposure to high continuous stress by driving on rough roads. If this happens, the steering may malfunction. The recall is set to begin in December and Mercedes promises to replace it free of charge. [6]



2010 S600

2011 S63 AMG


The W221 S-Class' exterior styling is a marked change from that of the previous model. While the previous model featured rounded shapes and lines, with a smaller appearance, the W221's shape possesses more sharp edges and creases, with larger flared wheelarches and radiator grille. The rear end has been one of the most controversial aspects of the W221: some claim that the rear end is a facsimile of the E65 BMW 7-Series and is unattractive, while others claim that the rear end is bold, aggressive, and in fact derived almost directly from the Mercedes Maybach - the W221's big brother. The large, sharply defined wheelarches are also controversial, with some believing that such features do not belong on a car of this type, while others maintain that the wheelarches add to the vehicle's more-aggressive theme.

Inside, the W221's interior is also significantly different from the preceding model. The interior features an instrument cluster shroud that also contains the navigation screen, with silver air vents below, and a square, analog clock within the vents. Below the vents are metal tab switches with a black field behind them, to control the HVAC system. On the center console, a silver control wheel for the COMAND system sits above a piece of wood, surrounded by metal buttons. Throughout the interior, buttons are metal, with black fields above them denoting the switches' function. The interior is also a source of controversy, with many stating that the interior contains too many BMW 7-Series styling cues (mainly because of the new COMAND controller), while others point out that the interior is clearly an update of previous Mercedes interior styling.



The W221 S-Class contains a large number of features designed to improve safety for the driver and passengers. Many of the features are evolutions of previous Mercedes developments, such as Brake Assist and Pre-Safe. A short list is presented below.

  • Brake Assist Plus - an optional system designed to apportion brake pressure based on pedal speed and distance between the car and objects. This is an evolution of the Brake Assist system found on earlier models, and uses the vehicle's radar, in addition to the usual Brake Assist's monitoring of pedal depression speed, to apply power brake boost as required. This requires the optional adaptive cruise control's radar, so in vehicles not equipped with the latter, standard Brake Assist is substituted.
  • Pre-Safe - a development of the previous Pre-Safe system fitted to the W220 S-Class, which uses vehicle-dynamic sensors to predict collisions, the W221's system also takes into account closing speed, as measured by the vehicle's radar. If a collision appears likely, Pre-Safe closes all windows and the sunroof, moves all passenger's seats and their head restraints to a safer position, and tightens the seatbelts.
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) - similar to the systems fitted to other Mercedes vehicles, this system measures driver inputs and compares these to the vehicle's path. If these diverge, ESP brakes single wheels selectively to eliminate oversteer (fishtailing) and understeer (plowing), and reduces engine power, if necessary.
  • Night View Assist - optional, uses two near-infrared (NIR) illuminators mounted in the headlamp clusters and a sensor in the windshield. The infrared beams are picked up by the sensor and an image is displayed in the instrument cluster. Mercedes-Benz claims that this system provides the same viewable distance as high-beam headlights, without blinding oncoming motorists.

The W221 also contains many standard Mercedes safety features, including eight dual-stage air bags, seatbelt pre-tensioning devices, anti-lock brakes, and traction control.

Comfort and convenience

The W221 S-Class features a variety of technologies intended to reduce the driver's workload and make the ride smoother for passengers. Like the safety features, many of these items are evolutions of those fitted to earlier models. Some notable features include:

  • Airmatic DC - air suspension, similar to the system fittted to the W211 E-Class, uses air springs and adaptive electronic control to sense road and driving conditions and produce a firm or soft ride.
  • Distronic Plus - optional, a development of the Distronic system fitted to earlier models. Uses more radar systems (long- and short-wave) and improved control logic to detect vehicles ahead and adjust the vehicle's speed to maintain a driver-set distance behind the car in front. The system has more authority over the vehicle than previous Distronic iterations, and can bring the vehicle to a complete stop if necessary, unlike the previous versions.
  • Drive-Dynamic seats with massage - optional, an evolution of the system fitted to many other Mercedes models, uses air bladders in the seat bolsters to support the driver during cornering. Also, other air bladders provide a four-mode massage function to front-seat passengers.

Entertainment and other features

  • harmon/kardon Logic7 stereo sound system with 14 speakers, in-dash CD changer and PCMCIA slot
  • Hard-drive based GPS satellite navigation system
  • Revised COMAND navigation and radio control system, uses the dash-top display and a central knob to navigate menu choices and options. Most frequently-used functions (such as volume) can be controlled by dedicated switches. Some have complained that the system is difficult to use and a blatant copy of BMW's iDrive system, but many have stated that the system is much easier to use and better thought out than iDrive.
  • Fiber-optic ambient lighting for the dashboard, footwells, and other areas.
  • Heated and Active-Ventilated seats, with heating elements for warming the seats and small fans to keep the seats cool and draw perspiration away from occupants.
  • Tele Aid, uses GPS tracking and cell phone service to provide assistance. Can be used for information, to call for roadside assistance, or to call for help in emergencies. Automatically calls for help if an air bag or seatbelt tensioner deploys.
  • Optional 4MATIC all-wheel-drive with four-wheel electronic traction control.
  • 7G-TRONIC, Mercedes' 7-speed automatic transmission with two reverse gears, adaptive electronic control, switchable comfort and sport modes, and Touch Shift partial manual control. The transmission is controlled by a small stalk mounted on the steering column, rather than by the usual console-mounted lever. 7G-TRONIC is standard on all S-Class models except the S600 and S65 AMG, where a 5-speed automatic is used instead, as the 7G-TRONIC transmission cannot handle the torque these models produce.

Special variants

Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Mercedes-Benz's high-performance firm, AMG, produces one special variant of the W221 S-Class, with another to follow. One of the variants is the S65 AMG, which features more aggressive front and rear bumpers and rocker panels, larger wheels, brakes, and tires, four exhaust pipes, modified and reprogrammed suspension for better handling, and various interior changes. The S65 also features the M275 6.0 liter, biturbo V12 engine, which is an AMG-modified version of the V12 fitted to the S600 and Maybach. In the S65, the engine produces 604 hp (612 PS/450 kW) and 730 pound-feet (1000 Nm) of torque. The transmission is a heavily reinforced 5-speed automatic.

The second AMG model, the S63 AMG, is yet to be announced. This variant will likely include much the same modifications as the S65 AMG, but will use AMG's new M156 6.2 liter V8 engine, which develops 503 hp (510 PS/375 kW) and 465 pound-feet (630 Nm) of torque. The engine will power the S63 through the 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission, with AMG-programmed electronic control.

Other special variants of this model are used by the Irish Government. Both the President of Ireland and the Taoiseach (Primeminister) are driven in these type vehicles. The President's State car is adapted with flag carriers on each front fender.

Mercedes-Benz S300 BLUETEC HYBRID


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Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHYBRID


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2010 S400 BlueHYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard and Guard Pullman


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Ocean Drive Concept

On December 20, 2006, Mercedes unveiled pictures of the Ocean Drive concept slated for debut at the Detroit Motor Show on January 2007. Based on the V12-powered, long-wheelbase S 600 sedan, the car is essentially a topless W221 S-Class, The vehicle features an oversized grille, redesigned LED headlights and sleeker trunk/LED taillamp design, a revised air dam, cleaner flanks that eschew the controversial wheelhouse bulges, door handles that fit flush into the bodywork and Mercedes' neck-warming technology called AIRSCARF. The car also contains pillarless windows that provide a sweeping, unobstructed view for occupants when the traditional large soft top is down.


Years Model Engine type Displacement Fuel Power Torque
2006–present S 320 CDI Turbo Diesel V6 3.0 L Diesel 240 PS (235 hp/170 kW) 398 ft·lbf (540 N·m)
2006–present S 350 V6 3.5 L Gasoline 272 PS (268 hp/200 kW) 258 ft·lbf (350 N·m)
2006–present S 450 V8 4.6 L Gasoline 340 PS (335 hp/250 kW) TBD
2006–present S 500 (S 550) V8 5.5 L Gasoline 388 PS (383 hp/285 kW) 391 ft·lbf (530 N·m)
2006–present S 420 CDI Turbo Diesel V8 4.0 L Diesel 314 PS (310 hp/231 kW) TBD
2006–present S 600 Twin-turbo V12 5.5 L Gasoline 517 PS (510 hp/380 kW) 612 ft·lbf (830 N·m)
2006–present S 63 AMG V8 6.2 L Gasoline 510 PS (503 hp/375 kW) 465 ft·lbf (630 N·m)
2006–present S 65 AMG Twin-turbo V12 6.0 L Gasoline 612 PS (604 hp/450 kW) 738 ft·lbf


<references/> Stuttgart, Germany, June 13, 2006 Only eight months after the European premiere of the new S-Class, sales of the sedan have topped 50,000 units. “The new S-Class has been met with great response worldwide, and our flagship vehicle claimed its position as the world’s best-selling luxury sedan immediately following its market launch in September 2005,” says Dr. Klaus Maier, member of the Mercedes Car Group Management Board responsible for Sales and Marketing. “The car’s innovations in particular have been groundbreaking for the automotive industry, and they are the primary reason why the S-Class has maintained a unique status within the luxury segment for decades.” The vehicle’s innovations include several new safety features, such as Brake Assist PLUS with radar sensors, the anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE with an expanded range of functions, and a night-vision assistant equipped with infrared technology. The new S-Class got off to a particularly successful start in its home market of Germany. In the first five months of 2006, the number of customers who opted to buy the top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz model exceeded the combined total of those who purchased the two competing German cars. The new Mercedes-Benz flagship model has been available in the US, its main sales market, since February. S-Class sales have been far stronger there than the figures posted for its German and Asian competitors. Only one month after the market introduction of the Diesel-variants in February, the S-Class had regained its internationally leading position in the market for diesel-powered luxury sedans. The most popular S-Class engine variant is the S 500, which has been the choice of more than 40 percent of all customers since the vehicle was introduced.

See Also


Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz | Maybach | Smart | Mitsubishi | GEM | Mercedes-AMG | Freightliner | Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation | OriOn | Setra | Sterling Trucks | Thomas Built Buses | Western Star | McLaren Group


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SUVs/MPVs/Vans: GL-Class · G-Class · GLK-Class · M-Class · R-Class · B-Class · A-Class · Sprinter · Viano / Vito (V-Class) ·

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W196 · W125 · C11 · MGP W01 · SLS AMG GT3 · · · · ·

Land Speed Record

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Gottlieb Daimler · Karl Benz · Emil Jellinek · Wilhelm Maybach · Mercedes-Benz Museum · AMG · COMAND · AIRSCARF · List of Mercedes-Benz engines · Active Cylinder Control · BlueTec

Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz and Emil Jellinek Corporate website A division of the DaimlerChrysler Group

<--earlier Mercedes-Benz road car timeline, 1980s-present Edit
Type Class 1980s 1990s 2000s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Supermini A W168 W169
Entry-level C W201 (190) W202 W203 W204
Mid-size E W123 W124 W210 W211 W212
CLS W219
Full-size S W126 W140 W220 W221
Maybach W240
Roadster SLK R170 R171
SL R107 R129 R230
Coupé CLK W208 W209
CL W126 W140 W215 C216
Supercar SLR C199
SUV G W460/W461 W463
Crossover SUV GLK GLK
M W163 W164
GL X164
MPVs B W245
R W251
Vaneo Vaneo
Sprinter Sprinter

External links