The company’s flagship sedan, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is viewed in many circles as the finest automobile in the world. For the 2012 model year, a new model, the S350 BlueTEC features a fuel-sipping 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel (240 hp, 455 lb.-ft.) and standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive. In addition, the S550 features a new 4.6-liter twin turbo direct-injection V8 (429 hp, 516 lb.-ft. of torque), producing both more power and better fuel economy (estimated 15 mpg city / 23 mpg highway).
The 2012 line-up also includes an innovative S400 HYBRID (295 hp, 284
lb.-ft.). In contrast to the frugal diesel and hybrid models, the
high-performance V8-powered S63 AMG (536 hp, 590 lb.-ft.) and two
magnificent V12-powered cars – the S600 (510 hp, 612 lb.-ft.) and the
S65 AMG (621 hp, 738 lb.-ft.) – round out the S-Class sedan lineup. Most
2012 S-Class models are equipped with a new more fuel efficient
seven-speed automatic transmission.
No Sacrifice in Convenience or Roominess
The diesel-powered S350 BlueTEC and the S400 HYBRID boast the same
interior room, luxury and convenience features as other S-Class
vehicles. Both the diesel and hybrid S-Class models are excellent
examples of choices for today’s world that don’t involve compromises in
aesthetics or comfort.
The hybrid model is differentiated by HYBRID logos on the trunk lid and
dash as well as BlueEfficency badging on the front fenders. A special
hybrid pictogram within the speedometer shows the energy flow, energy
recovery and battery charge.
BlueTEC – A Blueprint For The World’s Cleanest Diesels
The first diesel-powered S-Class in the U.S. market since the 1996 model
year, the new S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC model is powered by a purpose-built
3.0-liter V6 diesel with 240 horsepower, an astonishing 455 lb.-ft. of
torque and estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg city / 31 mpg highway. Using
several technologies to minimize diesel exhaust emissions, the S350
BlueTEC 4MATIC begins with a four-valve-per-cylinder diesel featuring
centrally located piezo-electric injectors, CDI direct injection, a
variable-nozzle turbocharger and exhaust gas recirculation.
Building on this foundation of advanced engine design, the S350 BlueTEC
incorporates several modular after-treatment units in the exhaust stream
- an oxidizing catalytic converter, a maintenance-free particulate
filter, an SCR converter and an NOx storage converter. In the “denox”
storage converter, nitrogen oxides are absorbed temporarily, and during
brief regeneration pulses of a richer fuel-air mixture, the nitrogen
oxides are released, reacting with other exhaust gas to form harmless
nitrogen. These regeneration pulses also raise temperatures in the
particulate filter, which automatically burns off the deposits.
The New V8 – 20 Percent Better Fuel Economy, 32 Percent More Power
The 2012 S550 sedan is powered by a new 4.6-liter V8 that gets 20
percent better fuel economy (15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway) while
producing 30 percent more power – an astounding feat, considering that
increasing either power or fuel economy usually decreases the other. The
new V8 features direct fuel injection, twin turbochargers and
Based on its highly successful 5.5-liter predecessor, the new V8 engine
has 20 percent smaller displacement but generates 429 horsepower and 516
lb.-ft. of torque – 32 percent more than the engine it replaces. Its
smaller displacement is more than offset by the power boost of its twin
turbochargers – one for each bank of cylinders. Piston crowns are four
millimeters thicker to handle the higher combustion pressures, while
shorter connecting rods allow existing block dimensions to be retained.
Like its predecessor, the new engine has aluminum cylinder heads,
pistons and cylinder block (with cast-in Silitec cylinders), as well as a
crankshaft, connecting rods and valves made of special forged steel.
Direct Fuel Injection
While most gasoline engines have used indirect port fuel injection in
the past, the V8 makes use of industry-leading electronics technology
first used on Mercedes-Benz diesels – electronic fuel injectors that
spray gasoline directly into the combustion chambers. Featuring a
piezo-ceramic crystalline element that changes shape when electrical
current is applied, blazingly fast piezo injectors make it possible to
design very sensitive and precise injection systems, including the
ability to program several small injections with each piston stroke.
The first injection is sprayed into the combustion chamber as the piston
is descending on the intake stroke. Depending on speed, load and
temperature conditions, another injection or two takes place during the
compression up-stroke before ignition, forming a stratified mixture. A
fourth injection can stabilize combustion if it’s needed.
Multi-Spark Works with Multi-Squirt
Working together with the spray-guided direct injection, a rapid
multi-spark ignition system begins combustion with the first spark, but
has the capability to recharge and deliver up to three more sparks
within a single millisecond, creating a gas plasma with more expansion
than conventional ignition.
The time lapse between sparks is adjustable, so combustion duration can
actually be controlled, resulting in two percent better fuel economy,
and a total of four percent improvement in combination with its
companion direct fuel injection system.
Refined Cam Chain Drive
Mounted on the ends of the intake and exhaust camshafts, the hydraulic
camshaft adjusters that vary valve timing are now 35 percent faster, and
with a wider range of 40 crankshaft degrees. Despite their improved
performance, they’re more than a half inch smaller in height and width.
Smaller valve timing adjusters are made possible by a new cam chain
drive system, in which the crankshaft drives an intermediate shaft above
the crank. In turn, the intermediate shaft drives two short chains -
one for each cylinder bank – that loop around the intake and exhaust
camshaft drive sprockets. The new chain drive results in less tension
and lower chain dynamics, for even lower friction and less noise.
A fourth chain drives a new variable vane-type oil pump in the bottom of
the engine. At low engine speed and load, the oil pump only generates
about 28 psi (or two bar) of oil pressure, and nozzles that spray
cooling oil on the pistons are inactive. As engine speed and load
increases, oil pressure rises, and the oil spray nozzles are turned on.
In this way, less energy is used when less cooling and lubrication is
Three-Phase, Low-Load Cooling System
Even the cooling system is significantly refined in the new engine,
beginning with a two-stage flow circuit through the cylinder head. This
improved coolant flow results in better heat dissipation, despite lower
coolant pressure, so that the water pump uses less engine power.
A three-phase cooling system helps the engine warm up very quickly. When
the engine is first started, no coolant circulates. Then, as the engine
warms up, coolant begins to circulate within the engine, but not
through the radiator. Only when the coolant temperature reaches 221
degrees Fahrenheit (or 189 degrees F. under high load), coolant also
circulates through the radiator. Coolant circulation through the heating
system for the car’s interior is controlled separately.
The S350 BlueTEC, S400 HYBRID and S550 feature a new transmission with a
more advanced torque converter lock-up clutch that provides even better
fuel mileage, more responsive driving and quieter operation. The
transmission is designed to work with a new low-viscosity ATF
transmission fluid – colored blue instead of the usual red. Together
with new planetary gears, bearings and internal seals, the “FE-ATF”
fluid provides less friction and improved fuel mileage.
518-Horsepower V8 for the S63 AMG
The S63 AMG is powered by a new 5.5-liter biturbo V8 that features twin
turbo-chargers, direct fuel injection, multi-spark ignition and an ECO
Stop/Start function. Compared to the new 4.6-liter biturbo, the S63 AMG
powerplant makes use of more displacement (a larger cylinder bore and
longer crankshaft stroke), higher turbocharger boost (14.2 lbs. boost
vs.12.9 lbs. boost), and slightly lower compression (10.0:1 vs. 10.5:1).
In comparison to its predecessor, reduced displacement is more than
offset by the power boost of its twin turbochargers – one for each bank
of cylinders. Identified inside the company as the M157, the new AMG
twin-turbo V8 produces 536 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque and can
accelerate from 0-60 in just 4.4 seconds. With the optional AMG
Performance Package, these figures increase to 563 hp and 664 lb.-ft,
and the 0-60 time drops to 4.3 seconds.
Even with its high performance, the S63 AMG is more fuel efficient,
thanks in part to an innovative ECO Stop/Start system. When the AMG
model stops in “D” or “N” with the brake pedal depressed in “Controlled
Efficiency” transmission mode, the engine is automatically turned off to
save fuel. As soon as the driver releases the brake, the engine
computer decides which piston is in the best position for first
ignition, and the direct fuel injection and multi-spark systems work
with a starter motor to re-start the engine almost instantly. With
estimated fuel economy figures of 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, the
Gas Guzzler Tax no longer applies to the S63 AMG.
Award-Winning MCT Sports Transmission – The Best of Both Worlds
The high-performance S63 AMG Sedan also features a cutting-edge AMG
transmission. With a start-up clutch that replaces the torque converter,
the new seven-speed MCT sports transmission provides the direct
feedback of a manual transmission with the total convenience of an
automatic, offering impressive versatility and even faster shift times.
Thanks to its low rotational mass, the start-up clutch helps the
transmission respond instantaneously and dynamically, with no slip.
One Screen, Two Programs
The 2012 S-Class sedans are also available with an innovative SPLITVIEW
dual-content viewscreen, which allows the driver and front passenger to
view two different programs on the same screen at the same time. For
example, the driver can be viewing the navigation system, while on the
very same display screen, the passenger (looking from a different angle)
is watching a movie.
AMG-Developed V12 Power
The S65 AMG blends the whisper-smooth performance of the flagship
Mercedes-Benz four-door sedan with the astonishing power of AMG’s
6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine. With 0-60 mph test track times of about
4.2 seconds, the S65 AMG is one of the world’s quickest four-door
sedans. 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
AMG designers made subtle enhancements to the S65 AMG body while
remaining true to the car’s basic design. First, an AMG front apron with
large cooling air intakes and integral LED daytime running lights 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 (this marked the first use of original-equipment 20-inch
wheels and tires on a Mercedes-Benz).
When the driver’s door is opened, a specially contoured AMG sport
steering wheel covered in premium leather greets the driver, and an
“AMG” start screen fills the instrument cluster. AMG leather sport seats
are finished in an eye-catching diamond pattern, while the dashboard
and door panels are covered in leather as well.
30 Percent Better Fuel Economy with S400 HYBRID
The S400 HYBRID comes with the world’s first lithium-ion battery
designed specifically for automotive use. The light-weight,
high-capacity lithium-ion battery works with a 20horsepower electric
motor and a V6 gasoline engine for a total of 295 horsepower and 284
lb.-ft. of torque, to provide hybrid power with impressive fuel economy.
The Mercedes-Benz S400 HYBRID uses a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine, a
magneto-electric motor and sophisticated hybrid electronics to produce
30 percent better fuel economy than a comparable S550 model. Not only
does the electric motor make 20 horsepower, but it also produces an
impressive starting torque of 118 lb.-ft., while the gasoline engine
develops 275 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.
A powerful computer controls the hybrid system, recalculating the best
operating mode 160 times a second. Capable of up to 50 million
calculations per second, the system works to maintain an ideal balance
between fuel economy and performance.
The 120-volt lithium-ion battery weighs less than most other batteries
and takes up less space, but has high energy density for its size. As a
result, it can be installed in the engine compartment, so the car’s
ample trunk capacity and spacious interior are not affected. The
lithium-ion battery has high-strength steel housing, a separate cooling
circuit, and its cells sit in a special gel that dampens any jolts and
Characterized as a “mild hybrid,” the S400 HYBRID’s gasoline engine and
electric motor work together for responsive performance, and its
driveline includes a specially configured seven-speed automatic
transmission, a transformer to power the 12-volt vehicle system and
intelligent operating electronics. The disc-shaped electric motor is
mounted in the torque converter housing, between the engine and
The hybrid system includes a convenient start-stop function that turns
off the gasoline engine below nine mph when braking to a stop. When the
S400 HYBRID is at a traffic light, for example, the gasoline engine is
off, but the AC compressor and steering pump are operated electrically,
so air conditioning and power steering are fully operational. When the
brakes are released, the gasoline engine is started automatically, and
works with the electric motor for seamless performance.
During braking, the electric motor acts as a generator, recovering
kinetic energy and storing it in the lithium-ion battery. Under heavy
braking, the vehicle’s conventional brakes also come into play.
Recovered energy is stored in the battery and re-used whenever the
electric motor is running.
ATTENTION ASSIST Cautions “Time For A Rest?”
Standard on all S-Class models except the S400 HYBRID, the ATTENTION
ASSIST system can alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a
factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S. A
steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to
establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of
Between 50 and 112 mph, the system identifies the erratic steering
corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an
audible warning, and a “Time for a rest?” message with a coffee cup icon
appears in the instrument cluster.
Innovative Safety Features
Innovative safety options for the entire 2012 S-Class line include
Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist that both
incorporate automatic ESP brake intervention. Active Lane Keeping Assist
recognizes lane markings (thanks to a multi-purpose camera in the
windshield and a computer that analyzes the images) and alerts the
driver by simulating rumble strip vibrations in the steering wheel if
the car drifts from its lane without the turn signals on.
Active Blind Spot Assist monitors both blind spots behind the vehicle.
Whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot,
the driver gets visual and audible warnings. Both Active Lane Keeping
Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist now incorporate an intervention
feature, in which ESP braking automatically helps correct the car’s
course if the driver doesn’t heed the initial warning.
More Safety Systems Assist the Driver
Adaptive Highbeam Assist uses a windshield-mounted camera to detect both
headlights and taillights, then softly and automatically transitions
between high and low beams to avoid dazzling other drivers. With this
system, the range of the headlights can be infinitely varied from 220
feet to up to 1,000 feet.
Night View Assist PLUS can now allow a driver to see pedestrians up to
325 feet earlier than before. When the system recognizes pedestrians,
they appear in the display with an outlined frame highlighting each
In contrast to passive systems that rely on thermal imaging, this active
system bathes the road ahead with invisible infra-red light from two
beams mounted in the headlights. Extending the driver’s ability to see
ahead to nearly 500 feet, Night View Assist PLUS uses an infra-red
camera in the windshield and displays the reflected images as highly
detailed black & white video images in the instrument cluster.
PRE-SAFE Brake Can Automatically Apply Full Braking in Emergencies
All cars equipped with the optional radar-based DISTRONIC PLUS system
reap the benefit of another revolutionary Mercedes-Benz safety feature -
PRE-SAFEBrake. To reduce accident severity, the latest version of
PRE-SAFE Brake applies full braking automatically in emergencies.
When PRE-SAFE Brake senses an impending collision with the help of
DISTRONIC PLUS, the system sounds three warning tones. About 1.6 seconds
before impact is likely, partial braking is automatically initiated,
and PRE-SAFE occupant protection measures are activated. If the driver
still fails to react, full-power braking is initiated about 0.6 seconds
before the collision, reducing the impact and effectively acting as an
“electronic crumple zone.”
PRE-SAFE Brake builds on the original PRE-SAFE system that Mercedes-Benz
launched on the S-Class sedan in 2002. Standard on all S-Class models,
the “basic” PRE-SAFE system 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 closes as well.
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 DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control system uses radar sensors to
help maintain a pre-set following distance behind the vehicle ahead. The
latest system can actually brake the car to a full stop and accelerate
it again. DISTRONIC PLUS works at speeds up to 125 mph and can be
especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic.
Short-range 24-gigahertz radar sweeps the first 33 yards in a fan-shaped
80-degree pattern, working in tandem with a narrower nine-degree beam
of 77-gigahertz radar. The two radar frequencies complement each other
to cover a full range of more than 160 yards – more than 11/2 football
The radar-based DISTRONIC PLUS also makes possible a feature as part of
the PARKTRONIC system – Parking Guidance, which utilizes ultrasonic
sensors mounted behind the front and rear bumpers. 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 the car’s in reverse, Parking
Guidance displays a top-view pictogram of the car and provides helpful
S-Class models with ABC active suspension come with a crosswind
stabilization feature that’s part of the ABC system software. If the car
is affected by a crosswind, in a split-second, the ABC system uses its
servo pistons at each wheel strut to change wheel load distribution and
stabilize the car. The ABC crosswind stabilization feature depends on
networked signals from the ESP yaw and lateral acceleration sensors.
Standard on all S-Class models except the S400 HYBRID, a Torque
Vectoring feature within the ESP stability control system is
specifically designed to sharpen steering response during spirited
driving. When sharp, aggressive steering inputs from the driver are
sensed, brief braking pulses at the inside rear wheel help pivot the
vehicle and improve active handling response.
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