July 31, 2002
Mercedes-Benz announces improvements to 2003 S-Class
Stuttgart, Germany – Mercedes-Benz top-of-the-line S-Class sedans will receive a number of improvements for the 2003 model year, including an available 500 horsepower twin-turbo 5.5 litre V12 engine, 4Matic all-wheel-drive, PRE-SAFE occupant protection system, increased power for six cylinder engines, subtle exterior styling changes, and designer interior packages. The 2003 S-Class will reach showrooms this Fall.
The newly developed twelve-cylinder engine has twin turbochargers, water intercooler and numerous other high-tech innovations. With peak torque of 800 Nm that arrives at just 1800 rpm, the new Mercedes S600 zips from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 4.8 seconds.
Mercedes engineers have also modified the six-cylinder engines for the S-Class, boosting both horsepower and torque. The 3.2 litre V6 engine has been enlarged to 3.7 litres boosting horsepower by 12.5 percent to 245 hp, and torque by 13 percent to 350 Nm at 3000 rpm. Fuel consumption in the new S 350 averages 11.1 litres per 100 km.
The high-performance S 55 AMG will receive the powerful, supercharged eight-cylinder engine used in the SL 55 AMG. This power plant provides around 39 percent more power and 32 percent more torque than the preceding model: 500 horsepower and 700 Nm from 2750 rpm.
Mercedes’ 4Matic permanent four-wheel drive system will be available as an option for six and eight-cylinder models. 4Matic provides greater traction and, by interacting with ESP, helps the driver negotiate critical situations safely.
The 2003 S-Class will offer PRE-SAFE which can detect the threat of a collision in advance and initiate preventive measures to prepare the occupants and vehicle for impact. Preventive occupant protection features include seat belts that can be tensioned within a split second so as to en-sure that the driver and the front passenger are in the best possible sitting position before a crash occurs, enabling optimum deployment of the airbags upon impact. At the same time, PRE-SAFE moves the front passenger seat and the electrically adjustable individual seats for the rear passengers into their optimum positions and closes the sunroof automatically when the vehicle begins to skid.
Subtle styling changes for 2003 include a front bumper with a new lower air intake, a radiator grille that’s higher with a more pronounced slant, and new sweeping headlamps. The exterior mirrors and tail lights also feature a new design.
Inside the S-Class, over 40 features have been either redesigned or use new materials. There are new chrome strips bordering the wood trim, improved seat upholstery, and new control switches. Mercedes customers can opt for an interior appointments package called designo couture, which includes high-grade nappa and nubuk leather, anthracite trim parts carved from the finest poplar or maple wood, and an interior roof lining decked out in sumptuous alcantara.
Mercedes’ COMAND control and display system will be fitted as standard in all S-Class models. Compared to its predecessor, the current system has a larger and clearer colour display (6.5″). In the top-of-the-range S 600 model, COMAND is linked to the navigation system as part of the standard package.
Mercedes-Benz totally redesigned the S-Class seats with a softer design and new upholstery technology for greater seat comfort. As well, a new dynamic multicontour seat is now available as an option for the S-Class. It has a series of integrated air chambers which are inflated or deflated according to the situation so as to ensure that both driver and front passenger benefit from lateral support when the car is cornering. The seat also has a computer which assumes electropneumatic control, taking just a split second to process data such as steering angle, lateral acceleration and road speed, in order to vary the inflation pressure and volume of air in the chambers precisely in accordance with the situation.