For 2007, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is all-new; it’s larger than the line-up it replaces, with beautiful styling and an all-new V8 engine.

The line-up has been whittled down from seven models in 2006 to four in 2007; there is an S600 and S65 AMG as in 2006, along with a new S550 in two- or four-wheel drive; the S430 and S500 and their variations, and the S55 AMG have been discontinued.

The S550 uses an all-new 5.5-litre V8, while the S600 is powered by a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V12, and the S65 AMG by a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12.

The S550 4MATIC features 45/55 front-rear torque bias, with model-specific suspension, steering, brakes and stability control program.

Features on the S550 include 18-inch alloy wheels, seven-speed automatic transmission, active bi-Xenon headlamps with active curve illuminator, power rear window sunshade, six-DVD changer with CD/MP3/DVD-audio capabilities, an expansion slot for memory cards to play MP3s, navigation system, hand-operated electric parking brake, ambient light system, Bluetooth capability, adaptive brake and Pre-Safe systems, automatic climate control, eight airbags, tire pressure loss warning, heated multifunction steering wheel, Parktronic parking assist, and air suspension with active damping feature. Available options include a panoramic sunroof, Night View assist and rearview camera.

The S600 builds on the S550 features and adds front and rear heated and ventilated seats with massage function, rearview camera, panoramic sunroof, luxury front heat restraints, door-integrated rear side manual sunshades, heated steering wheel, power trunk closure, Keyless Go and tire pressure monitoring system.

The S65 AMG includes 20-inch five-spoke wheels, electrically-adjustable rear seatbacks, leather and burl walnut steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, voice control, active body control, automatic climate control, AMG styling package, power-assist trunk and door closure, exclusive leather upholstery, Parktronic parking assist with rearview camera, heated and cooled multi-contour front seats, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, navigation system, Keyless Go and high-gloss burl walnut wood trim.

New S65 AMG options include Night View assist, matte burl walnut wood trim, and a Luxury Rear Seat Package of door-integrated roller blinds on the rear side windows, heated and cooled rear seats, luxury rear head restraints and rear climate control.

Previously available in two wheelbase lengths, the S-Class now comes in a single length that’s longer than the long-wheelbase model of 2006. It features superb styling along the lines of the stunning CLS, well-done interiors, powerful engines and a host of active and passive safety features.

Among the more interesting features is the dash-mounted PCMCIA slot, which accepts a memory card that, with some versions, can hold up to 1,500 digital songs. Its data is displayed on the COMAND system screen, and titles can be selected through the multifunction steering wheel controls. The S-Class also features Pre-Safe, which originally debuted on the model; it snugs up the seatbelts, adjusts the passenger’s seat position relative to the airbag, and if severe skidding indicates a possible rollover, will even close the sunroof.

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