NEW FOR 2010:

– New S400 Hybrid
– Mild facelift on all models
– New variable-ratio Direct Steering system similar to 2009 SLK-Class
– Standard Parktronic with parking guidance, media interface, Attention Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Night View Assist Plus with pedestrian detection
– Updated COMAND APS hard-drive navigation with remote control, USB and SD interface, and Bluetooth built into the head unit; updated wood trim; revised key design; glovebox cooling function replaces armrest storage cooling function
– Available rear seat entertainment system
– Exterior colours: Dolomite Brown, Palladium Silver and Diamond White Bright added
– Interior colours: Dark Ash wood trim added to AMG Sport Package; standard Brown Poplar wood trim added to V12 models; optional AMG carbon fibre trim for AMG models added

For 2010, the big news for the S-Class is a hybrid version, the S400, available only in long-wheelbase, and in rear-wheel drive. The company says it is the world’s most fuel-efficient luxury sedan and is the first application of lithium-ion batteries. It’s a mild hybrid, using its electric motor to boost the gasoline engine when necessary, and providing a stop-idle feature that turns the gasoline engine off when the car is stopped, such as at a traffic light, and seamlessly restarts it using the electric motor. It does not run on its battery alone.

All models receive a facelift, including revised front and rear end treatment, LED front and rear lighting, new exterior mirror design, and bumper-integrated tailpipes. Inside, there’s an updated steering wheel design with standard shift paddles, revised front and rear seats and centre armrest, and new ambient lighting with choice of three colours.

Other changes for 2010 are additions to the list of standard or optional features, including a variable-ratio steering system first used on the SLK-Class, parking guidance, media interface, several new safety technologies, and an updated hard drive navigation unit.

The S-Class consists of six models, each with a specific drivetrain. The short-wheelbase S450 4Matic uses a 4.6-litre V8 with seven-speed automatic; the S550 4Matic uses a 5.5-litre V8 with seven-speed automatic; the S600 uses a turbocharged 5.5-litre V12 with five-speed automatic; the S63 AMG uses a 6.2-litre V8 with seven-speed automatic; and the S65 AMG uses a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 with five-speed automatic. The new S400 Hybrid uses a 3.5-litre V6 engine with electric motor and seven-speed automatic. The 4Matic versions use an all-wheel drive system with 45/55 front/rear torque bias. Each model has suspension, steering, brakes and stability control program specific to it.

Features on the S450 4Matic include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, Airmatic suspension with adaptive damping system, COMAND APS with navigation, PCMCIA interface for MP3 playback from memory cards, Harman/Kardon Logic7 Surround Sound system, Sirius satellite radio, media player interface, matte Burl Walnut wood trim, leather upholstery, heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescopic column, power sunroof, auto-dimming rearview and driver’s side mirrors, power-folding mirrors with integrated turn signals, pneumatic rear head restraints, auto up/down windows, power rear sunshade, active bi-xenon headlamps with washers and cornering lights, electronic parking brake, power-assisted trunk soft closure, two-stage rain-sensing wipers, heated washer system, 12-way adjustable heated front seats with bolster-adjustable head restraints, Smart Key keyless system, garage door opener, continuously variable door-hold system, cruise control, anti-theft alarm with tow-away warning, tire pressure monitoring system, and TeleAid emergency calling system.

The S400 Hybrid is equipped similarly to the S450 4Matic.

The S550 4Matic adds 19-inch alloy wheels.

The S600 adds Active Body Control, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, high-gloss Burl Walnut wood trim, Passion leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, Alcantara roof liner, leather and Burl Walnut steering wheel, Drive-Dynamic multi-contour front seats with massage function, Keyless Go, advanced parking guidance, adaptive cruise control, rearview camera, Night View Assist, blind spot monitoring, Lane Keeping Assist, and unique among the models, standard rear climate control.

The S63 AMG builds on the S550 and adds 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, Active Body Control, Keyless Go, Passion leather upholstery, Alcantara roof liner, and climate-controlled multi-contour front seats.

The S65 AMG builds on the S600 and adds 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, rear multi-contour seats with memory and bolster-adjustable head restraints, and rear sunshades.

Depending on the model, various luxury items can be added, including heated rear seats, electronic trunk closure, panoramic sunroof, AMG sport package, premium rear seat package and active cruise control.

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