NEW FOR 2011:

– S63 AMG receives new 5.5-litre direct-injection bi-turbo engine, start-stop function, and standard 20-inch AMG wheels; available S63 AMG Performance Package added
– Standard Keyless Go and electronic trunk closure on all models
– Panoramic sunroof added to Premium Packages on the S400 Hybrid and S550 4MATIC; AMG Sport Package on these models includes a new 20-inch AMG wheel option
– Available Bang & Olufsen Performance Surround Sound System
– Optional Advanced Driving Assistance Package standard on V12 models, optional on others; passive driving assistance systems available for the S400 Hybrid
– Exterior colours: Magnetite Black added; Chromite Black and Sanidine Beige discontinued

For 2011, the big news in the S-Class is a revised S63 AMG model, which uses a more powerful 5.5-litre direct-injection bi-turbo engine, replacing the previous 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine. The new model also includes Mercedes-Benz’s first Canadian use of a start-stop system on a non-hybrid vehicle, which automatically shuts off the engine at idle, such as at a red light.

A new S63 AMG Performance Package deletes the electronic speed limiter, and adds 20-inch AMG five-twin-spoke forged wheels, interior carbon fibre trim, and adds 27 additional horsepower, to 563, and 74 additional lb-ft of torque, to 664 lb-ft.

All models receive standard Keyless Go and an electric trunk closure, while other models receive various new standard or optional trim items. The new Advanced Driving Assistance Package adds two features new to Mercedes-Benz: Active Blind Spot Monitoring and Active Lane Keeping Assist, which uses selective braking to help guide the car back on course should the driver drift out of the lane or come too close to another vehicle alongside.

The S-Class, the largest Mercedes sedan, comes in six variants; all but the S450 4MATIC are long-wheelbase. The S400 Hybrid uses a 3.5-litre V6 with mild hybrid system and seven-speed automatic; the 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 twin-turbo 5.5-litre V12 with five-speed automatic; the S63 AMG uses a twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 with seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic; and the S65 AMG uses a twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 with five-speed AMG Speedshift automatic. The 4MATIC versions use an all-wheel drive system with 45/55 front-to-rear torque bias, while all others are rear-wheel drive. 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 rear-view 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 trunk closure, two-stage rain-sensing wipers, heated washer system, 12-way adjustable heated front seats with bolster-adjustable head restraints, Keyless Go, 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, 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, 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.

Connect with Autos.ca