NEW FOR 2012:

– S450 4MATIC replaced with S550 MATIC short-wheelbase model
– New diesel-powered S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC
– Enhanced seven-speed automatic transmission on S550 and S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC
– S600 adds standard Bang & Olufsen Performance Sound System
– Passion Leather Upgrade available on S400, S550 4MATIC and S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC; includes Artico dash and door trim on long-wheelbase models
– AMG Sport Package on S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, S400 Hybrid and S550 4MATIC adds new 19-inch AMG five-triple-spoke alloy wheels
– Rear seat entertainment package on S400 Hybrid and S550 4MATIC long-wheelbase discontinued
– New available Premium Rear Seating Package (climate comfort electric rear seats, luxury rear headrests and rear-seat entertainment system) and Premium Leather Package for S400 Hybrid, S550 4MATIC and S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC
– S63 AMG adds available Premium Rear Seating Package; Premium Package adds Distronic Plus, active blind spot assist, active lane keeping assist and Night View Assist
– Exterior colours: Andorite Grey and Cavansite Blue added; Tanzanite Blue and Flint Grey discontinued

For 2012, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan has major changes to its lineup. The previous S450, powered by a 4.6-litre V8, is replaced by the S550 with bi-turbo 4.6-litre V8, while an all-new S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC becomes the only diesel in the segment. The 7G-TRONIC Plus transmission receives a new torsional vibration damper and revisions to the converter slip for faster shifting, lower noise levels, improved fuel economy and longer transmission oil change interval. There are also changes to the available option packages.

The S-Class sedan comes in seven variants. All are long-wheelbase except for the S550 4MATIC, which comes in short- and long-wheelbase.

The S400 Hybrid uses a 3.5-litre V6 with mild hybrid system; the S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC uses a 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6; the S550 4MATIC models use a 4.6-litre bi-turbo V8; the S600 uses a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V12; the S63 AMG uses a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8; and the S65 AMG uses a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12. All use a seven-speed automatic except for the S600 and S65 AMG, which use a five-speed automatic.

The 4MATIC versions use an all-wheel drive system with 45/55 front-to-rear torque bias. Each model has suspension, steering, brakes and stability control program specific to it.

Features on the S550 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 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 and S350 BlueTEC are equipped similarly to the S450 4Matic.

The S550 4MATIC long-wheelbase model 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, premium Bang & Olufsen stereo system, 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 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.

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