GENERATION-change at the pinnacle of automotive engineering: Mercedes-Benz presents the new S-Class. The new luxury saloon will be appearing in the showrooms of company-owned outlets and authorised dealerships as of spring 2006. As in the preceding series, the new S-Class will introduce technical innovations which make the flagship Mercedes model an example for others to follow.

Pioneering safety features and exemplary comfort continue to be the outstanding attributes of the S-Class. The new saloon also sets standards in driving dynamics with its agile handling, while offering even more driving pleasure with new, more powerful engines. The new S-Class is replacing a model series which is the world no. 1 in the luxury class, and of which around 485,000 have been produced since 1998. For more than five decades, the letter 'S' in the model designation of Mercedes cars has signified a special aura, intelligent technology and the highest quality.

The new S-Class not only continues this tradition, but lends a new meaning to it. It is a technological pacemaker with its pioneering innovations for more safety, comfort and practicality, and like its predecessors it will influence the automotive development of the future. The saloon exudes this poise and assurance even at first glance. Its design emphasises the confident, powerful and elegant character of the new S-Class, which makes every journey an experience.

Achieving even more technological highlights was a challenge for the engineers in Stuttgart and Sindelfingen, for the bar was set very high: the previous S-Class, which had been repeatedly voted the 'Best Car in the World' since its presentation in 1998, was a hard act to follow. The progress Mercedes-Benz has made with the new saloon is based on this already high level. A dozen technical innovations are entering series production for the first time on board the new S-Class - from Brake Assist PLUS with radar sensors to seats with an extended massage function, from the night view assist system with the latest infra-red technology to the new COMAND system, and from preventive PRE-SAFE occupant protection with additional functions to Parking Assist.

In the field of vehicle safety, Mercedes-Benz is redoubling its commitment to accident prevention with the introduction of Brake Assist PLUS. This system registers vehicles ahead by radar and gives a warning if the gap is too small or the closing speed is too high.

Mercedes-Benz combines Brake Assist PLUS with the equally unique occupant protection system PRE-SAFE, which offers even more safety functions on board the new S-Class. PRE-SAFE recognises potential accident situations as they arise: if deceleration exceeds a certain level or a skid is imminent, the system tensions the front seat belts as a precaution and inflates air cushions in the multicontour seats to envelop and support the driver, front passenger and rear seat occupants.

Brake Assist PLUS is available in combination with the likewise improved proximity control system DISTRONIC PLUS. This radar-supported system now operates at all speeds between zero and 125 mph and ensures even greater driver comfort. In stop-and-go traffic DISTRONIC PLUS keeps the new S-Class at the right distance from the vehicle ahead, automatically brakes the saloon to a standstill if necessary and accelerates it back to the required speed when the traffic starts moving again. In this way the support system reduces the driver's workload and provides considerable benefits in driver-fitness safety.

The equipment package with Brake Assist PLUS and DISTRONIC PLUS also includes a new Parking Assist system which likewise uses radar sensors. These have a longer range than ultrasonic signals, therefore the driver receives earlier warning of an impending collision when reversing into a parking space.

S-Class, Mercedes-Benz has made a further, major contribution to reducing the risk of accidents during the hours of darkness. This system is based on infra-red light, which is invisible to the human eye and will therefore not dazzle oncoming traffic. Two infra-red headlamps illuminate the road, extending the driver's range of vision to more than 150 metres when on low beam.

The new flagship model by Mercedes-Benz is larger than its predecessor in every respect. There is a choice of two body lengths -- 5076 or 5206 mm - which is 33 and 43 mm, respectively, more than the previous S-Class. The wheelbase has increased by 70/80 mm to 3035 and 3165 mm, respectively. The body is also 16 mm wider and 29 mm higher than before. These new dimensions create the conditions for an interior concept which provides every single passenger with first-class comfort.

Luxurious exotic wood and chrome trim, attractively contoured controls in aluminium and carefully coordinated colours characterise the atmosphere in the interior, producing an immediate feeling of wellbeing. The dashboard with its sophisticated, sweeping lines is yet another masterpiece by Mercedes designers, for whom form and function are ideals which share equal status. Accordingly the cockpit not only conveys a feeling of safety, but is also extraordinarily well laid-out and practical - from the very first moment, man and vehicle enter into a harmonious relationship in the new S-Class.