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Mercedes 2005 S-Class to Keep Rivals Honest

By Motoring Channel Staff - 30/05/2005

2005 Mercedes S-Class (W220)
2005 Mercedes S-Class

2005 Mercedes S-Class (W220)
17-inch alloy wheels and Bi-Xenon headlights
are standard features on the new 2005 S-Class

2005 Mercedes S-Class (W220)
Slight price rises are made up
for with more standard features

Australia's leading luxury car importer, Mercedes-Benz, has further enhanced standard equipment levels in its top-selling flagship S-Class saloon.

With the release of 2005 model-year S-Class, now arriving at Mercedes dealers across the country, rear television/DVD screen, innovative 'Linguatronic' voice-operated control system, Bi-xenon headlamps and remote control for COMAND (entertainment, information and navigation system) have all been added to the already impressive list of standard appointments across the company's flagship model line-up.

A universal handy interface (UHI) mobile phone pre-installation also joins the comprehensive standard equipment list for all S-Class models and a new metallic paint finish, Flint Grey, increases the colour choices for buyers.

Further to these additions, V6 and naturally aspirated V8 variants now come equipped with 17-inch light-alloy wheels (225/55 R 17), replacing the 16-inch light-alloy wheels previously standard on these models.

"The S-Class is a car for the truly influential," said Horst von Sanden, managing director of the Mercedes Australia, "but in terms of passenger-car safety advances, it has done more to influence the entire automotive industry than almost any other car."

"The new model-year 2005 S-Class provides buyers in the top-end luxury market with further reason to visit their nearest Mercedes dealer," said von Sanden.

The model-year enhancements add up to $10,000 worth of additional value in some cases, even after moderate price increases, reflecting recent reductions in tariffs on imported vehicles.

To contribute to the extensive product improvements for model-year 2005 vehicles, prices have risen by $2,000 for V6 models and $3,000 for the remainder of the range, except the S 65 AMG, which remains unchanged.

Mercedes currently dominates the market for luxury cars in Australia (vehicles priced above the luxury-tax threshold of $57,009) with a market share of 35.4 per cent, according to VFACTS, and is well above German rivals BMW (25.6 per cent) and Audi (11.5 per cent) – and the S-Class is no exception.

So far this year the company's flagship saloon, often described as the best car in the world, has outsold its nearest competitor two-to-one. Worldwide the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been the number one selling vehicle in the upper-luxury segment ever year since its market launch in 1965.

In terms of passenger-car safety development, the S-Class plays an outstanding role as a trendsetter for the entire auto industry. Its pioneering advances in the area of passive safety include the ABS anti-lock braking system, which made its debut in the S-Class in 1978. In 1981, airbags and belt tensioners were offered in this production series for the first time. Groundbreaking concepts for dynamic handling such as ASR, ESP and 'Airmatic' followed.

The latest 220 series S-Class includes more than 30 new developments, for which a total of 340 patents have been registered. The PRE-SAFE occupant protection system in particular, which recognises potential accidents in advance and can activate preventive protection measures, heralds a new era of vehicle safety. The entire spectrum of unique features of the S-Class has been honoured with numerous national and international awards.

'Linguatronic' is one of the most efficient assistance systems used in today’s vehicles. It allows voice-activated control of the telephone, audio systems and navigation system. This means that when using this system the driver does not need to take his hands off the steering wheel or his eyes off the traffic.

The addition of this high-tech assistance system increases safety and convenience for the S-Class driver. For a number of driving tasks and other control tasks, Mercedes engineers have developed intelligent assistance systems designed to significantly reduce strain on the driver. The majority of such innovations were pioneered in Mercedes-Benz vehicles – further proof of the trend-setting role of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.

Today, Bi-xenon is a synonym for the best and most powerful headlamp technology available. Bi-xenon means that the high-output gas discharge lamps provide both low and main beam light. In 1999 Mercedes-Benz became the first car brand to offer Bi-xenon headlamps. These high-tech headlamps are now standard on all S-Class models.

One xenon lamp is required for each light function: whilst the full light beam is released for main beam illumination, a slide is inserted between the lamp and the lens system when the headlamps are switched to low beam, blocking out part of the light beam. The Bi-xenon technology really comes into its own on main beam, when it can demonstrate its outstanding brightness and range, and particularly homogeneous road illumination.


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