History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (2023)

The Mercedes Benz S-Class is the symbol of luxury and safety. S-Class models were always ahead of their time, equipped with innovative features. As the flagship Mercedes-Benz vehicle, S-class is credited with the introduction of many new features on the company’s behalf. In 1972, these luxury sedans were officially named ‘S-Class’ that stands for “Sonderklasse” which means ‘Special Class’ in German.

In this guide, we will take a look at the history of the Mercedes Benz S-class to see how much these vehicles have evolved over the years.

Mercedes Benz S-Class History

Mercedes Benz S-Class features full-size luxury vehicles that include sedans, limousines and even armoured sedans. It is hailed as the epitome of luxury and has managed to maintain that reputation despite the rising number of competitors in this category. Since it boasts top-of-the-class vehicles, it is always ahead in terms of technology and innovation as well.

When speaking of its history, it is worth mentioning predecessor models that helped create its identity.

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Predecessor Models

The model series was officially named S-Class in 1972, but other models were being built before that. Here we have enlisted all the models that were part of the series before it was officially named.

Mercedes Simplex 60 PS (1903-1905)

It was the first car to be manufactured under the banner of Mercedes. The red and black cabin symbolizes the class and elegance of that time. The marketing slogan ‘Whoever bought this car could look forward to performance and luxury’ explains its level of luxury.

Mercedes-Benz Nurburg W 08 (1930-1938)

This eight-cylinder engine car was the brand’s first passenger car. The engine can produce 59 kW at an RPM of 3,400. It was named after a famous racing track, Nurburgring. The combination of luxurious outlook and sporty performance was applauded by all.

History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (1)

Mercedes-Benz 320 (W 142) (1937-1942)

It was the modern touring car in the luxury class. It was used as a Pullman limousine and motorway courier. The generation represents the diversity in mobility culture and luxury. Its most spacious version was a seven-seater limousine. This is the generation that took aerodynamics to a new level.

Mercedes-Benz 220 (W 187) (1951-1954)

It was the six-cylinder generation that introduced ultra-modern safety features. It was equipped with conical-pin safety locks that secure passengers from bursting out in case of an accident. It was the biggest source of injury in accidents at that time.

Mercedes-Benz 220 S/220 SE (1954-1959)

This six-cylinder generation was famous for its body type. The unique combination of modernism and luxury was also called ‘Pooton’. The hydraulic clutch system ‘Hydrak’ was first introduced in this generation.

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Mercedes-Benz 220-300 SE Long (1959-1965)

This generation was the pioneer of automotive safety. It was nicknamed ‘fintail’ because of its design. A safety body was installed in these models. The body provides rigid passenger cells to save travellers in case of collision. Moreover, it has crumple zones at the front and rear end to absorb the energy created during a collision. This feature becomes the industry’s standard.

Mercedes-Benz 250 S- 300 SEL (1965-1972)

This generation was known for the smooth and safe journey experience it provides. The elegantly designed vehicle with large windows was supported by steel suspension. The new car suspension levels the road and reduces road impact inside the car. To make the journey smoother the wheelbase was designed 10 cm longer than suspension.

History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (2)

Mercedes Benz S-Class Model Series

After setting new standards in the automobile world, the S-class got it official name, Mercedes Benz S-Class. The S-class history officially starts from here.

W 116 Model Series (1972-1980)

This new luxurious series was known for its modern safety features. Its side windows, headlamps, signal lamps and ripped rear lamps were coated with dirt-resistant layerings. Moreover, this generation was equipped with an Anti-lock braking system that was the most unique feature in this series.

History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (3)

W 126 Model Series (1979-1991)

This generation is known for its safety features and efficiency. It contains a V8 light alloy engine which makes cars lightweight supported by the aerodynamic shape. To increase the overall safety features in this generation, traditional chrome bumpers were replaced with deformable plastic bumpers. Moreover, airbags and elastic seat belts were introduced for the first time.

W 140 Model Series (1991-1998)

The generation focused on catering the changing needs of its patrons. These cars were the first from the brand to contain a twelve-cylinder engine. The side windows were double-glazed and filled with dehumidified air to reduce noise and fogging. Moreover, to enhance its luxurious level, the 1995 model was equipped with the AutoPilot System. This satellite navigation system is one of the best from that decade.

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History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (4)

W 220 Model Series (1998-2005)

This series was the true representation of luxury on wheels. Notable features include an automatic climate system, dynamic navigation system, electronically regulated air suspension and preventive occupation system. Along with this, to enhance safety, it contains DISTRONIC proximity control and cruise control.

History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (5)

W 221 Model Series (2005-2013)

The Mercedes Benz S-Class 221 model series was the first generation to receive an environmental certificate. These cars were prepared from renewable and recycled material which makes it more eco-friendly. It also has Night View Assist, DISTRONIC plus, Brake Assist Plus and autonomous partial braking. The 2009 model was equipped with autonomous maximum full-stop braking.

History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (6)

W 222 Model Series (2013-2020)

Efficiency and intelligent drive are the two main features that define this generation. The intelligent driving system combines all the driver assistance systems and network safety together. Furthermore, the partially autonomous driving feature was also offered to enhance the user experience. The Mercedes Benz S 560 e hybrid model, was also a part of this series. It was launched in 2018, boasting an electric range of 50 km. Together lithium-ion battery and petrol can produce 350 kW.

History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (7)

Mercedes Benz S-Class Coupe C217

The Mercedes Benz S-Class coupe is in a league of its own. The 2+2 interior is decorated with Swarovski crystals, a digital instrument cluster, an infotainment screen and an electrochromic tintable roof. Other defining features include sculptured side profile, frameless windows, AMG style grille and 6 cylinders. The car contains all the necessary features and is fast enough to speed 0 to 100 KPH in 5.6s.

Mercedes Benz S-Class Cabriolet A217

The Cabriolet A217 is given a sporty look with convertible rooftops and a diamond radiator grille. The car is equipped with the latest OLED technology, chrome-plated finish, a large LED display, and a three-spoke steering wheel. Moreover, the buyer can select the interiors from ten colour themes. It can speed up to 0 to 100 KPH within 4.6s.

W 223 Model Series (2020)

The latest series of Mercedes Benz was launched in September 2020, with the highest standard of innovation and engineering. It is hailed as a car redefining luxury standards with features like a computerised robot that behaves like a human. The robot has a sense of hearing, feeling, seeing, smelling and can also respond to the feelings of passengers or drivers.

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History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (8)


The Mercedes-Maybach models are manufactured on the S-Class line. But these cars are far more luxurious and expensive than the S-Class models. The Maybach four-door sedan was launched in 2014 with the company’s rich heritage and the flagship of the S-Class. The car’s interior is covered with exclusive leather with a wide colour range to select from. Moreover, it also contains a 4MATIC all-wheel drive, electronic stability program, dynamic curve assist and acceleration skid control.

History of Mercedes Benz S-Class: Predecessors, Future & More | dubizzle (9)

Mercedes-Maybach Pullman

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Pullman is an ultra-luxurious addition to the Maybach series. It is the longest Mercedes-Benz in the market with 39.6 inches extended wheelbase. The interior is covered with high-quality leather and thematic lights. The rare seats provide massage and button adjustment features. Moreover, a fridge, hot and cold cup holder, privacy curtains and LCD are some of the other features that make the ride truly enjoyable for all.

To speed up this jet on wheels, a bi-turbo engine is installed with a 7-speed automatic transmission. The Pullman Guard is a blast and bulletproof version, specially prepared for celebrities, famous people and government officials.

Future of S-Class

Mercedes Benz S-Class series pledge to continue the legacy of luxury and comfort on wheels. They are embedding all the future car technologies that one can imagine. The latest hybrid engine model S 580 e is available for booking. This hybrid car consumes 1.5-1.1 L/ 100km of fuel which is the most efficient to date. The S 680 Guard is also soon to be launched in the market. The car has passed the highest ballistic test level (civilian car) and is also resistant to explosive charges. This beast is powered by a V 12 engine that produces 460 kW/ 612 hp.

This was all about the history of different S-Class models that literally are luxury on wheels. All the generations of S-Class own credit for setting new automobile standards. According to dubizzle Annual Used Cars Market report, Benz S-Class 2018 is one of the most popular cars. If you wish to enjoy the S-class experience, browse through these used Mercedes S-Class for sale in the UAE:

  • Buy Second-hand Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2021 for sale in the UAE
  • Buy used Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2018 for sale in the UAE
  • Buy Second-hand Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2016 for sale in the UAE

Stay tuned to UAE’s best car blog to learn more about history of popular cars.

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How many generations of S-Class are there? ›

In automotive terms, Sonderklasse refers to "a specially outfitted car." Although used colloquially for decades, following its official application in 1972, six generations of officially named S-Klasse sedans have been produced.

What does Mercedes S-Class stand for? ›

The S stands for Sonderklasse or “special class.” This is befitting of the GLS personality. It offers the best accommodations and performance for up to seven very special people.

Why is the S-Class so special? ›

The S-Class' ability to manipulate its rear wheels brings precision steering to this veritable limousine worthy of a much smaller, sportier car. At lower speeds, the rear wheels can turn 10 degrees in the opposite direction for maneuvering through cramped spaces or taking tight turns.

Why is the S-Class called the S-Class? ›

The “S” in S-Class stands for “special.” In German, the S-Klasse was previously known as Sonderklasse, which is German for “special class.”

What are different S-Class models? ›

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Generation List:
  • 2021 - Now W223 (7th Gen)
  • 2018 - 2020 W222 (6th Gen) Facelift.
  • 2014 - 2017 W222 (6th Gen)
  • 2010 - 2013 W221 (5th Gen) Facelift.
  • 2007 - 2009 W221 (5th Gen)
  • 2003 - 2006 W220 (4th Gen) Facelift.
  • 2000 - 2002 W220 (4th Gen)
  • 1995 - 1999 W140 (3rd Gen) Facelift.

Which generation of S-Class is most reliable? ›

1/10 5th Generation, W221 Facelift

According to Milla Henson of Motor Biscuit, the 2009 version is even one of the most reliable of the S-Class models.

Why is S-Class the best? ›

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class claims the top spot in the super luxury car class, thanks in part to its mix of interior quality, seating space and comfort, poised driving dynamics, and cutting-edge tech and safety features.

Where is the S-Class built? ›

In what is a huge vote of confidence in India's manufacturing capabilities, the S-Class, Merc's luxury flagship, often considered the best car in the world, gets a dedicated assembly line in Mercedes-Benz India's manufacturing plant in Chakan, Maharashtra.

What is the top speed of S-Class? ›

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W222) [2018-2022] top speed is 250 Kmph.

Is S-Class A luxury car? ›

Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a 5 seater Luxury available in a price range of Rs. 1.60 - 1.69 Cr*. It is available in 2 variants, 2 engine options that are BS6 compliant and a single Automatic transmission. Other key specifications of the S-Class include a kerb weight of and boot space of Liters.

Is the S-Class bulletproof? ›

Sedan - Mercedes-Benz S-Class US Spec

Typically armored to Level A9/B6+, this bulletproof Mercedes is protected against 7.62mm lead core, 5.56x45 and M80 ball rounds, as well as 2 DM51 hand grenades. This armored Mercedes will ensure that you stay safe in potentially life-threatening situations.

What is the difference is S-Class in Mercedes? ›

The main one is that the E-Class is a mid-size sedan, while the S-Class is a full-size sedan. That means the S-Class has a longer cabin and boot, offering plenty of space for cargo and legroom. To put this into perspective, the S-Class provides 14-cubic feet of trunk space and 43.8-inches of rear-seat legroom.

Is the S-Class a safe car? ›

The S-Class is laden with safety tech, and should be bullet-proof mechanically. As ever, the Mercedes S-Class is loaded with the most advanced safety features, and we'd be amazed if it came out of the Euro NCAP independent crash testing with anything less than excellent scores.

Which is better S or E-class? ›

The E-class has more legroom in the front and rear seats for example. The S-Class does have the advantage in some areas, however, offering a very significant 2-inches more headroom in the front two seats, and cargo space that greatly surpasses that of the E-Class.

How comfortable is an S-Class? ›

Driving Comfort and Technology in the New S-Class - YouTube

Which is the top model of S-Class? ›

Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 450 4MATIC is the top model or the costliest variant from Mercedes-Benz. It is priced at ₹ 1.92 crore in Delhi. It comes with 2999 cc Petrol engine and 9-speed gear Automatic (TC) transmission.

What generation is the S550? ›

The sixth generation Ford Mustang (S550) is the current iteration of the Mustang pony car manufactured by Ford.

How long is S generation? ›

It can also be described as, "the average period, generally considered to be about 20–⁠30 years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children." In kinship terminology, it is a structural term designating the parent-child relationship.


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