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The first clue to the extensive technology incorporated into Mercedes’ flagship was the unusual pre-launch press kit with a note attached that advised one to "view the video before you come to the press introduction." Ahem.
Clue No. 2 was the 300-plus-page owner’s manual, 200-plus-page COMAND system instruction book, various supplements, a professionally produced video, and an 84-track instructional audio CD, all tucked into the glove box. The S-Class demands enough books and manuals to make small town libraries envious. What, no Cliffs Notes?
In the end, the extensive research before driving the S-Class may be worth the trouble. With classic styling, the newest technology, and unprecedented safety features, the new S-Class is a class apart from other luxury sedans.
The American S-Class
Based on customer demand and expectations, only long-wheelbase models will be offered in the United States. The S430 with a 275-horsepower 4.3-liter V-8 will sell for $69,700, while the 302-horsepower S500 with a 5.0-liter engine retails for $77,850. A new generation V-12 is expected to arrive for the 2001 model-year.
In an attempt to make luxury-car buying less stressful and more enjoyable — and to ensure consistent per-vehicle profits for retailers — Mercedes is encouraging non-negotiable pricing for this model. Whether you like it or not, it may become reality for all future Benzes.
2000 Mercedes-Benz S-Class rearNo matter which version, the new
S-Class teems with mechanical virtue. The sleek design, slightly shorter and
narrower than the previous version, offers more leg and head room for the
occupants. The use of aluminum, magnesium and other lightweight materials lets
the new model weigh in at 500 pounds lighter than its predecessor while still
improving upon safety and spaciousness. Both versions come with a "sportshift"
transmission: A clutchless, Tiptronic-style automatic transmission option allows
the driver to upshift or downshift with a slight movement of the wrist — a must
for those who feel a manual transmission is a necessity.
2000 Mercedes-Benz S-Class rear