2007 Mercedes-Benz S Class Page 1

2006 Mercedes-Benz R350/R500 by Marty Padgett (8/1/2005)
Let's hope it's not the final ride.

Mercedes-Benz Vows Turnaround by Joseph Szczesny (3/7/2005)
Smart profits and Benz models will come back, Cordes assures.



Life’s tough even at the top rung of the ladder. The Donald takes potshots for his hair, Martha has to put on an ankle bracelet that clashes with her peasant skirts, and even most favored Canadian Pam Anderson gets her life choices questioned by Courtney Love — Courtney Love — on what’s supposed to be her big night out.

In our celeb-addled mind, Mercedes-Benz is suffering the same slings and arrows. Quality’s a bit of a thorn in Stuttgart’s side right now, and the whole issue of who’s leading the brand into the future has been put on hold. But that doesn’t and can’t stop the procession of new cars. And this year at the Frankfurt Show, arguably the most important car to the Mercedes franchise is all new and on display — the S-Class.


Like the other stars in its luxosedan galaxy, the S-Class has waxed and waned through yet another life cycle. New in 1998, it now fends off updated versions of the Jaguar XJ and BMW 7er, both of which have tooled around the block seeking to take the S’s reserved parking spot in owners’ garages. The S-Class also is being squeezed from above by four-doors as disparate as Bentley’s Flying Spur and Benz’ own Maybach twins, the 57 and the 62.


What’s an icon to do to reinvent itself? More style and more gear is a surefire solution. This time around, the S-Class adopts some of the styling intentions of the Maybachs and ladles on more safety technology. Those new versions of Pre-Safe, Distronic, and Brake Assist ensure that Benz retains the image of building the safest cars in the segment, while the radicalized shape ensures that BMW won’t be the only artsy German car on certain shopping lists.