I agree with you Warren on most of what you say. True,....my older MBZs did not relay on the electronics nearly as much as this one does. However,.....there used to be the time when 'S" class was just that "S" class (as in "special"),.....no "entry level/base model S class"! "S" was "S" and that's it,....everything else was PALE by comparison (and not labeled "S").
It's also true that from 2004 W220 is a MUCH better automobile,.....but why? Why our (and I say "our" because I am German) famed engineers didn't do their R&D PRIOR to releasing the model? I say,....on purpose. "Let the public (and up to that point trusting customer base!!) do our R&D, we'll save a ton of money, screw the customers, and tweak the model as we go!" "Bright" idea, huh? Why not spend the money on R&D, release a "bullet proof" model (like "S" class used to be!!), charge a little more, and sell WAY more units to trusting and satisfied clients!?
The new generation on the helm of the company is a TYPICAL product of the times this generation is coming from,.....times of "I want it now, screw the future", and INSTANT GRATIFICATION ("let's load up our credit cards, and we'll think about how to pay it back later" ...or "I can't be out of money,....I still have checks in my checkbook!")! "Lets dump underdeveloped model on the market, get the money right away, and tweak later if we have to." I still say this was (IS) a flawed marketing strategy, and it WILL (I think already IS!!) bite the MBZ in the ass.
When I saw the "Airmatic compressor" up close and personal for the first time, I could not believe that this was concieved in Germany! Shame.
Over and out!