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Discussion Starter #1
I was at the dealer yesterday and the salesman told me the redesign S Class will hit U.S. Shores by the end of next year (around this time next year). This seems alittle too early for U.S. Is this true? I would think in Europe it would be end of next year and U.S. possibly in the Spring of 2005. Any solid leads?
 

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Well, something is happening in MY2005.

The question is exactly what? [?]

Is MY2005 going to be a less extensive facelift of the W220, or is it going to be a full blown redesign and introduction as the W221? I know this might be hard to believe, but the salesperson in question might not know the difference. [:0]

Since the W220 has only been out for 4 model years, it would seem unlikely that Daimler-Chrysler would pursue a redesign especially since MY2003 was the first year they offered both 4-matic and rear wheel drive?

But who knows, I don't think anyone can predict what DC will do anymore, and MBUSA always seems to be the last one to know. [8]
 

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After ordering a '04 E500 ysterday, we were thinking of trading in our '02 S500 for a '04 ...

After ordering a '04 E500 yesterday, we were thinking of trading in our '02 S500 for a '04 S600. If the redesigned S Class will be out end of next year, we might just hold off until then and start looking for a Porsche 911 GT2.
 

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It won't be that early...

I was at the dealer yesterday and the salesman told me the redesign S Class will hit U.S. Shores by the end of next year (around this time next year). This seems alittle too early for U.S. Is this true? I would think in Europe it would be end of next year and U.S. possibly in the Spring of 2005. Any solid leads?
Indications are that it will be out in the fall of 2005 as a 2006 model. MB just freshened the S-class for 2003 and judging from past experience, the freshened models are produced for at least 2-3 years.

Generally speaking, Europe gets the new models in spring/March while we get them in the fall of that same calendar year.
 

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Re: It won't be that early...

Yes. The W221 will probably be introduced at the Frankfurt show, the IAA in September 2005. That's my guess, since the Grand Sport Wagon and the new M will probably be introduced in January 2005 at the Detroit international auto show.







Autobild, AutoZeitung scans by Sebastian Nast.
 

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Those artist renditions look great!...

Yes. The W221 will probably be introduced at the Frankfurt show, the IAA in September 2005. That's my guess, since the Grand Sport Wagon and the new M will probably be introduced in January 2005 at the Detroit international auto show.
If the actual vehicle looks close to that, I'll be very impressed indeed. Looks aggressive, but yet has the presence that the W140 had.
 

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Re: Those artist renditions look great!...

Yes, good presence. The W140 was a bit too "mighty" for a small country like Germany, more suitable for the US/Kanada with wide open space/higways/driveways and large garages.

Those are two different artists renditions. Autobild on top is usually closer, as you can probably tell, than the two renditions from AutoZeitung on the bottom.

Here are the engines, but the trade journalists didn't get it quite right according to some AMG engine experts. Most likely it will start with the M112 and M113 series and be substitued as the new M272 and M273 four valve engines become available.

W/V221 engines (caution - this is speculation only)

S300 (3.0 V6 24V 235hp)
S350 (3.5 V6 24V 260hp)
S450 (4.6 V8 32V 300hp)
S550 (5.5 V8 32V 400hp)
S600 (5.5 V12 BiTurbo 500hp)

S60 AMG (6.0 V8 Kompressor 550hp)
S65 AMG (6.0 V12 BiTurbo 612hp)

S350 CDI (3.5 V6 CDI 235hp)
S400 CDI (4.0 V8 CDI 275hp)

S50 CDI AMG (5.0 V8 CDI 330hp)
 

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Mercedes-Benz cars last 7 years after they are first introduced. THe W220 S-Class was intr...

Mercedes-Benz cars last 7 years after they are first introduced. THe W220 S-Class was introduced in Europe in the fall of 98 and here in the US in the spring of 99. Counting from that date, we should see the W221 in fall 05 in Europe and spring 06 here in the U.S. I heard from some other news source that MB is shortening its model production from 7 years to 6 years, starting first with the C-Class. It used to be 10 years back then!
 

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Die Neue S-klasse

If you ask me, I seriously hope the w221 doesn't turn out like that. I don't really think the S-class has looked great since the w126 ( I know many will disagree). It's a little too soft looking for me. The back end is horrible, it reminds me of an Opel. It just doesn't look solid too me like the w126 and w140 did. It needs long straight horizontal lines instead of the wedge look. It sort of reminds me of, dare I say it, a BMW 7 series. So it looks like it will be out in 2005, and yes Mercedes isn't producing the same models for as long as they did in the past. The R107 was produced for 17 years! The W126 lasted about 12. They were so refined, and perfect. Yet w220 will last only 7 years. The reason to me seems that the w140, w220 and others have been problem cars ( in a way ) and Mercedes wants to replace them as soon as possible. Of course, the actual cars will turn out differently than shown. Just look at how the w140 could have turned out.

 

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Re: Die Neue S-klasse

The back end is horrible..
I like the W220 tailights quite a bit, particular the slant forward on the side, at the bottom, which is shared with the R170 and W163. Too bad the W221 seems to drop it.

It needs long straight horizontal lines instead of the wedge look.
The W126 had the wedge look already, compared to the W116, which was much flatter at the rear. Here's a picture from my W126 (EURO 500SEL with full hydro, so the rear wont sag like in a lot of older W126), where one can see the wedge quite well.



Here's a 1973 450SE to compare to, with much less wedge. The tank flap is so low, that it spills fuel when cornering hard when full, so I just fill it half at times.. [:)]

 

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The W126 is the best of all S-Class designs and is basically a carry over from the W116 de...

The W126 is the best of all S-Class designs and is basically a carry over from the W116 design. Both models look very similar. The W140 looks great from some viewpoints, but can look very ugly at times. If you compare the W140 and the W220, you can see that their overall shape is quite similar, disregarding the size and front/rear lights, of course. What I hate about driving the W220 is that most of my friends think I have a $30K C-Class.
 

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Re: The W126 is the best of all S-Class designs and is basically a carry over from the W116 de

The W140 looks great from some viewpoints, but can look very ugly at times.
It looks a bit bulky/larger maybe because they left out the chassis line on the sidepanels, the Sickte, which makes the predecessors appear sleeker. This line was dropped very late in the development, and is unfortunate in my opinion.

What I hate about driving the W220 is that most of my friends think I have a $30K C-Class.
Often folks driving S-Classes prefer understatement, and are not too fond to show off loudly, at least in Europe. For them the W220 is attractive. It's more like "refined elegance" or some such. The S and C do have similarities, but a connaisseur can tell them apart.



 

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S-class design

I'll admit I find the S600 that you have posted to be quite beautiful. But the thing is, is that it doesn't really look like a Mercedes. And yes the w126 is sort of a wedge design, but it doesn't really stand out. Partly because the rear end often does sag. However it had that moulding that was a long straight horizontal line, that made it look so solid. It also looks a little more precise if it is perfectley level. With that W220 picture you have posted you can see how that small trim starts lower on the driver's door and is higher on the rear passenger's door. Notice how it doesn't connect to the front wheel well, but it does to the rear one? It needs some consistency. Plus the recent models seem to be laking chrome trim around the windows. Even the streamlined w140 with it's flat sides still had chrome. But I will agree, the S-class still remains an understated car, it just needs to have the same prestige that the w126 and w116 had.
 

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Re: S-class design

It also looks a little more precise if it is perfectley level.
Yes, I agree, it does look more precise. A designer who attended the initial introduction and was awed, told me that it looked to him like a perfectly engineered German steel billet. I believe that's due to the Sickte, running along the side, one more pronounced slightly under the doorhandles, and one less pronounced above the handles. They show well in most lighting conditions.



In the W140 they had reversed them, the one on top was much more pronounced, similar to the W116, as can be seen in this (rare) pre production pic:



But it was dropped, and this round slab side resulted. I have not yet gotten a good answer why it was dropped. Today, they say the design is supposed to remind you of the body of a well trained athlete.

 

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Here is anther shot of a completed model undergoing a focus group test...



Going up against the Lexus LS430....

 

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W140 Design

The w140 looks pretty precise as well. It was done by the same designer I believe, Bruno Sacco. It is odd though they removed that sickte (I haven't found the exact translation for that :( ). In that crash test picture you posted, you can see however that it looks a little akward being so close to the doorhandles. Am I right to assume that the purpose of this line is to prevent dirt from flying on to the windows? The w116 had a very pronounce chrome strip that was to do the same thing I believe. I still find the w140 to be a little fat looking, and kind of ugly from some angles.

What I dislike about the current and upcoming S-class is that it looks too youthful. A Mercedes can look modern without looking really young. The current Mercedes just doesn't look much like a Mercedes. Didn't Bruno Sacco say "Ein Mercedes muss immer wie ein Mercedes aussehen"? ( A mercedes must always look like a Mercedes ). The w220 seems to ignore Mercedes tradition. They've even moved the window buttons from the centre console to the doors. That's just wrong!

This is a spy photo I found on autobild.de The interior looks so much like the BMW 7 series it's scary



It seems they are changing their traditional dash layout. And where has the gear selector gone?
 

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Re: W140 Design

And where has the gear selector gone?
It has gone to where it was in the 1966 to 1980 600 limo, the W100, that means to the steering wheel, to make room on the center console.


Lenkradschaltung 600 limo

Bruno Sacco is indeed the proud father of the W140. Not only does he say a Mercedes should always be a Mercedes, but he also says: "It takes courage and imagination to set new design trends - to create the trends oneself rather than following the flow!" Bruno Sacco is a radical at heart, some folks may not realize this, and he says design must move forward, to keep it alive, to enrichen it, to build tension, keep the eyes returning, to enhance its desirablity.

One funtion of the Sickte is to integrate the front fender with the sides and the rear. It reappeared on some models, e.g. the W163, with one line centered on the door handles, instead of two, one above and one below and - even wraps around onto the rear hatch!
 

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Maybe being understated is what the makes the S-Class special and this is unique only to M...

Maybe being understated is what the makes the S-Class special and this is unique only to Mercedes. The R129 SL has a rounded body without the "sickte" but it still looks great.
Mercedes design is not as conservative as it used to be. I fear the new W221 will be some radical design like the BMW 7 Series. I prefer a conservative, elegant look over a youthful, sporty look.
Regardless of design, the S-Class is the one of the best cars in the world!
 

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Re: Maybe being understated is what the makes the S-Class special and this is unique only to M

I fear the new W221 will be some radical design like the BMW 7 Series. I prefer a conservative, elegant look over a youthful, sporty look. Regardless of design, the S-Class is the one of the best cars in the world!
A MB designer said about the new 7 series: "Sportiness and elegance are gone." Seems they are well aware of the issues, and one can thus reasonably expect the W221 to be better. I would like to think there's more emphasis on sportiness with the C and E-Class, and more emphasis on elegance with the S-Class. I agree, S-Class cars are great!
 
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