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Mercedes S600 takes its place as brand's halo sedan

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You're looking at the absolute top-of-the-line model from Mercedes-Benz. Now that there's no longer a Maybach brand, this sedan, which proudly wears the three-pointed star on its massively chromed-out front grille, is left to grab the dollars and cents of wealthy shoppers – customers in North America and Asia in particular, says MB – who'd like to slide in under the radar a bit by eschewing the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce.

Power comes from 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 engine that pounds out 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. That's plenty of horsepower, we'd imagine, for those customers who prefer to ride in the back seat. It also boasts Magic Body Control, which scans the road ahead to provide the smoothest ride possible. While it doesn't exactly drive itself, it can help keep itself in its lane, and it will stop itself at speeds of up 124 miles per hour using Collision Prevention Assist (if you're cruising along at 125, you're in trouble).

Perhaps the most beautiful bits and pieces are inside. The driver benefits from a touchpad that recognizes a slew of languages, voice control and a jet-figher-inspired Head Up Display. Passengers in the back seat get some supremely comfortable-looking reclining seats and a refrigerator that will be great at keeping beverages cold but is also great at drastically reducing trunk space.

Check out the official press release (which is sadly short on details) below, and the live image gallery above.
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World premiere of Mercedes-Benz S600 in Detroit

No other car lives up to the legendary standards of company founder Gottlieb Daimler quite as comprehensively as the top model from Mercedes‑Benz. The S600 with V12 biturbo engine is the top model of the successfully launched S-Class and is available exclusively with a long wheelbase and a luxurious equipment package. Its performance data: 523 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. The S600 will celebrate its world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show and will be launched in the spring of 2014. But the S-Class will also get even better in other ways: The models in the current range will be upgraded with the addition of a head-up display, touchpad and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS.

"The S-Class has always been the embodiment of our claim to deliver the very best in terms of both technology and design", emphasised Ola Källenius, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "And our flagship model, the S600, epitomises the focus of our development work, the 'Essence of Luxury', in a way that no other model can. Our customers in North America and Asia in particular will enjoy this new top model with its exciting V12 engine."

With a power output of 523 hp, the V12 biturbo engine in the S600 packs a bigger punch than its predecessor with 510 hp. The displacement of the engine has increased from 5.5L to 6.0L. The maximum torque of 612 lb-ft is available from 1,900 rpm. The S600 now for the first time features the ECO start/stop function as standard.

The most important features of the engine at a glance:

- All-aluminum crankcase
- One-piece chain drive
- Forged crankshaft in high-grade quenched and tempered steel
- Modified forged pistons
- New engine control unit
- New dedicated ignition coil with twin-spark ignition
- Cam follower
- Two intake and one outlet valves (three-valve technology)
- Hollow-stem outlet valves, filled with sodium
- Low-temperature cooling-water circulation with separate expansion reservoir.

The comprehensive standard specification of the S600 reinforces its role as a flagship model. MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension with ROAD SURFACE SCAN and the Driving Assistance Package, for example, all come as standard. The latter comprises Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering ASsist, PRE-SAFE® Brake with Pedestrian Recognition and PRE-SAFE® PLUS.

Legendary top-of-the-range engine

The figure "600" has long been a legend in the history of the automobile:
the model 600 (W 100) launched in 1963 was the first passenger car from Mercedes-Benz to feature a V8 injection engine. This same powerful (250 hp) and refined engine was also used from 1967 on in the W 109 model series (in the top-of-the-range 300 SEL 6.3). Further top models to feature a V8 engine included the 450 SEL 6.9 from the model series 116 (286 hp) and the 560 SE in the 126 series (300 hp in the ECE version). The 600 SE model in the 140 model series of 1991 marked the introduction of the first twelve-cylinder engine as standard in a Mercedes-Benz passenger car. The M 120 delivered 408 hp from a displacement of 6 liters and began a tradition of V12 units as the top-of-the-range engines in the S-Class. Since the 220 series, Mercedes-Benz has also offered particularly sporty, AMG-optimized variants with V8 and V12 engines at the top of its S‑Class range, in the form of the S63 AMG and S65 AMG.

Additional features in the new S-Class

All the functions of the head unit can be controlled at the touch of a finger, as with a smartphone, from the new touchpad. In addition, the touchpad allows letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting - in any language that is available on the head unit. The touchpad thus offers an additional, full-function input option over and above the existing Voice Control System.

A head-up display is also standard quipment on the S600. As in a jet fighter, it displays important information directly in the driver's field of view on the windshield, ensuring that the driver's attention is distracted less from the road ahead. The system provides information on speed, speed limits and navigation instructions, for example.

COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS is now standard on the model year 2015 S-Class. In addition to the adaptive Brake Assist system, which helps protect against collisions at speeds of over 4 mph, this system now also features another function: if the danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to brake autonomously at speeds of up to 124 mph, thus reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 31 mph, and can prevent rear-end collisions at up to 25 mph.

A clear windshield even at sub-zero temperatures without the hassle of scraping is now possible thanks to electric windshield heating (optional extra). This is designed to work in conjunction with the air-conditioning blower and ensures clear forward visibility in practically no time at all.

Mercedes-Benz Information

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