2001 S-Class New Car Test Drive
Mercedes-Benz has completely redesigned its top-of-the-line S-Class sedans for 2000. The S430 is powered by a 4.3-liter V8, while the S500 uses a 5.0-liter V8. The two S-Class models sport a striking coupe-like profile and a unique face reminiscent of the company's oval-headlight models.
They aren't as long overall as the previous generation of S-Class cars, but they are roomier, faster, lighter, more efficient and far more sophisticated.
The S-Class earned the 'Best of Show' award at the most recent Paris Motor Show. Mercedes cars are vastly improved from where they were nearly a decade ago: When the last-generation S-Class debuted, it became an object of derision. It was a masterpiece of engineering, but it became a symbol of an era that had come and gone. It was too heavy, ostentatious and expensive and it guzzled gas.
The shortcomings of the S-Class made it clear the automaker needed to break with its smug tradition. It was time to listen to the customer and watch the competition--particularly a newcomer called Lexus.
This newly redesigned 2000 Mercedes-Benz S500 is proof that Mercedes has seen the light, a symbol of a turnaround. It debuted in Europe last fall and is now making its appearance at U.S. dealerships -- 18 months ahead of the company's original schedule.