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by Tim Beissmann

The Mercedes-Benz S600 will introduce a host of new safety and convenience technologies to the limousine range when it launches internationally in March.

Officially unveiled at the Detroit auto show, the V12-powered S600 will sit at the top of the regular Mercedes-Benz S-Class line-up and just below the sports-themed S63 and S65 AMG models.

From March production, the S-Class will gain an advanced version of its crash avoidance technology dubbed Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which can automatically apply the brakes at speeds between 7km/h and 200km/h if danger of a collision is present and the driver fails to react to warnings, 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 50km/h, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions entirely at up to 40km/h.

Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse (W 222) 2013

Three extra features are available optionally in the S600: a touchpad, incorporating handwriting recognition technology, allowing for operation of the car’s infotainment system; a head-up display, projecting speed, speed limit and navigation instructions on the windscreen; and electric windscreen heating, designed for sub-zero climates.

As revealed in a leaked specification document late last week, the Mercedes-Benz S600 produces 390kW of power between 4900-5300rpm and 830Nm of torque between 1900-4000rpm from its new larger twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12.

While that’s just 10kW more than its predecessor’s 5.5-litre twin-turbo V12 and no faster from 0-100km/h (4.6 seconds), claimed combined cycle fuel consumption falls as low as 11.1 litres per 100km, representing a 21 per cent improvement over the old model.

Mercedes-Benz S 600 (W 222) 2013

The switch from a five- to a seven-speed automatic transmission and a 25kg weight reduction (2185kg kerb weight) also contribute to the economy gain.

As before, the S600 is available exclusively with the S-Class’ longer wheelbase, which measures an identical 3165mm.

Mercedes-Benz S 600 (W 222) 2013

Distinguishing the S600 from the next-grade-down S500 are new alloy wheel designs, V12 badges behind the front wheel arches, quad exhaust outlets, a thin chrome strip between the lower rear reflectors, and S600 boot lid badging.

The Mercedes-Benz S600 is expected to reach Australian showrooms in the final quarter of this year, with pricing likely in the region of the outgoing model’s $411,500 price tag.




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