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by George Skentzos

The Mercedes-Benz flagship S-Class range has always played a pioneering role in the automotive industry as the brand’s innovation driver – and the new 2009 S-Class is no exception.

As the world’s focus shifts to greener motoring, Mercedes is yet again at the forefront with the first standard production hybrid drive with a lithium-ion battery in the S 400 Hybrid – the most economical petrol-engine luxury saloon.

The S 400 Hybrid claims its position as the top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz model, a sign of the times where economy outranks performance – consuming just 7.9 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres which corresponds to carbon dioxide emissions of just 186 grams per kilometre.

S 400 HYBRID

“Our first series production hybrid car exemplifies Mercedes-Benz’s long-standing development strategy geared towards sustainability, with its clearly defined aim of producing economical and environment-friendly premium cars without compromising on safety, comfort and superior performance.”

In total, the new S-Class line-up includes eight modern petrol and diesel engines that require up to seven per cent less fuel, the most efficient being the S 350 BlueEFFICIENCY which uses just 7.6 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres.

S 400 HYBRID

Together with this focus on efficient power, technological innovations have not been ignored with the range further enhanced by a unique combination of innovative camera- and radar-based driver assistance systems which turn the luxury saloon into an “intelligent” partner on the road.

These systems include Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist and the advanced Night View Assist PLUS facility as well as the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection function and automatic crosswind stabilisation.

S 400 HYBRID

“The aim in developing these systems was to prevent particularly common and serious collisions. With this concept, the S-Class not only protects its own occupants but also plays a key role in enhancing safety for other motorists,” said Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the board of management at Daimler AG and responsible for corporate research and the development of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The 2009 S-Class also sets standards where onboard infotainment is concerned, with the highlight being a Splitview centre display screen which allows separate content to be viewed by the passenger and driver simultaneously.

Its exterior design features only subtle changes to highlight the new generation Mercedes styling, including a more pronounced arrow-shape of the radiator grille, plus a new front bumper with LED driving lights and exhaust outlets integrated into the rear bumper.

S 400 HYBRID

Australian customers will be able to take delivery of the 2009 S-Class in late September this year. Australian models, pricing and specifications will be announced closer to this luxury model’s date of local release.




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