S-Class 1

DaimlerChrysler Malaysia launched the latest variant of it’s W221 S-Class on Wednesday – the Mercedes Benz S300L, with the L denoting a long wheelbase model. The name S-Class is derived from the German word Sonderklasse, which means special class. And it is a car that will make you feel special indeed, as this S300L base model costs a cool RM639,888 on the road without insurance.

More details after the jump.

S-Class 2

The S300L model is likely the model that most S-class buyers would buy in Malaysia, judging from the amount of S280 models on the road from the previous generation. The S300L takes the place of the S280 in DCM’s S-Class model line-up here. It is powered by a Mercedes Benz 3.0 litre V6 engine with a high 11.3:1 compression, putting out 231 horsepower and 300Nm of torque from a low RPM of 2,500, maintaining that same twisting force all the way up to 5,000rpm – tell-tale signs of a very modern normally aspirated engine. This engine is mated to Mercedes Benz’s self-developed 7G-TRONIC transmission, offering you 7-gears with two of them being overdrive gears. Drag coefficient is 0.27, minimising wind noise as well as improving fuel efficiently through good aerodynamics.

Compared to the old S280, wheelbase has increased by 200mm, which benefits rear legroom, and boot capacity is now up to 560 litres – 60 litres larger. Despite all of the improvements, thanks to advancements in engine technology fuel consumption is now down by 17.9%. The S300L only consumes 9.9 litres per 100km according to DaimlerChrysler.

S-Class 3

Comfort is enhanced by AIRMATIC air suspension, which features an adaptive damping system. The ride is also self-levelling, which helps reduce any busy body roll feel when negotiating a winding road.

The interior is chock full of features worthy of a full-size E-segment limo. The driver can take control of the interior systems via LINGUATRONIC, an advanced voice recognition system with algorithms that take into account the minute nuances of human speech. It adjusts to the individual speaking style of the relevant user. For instance, in Germany, it can understand both high-German and local dialects. I wonder if it would understand “call boss lah!”, to let the driver use the in-car phone to call the boss.

S-Class 4

LINGUATRONIC can control all internal functions, including Mercedes Benz’s COMAND APS system, which is a GPS navigation system. In DCM’s release, it is mentioned that DaimlerChrysler will be issuing periodic updates of the maps every now and then as roads are not static, but I am not entirely sure if this applies to Malaysia as well.

Safety features comprise of PRO-SAFE, and ADAPTIVE BRAKES. PRO-SAFE is a system comprising of a few sub-systems – PERFORM-SAFE, PRE-SAFE, PASSIVE-SAFE and POST-SAFE. PERFORM-SAFE helps drivers to avoid hazards before they fully develop into potentially dangerous situations. This module of PRO-SAFE consists of bi-xenon headlamps with an active light function and a tyre pressure loss warning system.

S-Class 5

PRE-SAFE denotes anticipatory occupant protection. This Mercedes-Benz innovation uses sensors to take measurements from multiple points and performs pre-emptive action when it detects imminent danger. In the event of PRE-SAFE becoming active, the reversible seat-belt tensioner will be engaged, the front passenger seats will return to an upright position and all the windows will be closed automatically.

PASSIVE-SAFE encompasses the passive-safety aspects of the car; from the steering system with an integral deformation element and the front bumper with optimised stiffness and deformation paths to interior trim that is made of resilient materials and sensor pads that detect seat occupancy.

Finally, POST-SAFE is the final element of PRO-SAFE and is designed to minimise the risk of consequential damage in the event of an accident. POST-SAFE triggers automatic fuel cut-off, door unlocking and activation of the hazard warning lights. In addition, cutting points are also clearly marked out for rescue teams to expedite the process of rescuing passengers.

The W221 S300L goes for RM639,888.00 (on-the-road without insurance). DaimlerChrysler Malaysia already has 150 bookings on hand for the new S300L since it’s launch, and the company expects to exceed last year’s sales of 350 units for the S-Class. “They booked the car without even knowing the price or anything,” said DaimlerChrysler Malaysia Sdn Bhd vice-president (sales and marketing) Florian Mueller. DCM currently holds 73 percent market share for the high-end luxury cars segment.