40 years model series 116: luxury class in top form

40 years model series 116: luxury class in top form

  • First official use of the S-Class designation
  • High-end vehicles have always been core products of Mercedes-Benz
  • Features, safety and comfort on top level 

Stuttgart – At the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September 1972, Mercedes-Benz premiered not only a new generation of its flagship luxury-class vehicle but also a new name – the sedans were now officially known as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The ‘S’ abbreviation for top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz models had been in use since 1949. But now, the ‘S’ (not to be confused with the supercharged cars of the 1920s) had become the badge for an entire family of cars. In 1993, the nomenclature was extended to include other cars in the Mercedes-Benz range, beginning with the C-Class, E-Class, and G-Class.

Long before the S-Class was given its official designation, however, the reputation of the Mercedes-Benz brand for offering high-end vehicles with an emphasis on luxury, comfort, and safety had been firmly established. The direct ancestral line of the S-Class begins in the post-war period with the Mercedes-Benz 220 (W 187, 1951 to 1954). Before the Second World War, it comprises an unbroken heritage of several model series that were developed in parallel and which date back to the origins of the Mercedes brand in the early 20th century. An early and eye-catching example is the Mercedes-Simplex 60 hp launched in 1903. The then top-of-the-range model is now one of the finest exhibits in the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection. The elegant and luxurious touring sedan from 1904 was once the personal property of Emil Jellinek, a key protagonist in the story of the Mercedes brand.


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