The Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC Sedan has been completely redesigned for 2007. It's now almost two inches longer than the previous year's S-Class models, and taller as well, providing more interior room.
Among the S550's many features, it is equipped with Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, which incorporates an Electronic Traction System that can brake any one of the wheels individually and route power to the wheels with traction. The system is so effective that the car can continue in a stable fashion even if only one wheel has traction, until all wheels retain their grip.
The S550 4MATIC is equipped with a new 5.5-liter, double-overhead-cam, 32-valve V8 engine that produces 382 horsepower, with plenty of low-end torque to ensure fast starts and aggressive driving no matter the location or conditions. The shifter for the seven-speed automatic transmission is located on the steering column, leaving the center console free for the communications systems.
In fact, the COMAND system controller, located on the center console, is one of several new features for 2007. A mouse-like device used to access a number of the S550's systems, the controller rotates clockwise and counterclockwise, as well as moves left, right, backward, and forward, enabling the driver to access and control the car's audio system, navigation system, telephone, climate control system, and some seating functions.
Also new are the advanced Bi-Xenon headlights with Active Curve Illumination. They provide enhanced safety by turning to follow the driver's steering wheel movements. In adddition, the S550 4MATIC is equipped with a Night View Assist night vision system, which uses infrared technology to project an image of the road ahead onto a screen on the instrument panel.
Another new feature is the Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control system, an optional system that will automatically slow the vehicle if it gets too close to a vehicle up ahead, and then return the vehicle to the set speed limit when the way ahead is clear. The Distronic Plus system will even bring the S550 to a complete stop if you reach a congested area.
Inside, such features as 14-way power-adjustable seats with four massage settings, leather upholstery, Burl Walnut trim, and four-zone climate control raise the level of luxury.
The safety features of the S550, as well as its comfort, styling, performance, and handling, drew high marks from drivers. Some even went so far to call it the best luxury car in the world. Not everyone was impressed with the car's styling, however, with some calling it unimpressive, and even boring. But everyone seems to rave about the comfort of the back seats, noting if you sit there, you'll never want to leave.