The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a byword for luxury and exemplifies what the brand stands for, but what does its name mean, if anything?
In German, the S-Klasse is short of Sonderklasse or Special Class. The S badge has been used on Mercedes-Benz’ range-topping sedan models since the mid-1950s.
The first generation to be officially referred to as the S-Class was 1972’s W112. Up until 1993, the model names were written with the engine displacement first, followed by letters and designations.
For example, the 450SEL, would be an S-Class sedan with a 4.5-litre V8 equipped with fuel-injection (hence the ‘E’ for Einspritzmotor or fuel-injected engine), and a long wheelbase (the ‘L’ in the name).
After 1993, the model designation came first, followed by the indicative engine capacity, and any suffixes. So, the S350L CDI was a long-wheelbase S-Class with a 3.5-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine.