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"Long S-tory"

It is Monday evening on February 9, 1998, the column of four government cars move along the street of Tbilisi (Georgia). The President Eduard Shevardnadze is approaching his residence, located in the southern part of the Georgian capital. The destination is maybe a kilometer, or one and a half away when a group of armed men from behind the trees on a nearby hill opens fire with machine guns and anti-tank grenade launchers. This street war lasts about 10 minutes, the firepower is so powerful that it literally tears apart the government vehicles, but all of them? Heavily damaged, only one survived with a hole from a bullet with a grenade launcher. Frightened, Eduard came out of this battle without a scratch.., fluke? or God's Providence?, certainly also but there was something else, namely the S-Class armored Mercedes (W140). The car not only has been a huge market success and for years built the image of this German luxury brand. The legend of this car lasted for many years and in my opinion owing to the Mercedes survived the hard times that came right after the merger with the American Chrysler. The first "S-140s" left the factory in Stuttgart with the oncoming of 1991, and they were an absolute hit on the market, which for many years set trends in the field of limousine design for the most demanding customers. Probably for the first time in history, the company of Carl Benz designed and produced such a polished car, that competitors literally dropped out one by one in a clash with the popular „giant” Only is it surprising? It is unofficially said that work on this model has been going on since the early 1980s, and the amount the company spent on the implementation of this project was about $1 billion. As a result, the light of day saw the car, whose technological solutions were far ahead of their times. Personally, I first came cross S600 model in the second half of the 90s. I remember the burgundy color of this car, an antenna that was leaving the left back fender itself, self-closing door (that's what I was calling then, of course, it's about Soft Close Automatic) and the inscription V12, which aroused the greatest emotions in me despite the fact that I did not know what it meant. When I a boy from the neighborhood crossed the threshold of this "saloon", I felt special like never before. Inside, the car dripped with luxury, black leather, lots of buttons, heated seats, dial indicators each of them, lived its own life and so much space that half of the neighborhood could successfully watch the match together sitting in the rear seats. The journey with this car was like a movie in which the world around us rushes and swirls and we are sitting in peace and quiet watching it carefully what is happening around us. Sitting as a passenger in the front seat (anyway, it was difficult to bid with my friend this honorable place) I felt like a young peacock. My fifteen years Ego was bigger than a skyscraper in which I lived , and I myself did not hide my satisfaction with the ride, looking into the eyes of every passerby and driver encountered who came to stay next to us. The first "kick-down" and I felt like stopping to keep up with the image registration in front of the car. The acceleration was terrific, the sound of the V12 amazing, I am nailed to a seat, half conscious but with a smile of an intoxicated teenager who was given the strongest drug, in those days called Mercedes-Benz... 600. The stories I told about this ride were so incredible that even I myself did not know what was the truth and what was fiction. In those days I thought that this model of the car will always be the best and refined in the smallest detail, but I was wrong. "Merc" W220 entered the Paris showroom in 1998. The car has been slimming significantly, it got less coarse and it did not refer to the legend of S140 in any way.., literally. Mercedes's flagship model proved to be unreliable, expensive in operation and.., rusty. Woe to someone who decided to buy the S400 CDI class because the timing gear problems were guaranteed. The Suspension type ABC complicated and failure frequent, on S55 AMG models trouble with cams on camshafts (probably a defect in the material from which they were made), and in addition rust on the body. I will tell you a story that I heard from the owner. Mr. Klaus bought such a miracle in the Mercedes showroom. As a native of West Germany, he went to the service, he lavished care. One day after two years of exploitation, he noticed that his S class was just starting to rust. He went to a service that did minor body and paint work under the warranty. The repair was so effective that after the winter period "Rusty" struck with double power. Frightened Klaus turned again with a claim to the car service, which this time informed him that he should not use the car during the harsh winter because it harms the car body. The winter may damage the car body, but Klaus was not harmed by winter enough to know how to deal with this problem. He went to the German "Casto-store of paints" and bought a can of hard to wash paintafter which he went to the parking lot in front of Mercedes Benz Niederlassung's main entrance (a branch somewhere in western Germany). He painted with a brush on his car, the inscription "This is how a new beautiful Mercedes looks after two years of exploitation”, he also painted an arrow pointing to rusty elements, he closed the car, he turned off the phone and went to catch the U-Bahn. He told me that after a month, he was called by the greatest salesmen sitting in the management of the Stuttgart company, asking him to take this "ogre" away from the entrance of the main salon. I do not remember exactly, but I think he got an E-class in exchange for some symbolic old brand or two. The year 2005 brought an absolute novelty. The W221 model was to wipe dirty stains quickly after the older brother and rebuild the company's image, who suffered from the flirt with the Americans.The new S –class was definitely better, more polished and did not rust intensely. You could argue about reliability, due to the fact that the electronics from the perspective of years has not proved to be a strong point of this car. In my opinion, this is a secondary matter. The car was comfortable, nice inside and could be ordered with a durable gasoline unit with a capacity of 5 and 6 liters, which gave a lot of fun driving this colossus. Of course, I had the opportunity to ride this model and I cannot say a bad word, just a German galleon, who gracefully covered thousands of kilometers of roads. The time of the W221 also passed and I without waiting long jumped behind the steering wheel of the Mercedes S400d Long, which was produced in 2018. The W222 model was presented in May 2013 in Hamburg. The exterior of the car looks as dignified as no other earlier S-class model. I did not find in this car sport, neither aggression nor strength, but something completely different. Harmony, peace, elegance and just chillout are the features of the latest S class. The car is huge, but it does not look like a slouch but it arouses great respect on the road. An interesting fact is that the AMG package, which in this case literally goes to the background visually, it rather subtly emphasizes the appearance of the car and does not dominate as in the other Mercedes models. A very characteristic element is the grille which is so huge that it is more like a fencing of the power plant's area than the cover protecting the radiator. However, a real feast for the eyes is behind the door of this beautiful car.

"VIP Lounge"

Everyone who has the honor of visiting the S-class knows this unique feeling of an enormous splendor. Inside you will find everything best a man came up with, adjusting the car to his needs, guided by free imagination. The precious wood, polished aluminum, very delicate leather upholstery, fragrance vials releasing fragrance of expensive perfumes on traveler ‘s request and space that is difficult to develop. The completness of this perfect world is supplemented with seats resembling pouffes filled with shock absorbing foam, additionally equipped with a massage system, which depending on the preference of princely buttocks offers no less different treatments that we find in the office of a professional massage therapist. Stylistically, the interior reminds me of a private, small VIP lounge of the philharmonic hall, in which concerts are given by the world-famous artists for a narrow group of selected, wealthy music enthusiasts. Inside everything is large, modern and very elegant, a mix of modernity and traditional style. Indicators, buttons and functions are a relict of the past, because the new S class is a driving computer, that literally controls everything in this car. The clocks on the board which is one, big, double-screen tablet, controlled by buttons on both sides of the steering wheel and a touchpad located on the center console. There are plenty of functions, but most of them are settings that are supposed to improve the mood during the trip. When it comes to massage it was not a joke, we have to choose "Fresh air", "Vitality", "Convenience" and "Pleasure" :) whatever it means. If we get bored with the seats then we can turn on the preview of the car suspension work (then we will see in what percentage individual shock absorbers are used to suppress unevenness of the road surface). In addition, you can look at how many percent the throttle opens (so how much we press the gas) or we have the option to watch how much power and torque we use during acceleration. On both sides of the steering wheel there are tactile fields, with the help of which we can control individual functions displayed on the main monitor, as well as change its appearance. An interesting feature is the ability to replace the tachometer with a navigation map or an indicator of G-force that affect living creatures while driving.., seriously, in 3-liter diesel? What is this indicator for? It may be useful to see the value of the G- force with a quick exit from the roundabout on the way to work because definitely not on the race track. As I have already unveiled a secret, I will say more about my copy. Thus my tested “beauty” is equipped with a 3-liter diesel generating 340 horsepower. The motor is clamped with a 9-speed automatic transmission via which the drive is transferred to all four wheels. The whole set allows you to accelerate the car to the first hundred in 5.2 seconds. I close the windows, mute the radio, start the engine and move. The car is flowing, nothing has changed, and the S class still proves that in terms of comfort there are few worthy opponents. Compared to the previous model, I noticed that the suspension is more compact, which makes the car more confident, but at the expense of traveling comfort. In fact, it's hard to sense. I've been driving so far all the models starting from the W140 model, so it's easier for me to compare, but getting in this car for the first time, you will not be disappointed with the ride comfort for sure. While driving, the computer constantly analyzes our driving style and it happens that it will simply tell us that it is time for a break. The Distronic Plus system with the steering assistant cooperates with the Pre Safe system, which is designed to prevent collisions or minimize its effects. I will say this: AN AUTONOMY. Already today, we can release the steering wheel on the highway, turn on cruise control and the car drives itself for a short distance. However, you have to be very careful and follow the messages on the display requiring immediate takeover of the vehicle, otherwise an accident may occur. This limitation is not related to the unfinished system, only with regulations that currently prohibit driving an autonomous car on public roads.

"Mr. Diesel"

S class with this engine is not the speed daemon, but that does not mean that we will stay in place waiting for gusts of favorable wind. Well… Ok, if we're looking for a „daredevil” then, let's take a look kindly at S63 with the sensational exhaust system of AMG Performance. If we are looking for a real S-class spirit, I recommend you S560, but if we are looking for a car that we will travel a lot, then this diesel will be perfect, but why? Well, its demand for oil is about 10 liters per hundred in a mixed cycle, the engine works smartly and does not get tired, but again, I emphasize, do not expect great emotions because you will be disappointed. I was wondering how to describe the driveability of this car during the overcoming of sharp turns and I decided that I would not even try to do it with this car. My S-class, in addition to the Long version is not a sports car and it is difficult to evaluate its behavior in such road conditions. It's a bit like evaluating the skills of the world's best waiter by sending him in patent leather shoes with a full tray on the ice rink to serve the guests sitting on it, waiting impatiently for him to fall down. The S400d is a cruiser that feels the best in this role and will certainly meet the expectations of even the most demanding guests on board. Before I go to the summary, I want to say a few words about the headlamps of this car, which in my opinion are an engineering genius. In fact, we can have long lights on and forget about it. The computer will not only take care of providing the best visibility possible without blinding other users, but successfully choose the optimal place on the road, in which it will direct the beam of light for passing or overtaking another vehicle. The lighting system is integrated with the Night Vision function. If the car detects a living thing that can get under our wheels, it will direct the stream of light on it, making it easier for us to identify it in order to avoid an accident.., just a dream compared to the times when the headlights shone a little better than a candle in the cemetery.Would I like to have an S-class in my garage? Dear Readers, whenever I have the opportunity to ride it, I say "Well, I like this car ...", but the truth is that I do not fit into the S-class. You can complain that S-class is one way or another, but this car defends itself. Personally, I like to sit in the neighbourhood on a spring day on a bench, wearing hoodie and headphones on my ears, and this Mercedes is too high for me, despite the fact that I love to drive it... The world recognized it and loved it. Politicians, businessmen as well as Arab princesses drive it, it's beautiful, expensive and damn flashy.., but if it does not suit me today, it does not mean that it does not suit you :) The price of this car in the Long version starts from 110 thousand Euro and ends? Well, 250 thousand Euro may not be enough... In conclusion, I would like to thank Patrycja, whom this beautiful car belongs to, and who agreed to share it so that I could share with you my driving experience. Thank you ;)

 

Artur Rojewski

 

Mercedes S 400d 2018
14 January 2019

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Attention! This site is for information purposes only, does not promote any driving style and is not of a training nature. All cars covered by the descriptions and photos posted on this site are used in accordance with traffic regulations and with the highest security measures in order not to cause any damage to road users. The author of the blog is not responsible for other road users who in a manner inconsistent with traffic regulations or with the exposure to the health and life of others, will use vehicles on public roads and outside them.