Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC

The Mercedes-Benz W220 was a series of flagship sedans which constituted the Mercedes-Benz S-Class during the early-to-mid 2000's. The W220 was a replacement for the earlier W140 S-Class after the 1999 model year. Compared to its predecessor, the W220 had somewhat smaller exterior dimensions but offered more interior space, particularly in the long-wheelbase versions.

Unlike previous iterations of the S-Class, the W220 was not the company's first model to feature the company's new design theme for the next generation of Mercedes-Benz. This honor was given to the A-Class launched in 1997. Nevertheless, being Mercedes flagship vehicle worldwide (while the A-Class was never sold in North America), the S-Class largely popularized the new theme. It demonstrated a significantly different stylistic mindset, with both exterior lines and an interior design that express elegance and modernity. This can be seen as a response to criticism on its W140 predecessor, which was sometimes labeled as too big and too heavy.

A facelifted version of the S-Class was introduced in autumn 2002 for 2003, offering a more aerodynamic front-end and redesigned taillights, though the exterior style remained largely analogous to the previous W220 models. Although the facelift only made minor changes to the exterior, it addressed several of the issues in the COMAND system and other interior features. Exterior updates included a more upright grille angle, new transparent housing for the headlamps (replacing the earlier translucent versions), and restyled lower air intakes on the front bumper.

4Matic all wheel drive was introduced to the North American S-Class for 2003, for the S430 and S500 as a $2180 USD option. This full-time system splits engine power 40/60 front/rear, with electronic traction control adjusting that mix to the wheels (or wheel) with the best traction in slippery conditions.

Source: Wikipedia, 2012

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