Powering the Mercedes-Benz S300L is the all-aluminium M272 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, that is incidentally found in the new E280 as well. This new powerplant delivers 231hp and 300Nm from just 2500rpm, all the way to 5000rpm. Performance is respectable with acceleration from 0-100km/h taking only 8.2 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 245km/h. Like all Mercedes-Benz S-Class variants, speed does not negatively affect refinement as the class-leading drag coefficient of 0.27 ensures that the Mercedes-Benz S 300L cuts through the air with minimal wind noise and resistance.
In comparison with its predecessor, the W220 Mercedes-Benz S280, the all-new S300L has improved in every aspect. The wheelbase is longer by 200mm, which benefits rear legroom while boot capacity has gone up to 560-litres, an increase of 60-litres. Despite the larger dimensions and a noticeable boost in performance, fuel consumption has decreased by 17.9% to an impressive 9.9-litres/100km.
In line with other models in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class range, the Mercedes-Benz S300L is equipped with LINGUATRONIC voice control. Through LINGUATRONIC, a driver gains access to the telephone, GPS navigation system and radio settings via voice commands, which allows the driver to manipulate the COMAND APS system without the need to take his/her hands off the wheel. This helps to improve driver-safety and focuses attention on the road conditions during driving.At the heart of the system is sophisticated software with algorithms that take into account the minute nuances of human speech. LINGUATRONIC is an active system with the ability to adjust to the individual speaking style of the relevant user.
Standard on the Mercedes-Benz S300L equipment list is COMAND APS, which has been available on all W221 S-Class variants since its launch in late 2005. With the aid of GPS navigation capability, Mercedes-Benz has made it possible for S-Class owners to look for and drive to destinations that they may not be familiar with. In combination with LINGUATRONIC, all a driver needs to do is spell out where he wants to go and the software will present all the options. However, roads are not static, thus Mercedes-Benz will offer periodic updates of the software to ensure that customers are constantly kept up to date.
Pioneering innovations have helped Mercedes-Benz to set the benchmark for passenger car safety. As part of an integrated safety philosophy, the Mercedes-Benz S300L is equipped as standard with the PRO-SAFE comprehensive safety system. PRO-SAFE, which comprises PERFORM-SAFE, PRE-SAFE, PASSIVE-SAFE and POST-SAFE modules, is designed to deliver the highest levels of technology in accident avoidance as well as crash and post-crash situations.
PERFORM-SAFE helps drivers to avoid hazards before they fully develop into potentially dangerous situations. This module of PRO-SAFE consists of bi-xenon headlamps with an active light function and a tyre pressure loss warning system.
On the other hand, PRE-SAFE denotes anticipatory occupant protection. This Mercedes-Benz innovation uses sensors to take measurements from multiple points and performs pre-emptive action when it detects imminent danger. In the event of PRE-SAFE becoming active, the reversible seat-belt tensioner will be engaged, the front passenger seats will return to an upright position and all the windows will be closed automatically.
Next is PASSIVE-SAFE which encompasses the passive-safety aspects of the car; from the steering system with an integral deformation element and the front bumper with optimised stiffness and deformation paths to interior trim that is made of resilient materials and sensor pads that detect seat occupancy.
Last but not least, POST-SAFE is the final element of PRO-SAFE and is designed to minimise the risk of consequential damage in the event of an accident. POST-SAFE triggers automatic fuel cut-off, door unlocking and activation of the hazard warning lights. In addition, cutting points are also clearly marked out for rescue teams to expedite the process of rescuing passengers.
While many Mercedes-Benz S300L owners will be taking the wheel to experience the dynamic pleasures it has to offer, Mercedes-Benz acknowledges that many will also spend a lot of their time in the back seat. This comes as no surprise because the Mercedes-Benz S-Class remains as the number one choice for corporate customers and diplomats who are chauffeur-driven. For such discerning customers, comfort and refinement are paramount to making a purchase decision.
The Mercedes-Benz S300L is perfectly suited to such a role and its strengths begin with a wheelbase that measures 3165mm and an overall length of 5209mm. This translates into a spacious interior that allows occupants to stretch out in comfort and luxuriate in an interior that uses only the best materials and is built to exacting standards.
To ensure a smooth and compliant ride, there is AIRMATIC air suspension that has an adaptive damping system to ensure that comfort is maintained regardless of load. It also provides the car with a self-levelling ride, which allows corners to be taken flatter and reduces any disturbances that passengers may feel when negotiating a winding road.
The final ingredient for achieving class-leading comfort levels is the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. Widely regarded as one of the best automatics in the world, the 7G-TRONIC allows the Mercedes-Benz S300L to move seamlessly by providing smooth gear changes and matching road to engine speed accuracy.