by DaimlerChrysler

The latest in automotive engineering, supreme comfort and exquisite luxury: these are the motoring superlatives epitomised by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman.

With this flagship model derived from the successful S-Class, the Stuttgart-based automobile brand is continuing a tradition of manufacturing prestige limousines which dates back over 70 years. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman is available with a choice of an eight-cylinder or a twelve-cylinder engine, and can easily be distinguished from the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class by virtue of a wheelbase which has been extended by another full metre. The difference in space is most noticeable in the rear where passengers can now make themselves comfortable on face-to-face seating.

There is a whole 70 centimetres of legroom between the two rows of seats in the rear, 20 centimetres more than in the Pullman model based on the previous S-Class (W 140 model series). The rear row of seats comprises a bench seat with electrically adjustable outer seats as standard. Alternatively, two electrically adjustable individual seats can be ordered as an option. Depending on which of the two is chosen, the luxury limousine has room for either 6 or 7 passengers.

The suffix "Pullman" alone is enough to give away the noble character of the new limousine: back in the mid-19th century, the American industrialist George Mortimer Pullman from Chicago in the state of Illinois made a name for himself by building lavishly equipped train carriages. Ever since then, the name has been synonymous with maximum comfort on wheels — even as early as 1928, the highly-regarded German publication "Kraftfahrer und Kraftfahrzeug" ("Motorist and Motor Vehicle") defined the Pullman limousine as a "large, comfortable and prestigious limousine with a partition between the driver's seat and the passenger compartment."

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman lives up to this description right down to the finest detail, whilst at the same time also setting the pace in terms of comfort and safety thanks to its sophisticated on-board technology. Such benchmark standards have been achieved not just by including separate air conditioning and audio systems for the rear, but also by fitting sidebags in the doors, rear window bags, plus electrically adjustable head restraints and three-point inertia-reel seat belts for all seats as standard.

The glazed partition between the front and rear compartments is electrically operated, as are the curtains, which can be drawn to shield the entire rear passenger compartment from sunlight or inquisitive gazes. Whilst the driver of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman is pampered by such standard innovations as COMAND, navigation system, multifunction steering wheel, electrically adjustable seat with lumbar support, speed-sensitive power steering and xenon headlamps (S 600), Mercedes customers can tailor the rear of the S-Class Pullman limousine exactly to their own personal tastes. This applies both to the selection of materials and colour scheme, and to the technological wizardry which makes journeys in the premium limousine all the more enjoyable and stimulating. The range of individual equipment options for the rear includes the following:

A dazzling array of communications and entertainment systems is also available as an option: Mercedes-AMG has devised a revolutionary office and multimedia equipment package for the Pullman limousine. The AMG Advanced Mobile Media System, as it has been called, comprises a high-performance, top-class integral solution which will allow business people to have all the usual facilities of an office at their disposal even when they're out on the road. Computer, internet/e-mail, TV and DVD — no other multimedia system currently offers such a combination of facilities.

This top-flight system is based on a specially developed, high-performance AMG in-car PC. Thanks to an HSCSD (High Speed Circuit Switched Data) modem or a GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) modem, the compact computer ensures high-speed internet access, allowing passengers to surf the web or send and receive e-mails during the journey. The transmission rate of 43,000 kbit/s guarantees quick access across the World-Wide Web. Whether you want to check up on your shares or download large files, the technology used makes any differences between this and a conventional internet connection in the office virtually imperceptible.

Large 10.4" monitors are also available as an alternative for surfing the internet. The flat monitors swivel out of the multimedia console at the push of a button. The separate keyboard is neatly stored away in a ruffled pocket positioned in front of the seat cushion and can be placed on one of the two tables available for working when in use. The monitors can also be used for watching the television programme currently selected or even the latest movies thanks to the DVD player. Thanks to a second TV tuner, different programmes can be watched on the monitors at the same time. State-of-the-art, high-resolution flat screen technology produces crystal-clear picture reproduction which is rich in contrast, guaranteeing unspoilt entertainment even in tricky lighting conditions.

Despite its seemingly endless array of functions, the system's operation is impressively straightforward. Passengers can either switch between the different sources (PC, TV or DVD) using the remote control or by using the touch-screen controls. In the multimedia console between the electrically adjustable rear seats, passengers will also find the on/off switch for the in-car PC, two rocker switches for the volume control plus two headphone sockets.

As well as housing monitors, notebooks and tables, the console also contains the AMG in-car PC and features a separate power supply. The high-power rechargeable battery allows occupants to make full use of the multimedia system for about 30 minutes after the engine has been switched off; if all of the systems are not in use, the maximum possible operating time increases accordingly. Data management between the Sony notebooks, the monitors, the various terminals and the PC is the task of a newly developed control module, which ensures that commands are relayed at extremely high speed. Each and every component in the multimedia system fulfils the stringent Mercedes-Benz safety standards, whilst the practicality, ergonomics and build quality of the luxury limousine, which was developed at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach, also all meet the most exacting expectations.

Compared to the standard S-Class, distinctive features of the Pullman's harmonious looks include a slightly raised waistline at the rear and in the centre of the car, restyled side rub strips and a redeveloped roof. Despite its extended wheelbase and raised roof however, the limousine has still retained all of the styling characteristics of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

In addition numerous reinforcements made to the bodyshell, engineers also developed a new three-section propeller shaft, a specially made exhaust system and strengthened chassis components for the S-Class Pullman. The new side centre assemblies are designed as doors which can be opened in the workshop in just a few easy steps. This makes carrying out any work on the technical systems in the rear of the limousine far easier for service personnel.

When it comes to the powerplant under the bonnet of the luxury limousine, customers have a choice between the 225-kW/306-hp V8 engine from the S 500 or the ultra-sophisticated twelve-cylinder engine from the S 600, which develops 270 kW/367 hp. Automatic cylinder shutoff, standard specification on the V12 model, is available as an option on the S 500 Pullman.

Both Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman models leave the factory equipped with AIRmatic air suspension, the ESP electronic stability program, a five-speed automatic transmission and attractive 8 J x 18 light-alloy wheels as standard.

Mercedes-Benz developed the S 500 Pullman and S 600 Pullman in co-operation with Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The vehicle manufacturing concept used is an integral one which takes account of all relevant equipment specifications when producing the actual bodyshell - guaranteeing that the intrinsic benefits this has over traditional retrofitting (corrosion protection, body strength, build quality) can be exploited to the full. Small-scale series production at the DaimlerChrysler plant in Sindelfingen, which delivers quality on a par with hand-built cars, thereby ensures that the limousines attain the uncompromising quality standards so typical of Mercedes-Benz.