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Mercedes-Benz S-class W221 facelift

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Photo 0of Mercedes-Benz S-class W221 faceliftPhoto 1of Mercedes-Benz S-class W221 faceliftPhoto 2of Mercedes-Benz S-class W221 faceliftPhoto 3of Mercedes-Benz S-class W221 facelift

Product Overview

Mercedes-Benz S-class W221 facelift is a full-size luxury sedan in production from 2009 to 2013. It was available with a range of V6, V8, V12, and inline-4 engines that displaced 2.1 to 6.2 liters.
Compared to the pre-facelift model, very few styling changes are obvious, and they mostly center around lighting.
Powertrain-wise, however, many updates took place in the middle of the production run of the facelift W221 in 2011: Most notably, Mercedes replace the naturally-aspirated M273, which had some issues with the timing gear, with a smaller M278 bi-turbo V8. The new engine delivered higher power output; more importantly, it significantly bumped up the torque number with a flatter torque curve. To many owners, this is the most welcomed change in the production run of W221.
Another notable change was the drop of the M156 naturally-aspirated 6.2L V8 in the S63 AMG in favor of the 5.5L bi-turbo M157. The M157 is just a larger M278; while it may lack some of the character of the M156, its enjoyable amount of torque and proven reliability record make it a superior engine indeed.
Drivers who appreciate handling will be pleased to know that the W221 S-class comes with multi-link suspensions at all four corners. Like the pre-facelift model, Airmatic is standard on most cars, while AMG and V12 models used ABC exclusively.

Ratings

What we found

Neofiliac score 90%
Pros
  • Wonderful M278/M157 bi-turbo V8 introduced
  • The great M275 lives on
  • Superb multi-link suspension setup
  • Improved ABC reliability
  • All engines still available in RWD
Cons
  • Arguably over-styled
  • V6 engines not so reliable

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Specifications

Variants shown:
S 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY
S 350
S 350 4MATIC
S 350 BlueEFFICIENCY
S 350 BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC
S 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY
S 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC
S 350 CDI BlueTEC
S 350 CDI BlueTEC 4MATIC
S 350 CDI L BlueEFFICIENCY
S 350 CDI L BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC
S 350 CDI L BlueTEC
S 350 CDI L BlueTEC 4MATIC
S 350 L
S 350 L 4MATIC
S 350 L BlueEFFICIENCY
S 350 L BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC
S 400 HYBRID
S 400 HYBRID L
S 450
S 450 4MATIC
S 450 CDI
S 450 CDI L
S 450 L
S 450 L 4MATIC
S 500
S 500 4MATIC
S 500 BlueEFFICIENCY
S 500 BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC
S 500 L
S 500 L 4MATIC
S 500 L BlueEFFICIENCY
S 500 L BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC
S 600 L
S 63 AMG L M156
S 63 AMG L M157
S 63 AMG M156
S 63 AMG M157
S 65 AMG
S 65 AMG 2010+

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