The world got its first look at the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 in Detroit, and this latest iteration of the range-topping model based on the automaker's primo S-Class line extends and advances the legacy of its predecessor 

when it comes to representing what M-B defines as "the Essence of Luxury." With more power, greater refinement and an even longer list of standard creature comforts and safety features, the new-gen S600 promises to offer a driving experience that's second to none. If that's not enough, the S600 also ushers in a number of upgrades that will make their way to the rest of the 2015 S-Class lineup. 

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Available only in long-wheelbase form, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 gets its motivation from a larger and more potent version of the twin-turbocharged V12 engine. Displacement has been upped from 5.5 to 6.0 liters and that additional scale also sees horsepower rise from 510 to 523 while its huge 612 lb-ft of torque is available from just 1,900 rpm, which should further improve what was already stunning off-the-line acceleration. While fuel economy won't be the primary concern of most owners, for the first time this V12 also will incorporate M-B's ECO start/stop function as standard. While yet to be confirmed by Mercedes, it's believed the engine will be backed by a 7G-Tronic Plus 7-speed automatic transmission like the one used in the 2015 S65 AMG.  

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To help contend with the engine's prodigious output, the 2015 S600 is fitted with Mercedes' trick Magic Body Control adaptive suspension system that includes the look-ahead Road Surface Scan system. Also standard is the comprehensive Driving Assistance Package that brings Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist, Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, Pre-Safe Brake with Pedestrian Recognition and Pre-Safe Plus. Finally, the S600 features Collision Prevention Assist Plus. This feature, which will be standard across the entire 2015 S-Class lineup, enhances the capability of the Active Brake Assist system, allowing it to operate autonomously at speeds up to 124 mph if the driver fails to respond to an imminent threat and can fully stop the vehicle to prevent a rear-end collision at speeds up to 25 mph.  

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Inside, the new S600 carries over the megaload of comfort/convenience touches and signature diamond-tufted Nappa leather upholstery found in its predecessor but gains several welcome enhancements, starting with a standard head-up display. The S600 - and all other 2015 S-Class variants - also will have M-B's voice-activated Comand system and, like the C-Class and E-Class, get the new multifunction touchpad controller with supplemental handwriting recognition functionality that can operate all of the car's infotainment functions. On the new option front, the 2015 S600 will be available with electric windshield heating that works with the existing air conditioning blower to serve up a near-instant clear field of view in sub-freezing temperatures. 

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 is due to arrive in showrooms this spring. Pricing and other details will be announced closer to its actual on-sale date.

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