Aside from the high-performance S63, the S550 is the only S-Class model currently available in the U.S. It features a 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 with an output of 449 horsepower. A seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and rear-wheel drive round out the drivetrain. Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is optional.
Exterior changes to the new S550 are minimal and there are a couple of options available to help you customize your sedan’s appearance. In addition to choosing from among 11 exterior colors, you can select from the following options:
- The Sport Package adds sport body styling and chrome highlights along with 19-inch twin 5-spoke alloy wheels (up from the standard 18-inch wheels)
- The Sport Package Plus One keeps the body styling details but switches to 20-inch multispoke alloy wheels.
- A dealer-installed rear spoiler
For the interior, there are more choices available including 12 upholstery selections and several comfort and convenience option packages:
- The Premium 1 package offers heated, ventilated and massaging front seats, hands-free trunk access and a parking-assist system.
- The Warmth and Comfort package includes everything from the Premium 1 and adds heating to the rear seats, steering wheel, armrests and door panels. Also included are memory functions in the outer rear seats.
- Three rear seat packages build on the previous option bundles and add such features as power foot and calf rests, massage functions, and four-zone climate control. The top-of-the-line Executive Rear Seat Package PLUS adds folding tables and heated/cooled cupholders. Two of the three packages also require the purchase of the rear-seat entertainment system.
- An additional option bundle adds a cabin fragrance system and cabin-air purification system.
- Heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and the rear-seat memory function are each available as individual options.
Standard entertainment features include the COMAND media interface, a Burmester sound system and dual 12.3-inch front-dash screens for driver information and entertainment functions. Optional upgrades include:
- A Burmester 3D surround-sound system with 24 speakers
- A rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens and wireless headsets
- A front-seat entertainment system utilizing the right-hand in-dash screen for DVD movies along with a wireless headset
The new S550 excels in the area of drive- assistance and safety systems; as a group, these systems are referred to as Intelligent Drive by Mercedes.
- The Driver Assistance option package offers a radar-based adaptive cruise control that follows the vehicle ahead, monitors its speed and adjusts your car’s speed accordingly, even applying brakes if necessary. There are also systems that prevent collisions, warn you of rear cross traffic, and keep you in your lane.
- Magic Body Control uses windshield-mounted cameras to detect bumps in the road ahead so the suspension system can automatically adjust to keep the ride smooth and level.