The Mercedes-Benz S-Class, formerly known as Sonderklasse (German for “special class”, abbreviated as “S-Klasse”), is a series of full-sized luxury sedans, limousines and armored sedans produced by the German automaker Mercedes-Benz. The S-Class is the designation for top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz models and was officially introduced in 1972 with the W116, and has remained in use ever since. The S-Class is the flagship vehicle for Mercedes-Benz.
The S-Class has debuted many of the company’s latest innovations, including drivetrain technologies, interior features, and safety systems (such as the first seatbelt pretensioners). The S-Class has ranked as the world’s best-selling luxury sedan. In automotive terms, Sonderklasse refers to “a specially outfitted car.” Although used colloquially for decades, following its official application in 1972, six generations of officially named S-Klasse sedans have been produced.