The name’s a long one, but the heart of it - the Mercedes S-Class - is a simple tale of the ultimate German executive saloon, which stretches back to 1954, and the first Sonderklasse, the W180.
Mercedes’ aim was simply to make the best car in the world. The first version, the Ponton, had a monocoque construction and individual heating controls for the driver and passenger, no less. The first recognisable S-Class appeared in 1972, with the introduction of ABS, too.
These days, the S-Class still outlines its nearest rivals, the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, in terms of a pure luxury specification (there’s a good argument to be made for BMW still having the better dynamics and Audi the better tech).
Our test S-Class was the “L” version – i.e. the limousine, and arrived in AMG-Line specificaiton, which is not the full AMG tuning beans but some performance-bred styling touches. 450 denotes the powertrain – a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo in-line six-cylinder engine together with a mild hybrid system – and shows it sits below the megatron S63 AMG.