The S-Class became Mercedes-Benz' flagship line in 1972 and still is even up to the present. The 'S' signifies "Sonderklasse" or special class and is mostly a 4-door sedan line with a brief appearance of coupes from 1981 to 1997. The S-Class is currently in its 5th generation.
The Mercedes-Benz W126 replaced the
W116 thus making it the 2nd generation S-Class. It was also the first generation to have
S-Class Coupes, replacing the
SLC-Class, in 1981 before creating a new coupe line, the
CL-Class, in 1997. Released in 1979, the W126 sedans initially came in 4 models: the 280S, 280SE, 380SE and 500SE. The long wheel base and diesel versions, the 280SEL, 300SEL, 500SEL and 300SD, were added in 1980. In 1985, a major change occurred and all models were replaced except for the 500SE/SEL. The replacement models included the: 260SE, 300SE/SEL, 420SE/SEL and 560SE/SEL. The 300SDL was produced from 1986 to 1987 before releasing the 350SD/SDL in 1990. All models were replaced in 1991 by the newest generation of the S-Class line, the