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 W140 replaced the
W126 thus making it the 3rd generation S-Class. It was also the 2nd and last generation to have
S-Class Coupes which was released in 1992. The W140 sedans, released in 1991, initially had 7 models: the 300SD, 300SE/SEL, 400SE/SEL and 500SE/SEL. The 6.0-L V12-engined 600SE/SEL was added in 1992. Like all Mercedez-Benz lines, the W140 started using the "letter-first" nomenclature in 1993. The new line-up included: the Turbo-Diesel S350; the I6 S280 and S320/L; the V8 S420/L and S500/L; and the V12 S600/L. In 1996, the S350 was replaced by the S300 in Europe.
All models were replaced in 1999 by the newest generation of the S-Class line, the