DETROIT, Michigan – Mercedes-Benz launched its new flagship S-Class at the 2014 North American International auto show, Detroit – the S600.It will arrive in South Africa later in 2014.IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S600IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Detroit showThe model measures 5.2m long, 1.8m wide and 1.4m tall with a wheelbase of 3.1m. Boot capacity is rated at 500 litres.AGILE S-CLASSThe new S600 is powered by a 6.0 V12 bi-turbo capable of 390kW (up from 380kW) and 830Nm. Mated to a 7G-tronic auto, Mercedes-Benz claims a 21% reduction in fuel consumption, from 14 litres/100km to 11.2.Its V12 bi-turbo enables the model to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds, impressive considering it weighs 2185kg, and can reach an electronically limited 250 km/h.Not to miss out on their share of the limelight, the entire S-Class range will be upgraded with the addition of a head-up display, touchpad and collision prevention assist plus (which replaces the collision prevention assist).In addition to adaptive braking, which prevents collisions at more than 6.5km/h, the system is capable of autonomous braking from as fast as 200km/h. The system reduces the severity of a collision by braking if a driver fails to respond to slowing or stopping vehicles.The system can also brake in response to stationary vehicles at speeds of up to 55km/h and is able to prevent a rear-end collision at up to 40km/h.As befits its status as flagship, the S600 is packed with kit; LED intelligent light system and magic body control suspension with road surface scan. The model is equipped with driving assistance package plus includes active lane keeping assist, active blind-spot assist, cross-traffic assist, Distronic plus with steer control, stop/go, pre-safe braking and pre-safe plus.600 LEGENDThe figure 600 has long been a legend in the history of the automobile. The model 600 (W100) launched in 1963 was the first car from Mercedes-Benz to feature a V8 injection engine. The same 186kW engine was also used from 1967 in the W109 model series (300 SEL 6.3). Further top models to feature a V8 engine included the 450 SEL 6.9 from the model series 116 (213kW) and the 560 SE in the 126 series (223kW in the ECE version). The 600 SE model in the 140 model series of 1991 marked the introduction of the first 12-cylinder engine as standard in a Mercedes-Benz car. The M120 delivered (304kW) from a displacement of six litres and began a tradition of V12 units as the top-of-the-range engines in the S-Class. Since the 220 series, Mercedes-Benz has also offered especially sporty, AMG-optimised variants with V8 and V12 engines at the top of its S-Class range, in the form of the S63 AMG and S65 AMG.