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  #1  
Old 11-21-2005, 07:18 AM
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S-Class Safety

"The new Mercedes S class has a sophisticated radar-based braking system - when it works. A TV demonstration ended up in a 3-car pile-up when the S-class' safety radar failed."


http://www.askaprice.com/torque-article.asp?article=Mercedes_makes_mess_of_safety_demonstration&item=669
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2005, 08:33 PM
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Last month I had the chance to take a ride in a new W221 with this option. It's known as Distronic Plus. It's basically an "improved" version of the previous Distronic system which has been around for several years. Many Forum members know that Distronic is a cruise control system that uses radar to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle it's following. It can apply as much as 30% braking to achieve this. At about 9 mph an audible tone is heard and a warning light comes on. This lets the driver know that Distronic is no longer active. Distronic Plus can slow the car to a complete stop and hold it without ever touching the brake pedal. A tap on the gas pedal releases the brakes and the car will automatically resume the previously set speed, if traffic conditions allow. I imagine this could make stop-and-go driving or traffic jams from HELL more tolerable. Anyone who has ever driven with Distronic knows it takes some getting used to and the new system will undoubtedly have an even steeper learning curve. One thing it can't do though, is stop the car to avoid an object that's not moving. A deer in the headlights, broken down car in the road, etc., are in big trouble. That must be why MB markets this option as a convenience feature, and not a safety feature. Anyhow, I'm glad no one got hurt on the TV crash, but can you imagine the looks on the faces of the MB people in the studio??? Priceless
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Old 11-21-2005, 11:54 PM
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Maybe one day MB will start selling their cars to people who don;t want all this fancy schmancy stuff, or have them as delete options.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2005, 11:59 PM
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The Distronic Plus is an extra cost option in Europe and most world markets. I would assume it would be made standard in the U.S. as it happens with most extra cost options on M.B.s

But been such a controversial item and due to liability legal issues I would bet MBUSA would not offer the Distronic Plus not even as an option in the U.S.

The original distronic offered on the W220 was first proven over a two year period before being allowed to be fitted on U.S. production vehicles.
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