The S-Class generation names and/or platforms are as follows (with date of introduction): 1955 Ponton, 1959 Fintail, 1965 W108, 1972 W116, 1979 W126, 1991 W140, 1999 W220, and 2005 W221.
Some of the greatest features of the S-Class include its safety innovations. Such safety features as the airbag restraint and seatbelt pretensioners made their debut on the S-Class.
The latest S-Class features infrared night vision to help drivers see in the dark and more advancements on Mercedes' famed pre-collision detection system, which both slows the car and prepares safety devices prior to a collision and limit passenger injuries.
The modern S-Class uses the letter first, number last nomenclature. Some models include the S280, S320, S430, S500 and S600. AMG models include the S63 AMG and S65 AMG. The AMG's are high performance models.
These cars are more than luxury cars. Many of the modern W221 S-Class vehicles are high performance sports cars as well. The top engine in the latest S65 AMG is a twin turbo 6.0 liter V12 making a whopping 604 horsepower.
These cars do often end up on the used car market after 4 or 5 years as the original buyers upgrade to the newest models. You can snatch up some great deals on these cars if you check eBay at the right time. A 5-year-old S500 is still better than a new Cadillac or a new Lexus, in my opinion. You can also find plenty of parts on eBay. Buying up rich people's "junk" can be a lot of fun!