In 1886, Carl Benz invented the automobile. But do you think Mercedes quit inventing there? No, the innovation continued with features we take for granted in all our automobiles, regardless of the brand.
Many people consider Volvo as the leader in vehicle safety, but the fact is Mercedes has been the most innovative. In 1939 Mercedes started work on vehicle safety. In 1951 they patented crumple zones, promoting a safety cage for the occupants. A concept fundamental to car safety today. In 1978, Mercedes became the first manufacturer to offer the second generation digital ABS. 1980 saw the introduction of the SRS Airbag. Electronic Stability Program or ESP was introduced in 1995. All these features are standard on all new vehicles today, and highly contribute to safety.
Other first for Mercedes include independent 4-wheel suspension and traction control. Mercedes created the first diesel powered passenger car. The most powerful naturally aspirated V8, is the Mercedes 63 AMG at 518HP In 2013, Mercedes created the highest horsepower production 4 cylinder engine ever with 355HP.
Other innovation, like Air Scarf help keep you warm when your convertible top is down. First found in the SLK which itself help popularize folding hard tops.
The latest 2014 S-Class is also the first 'almost' autonomous vehicle. Under 30MPH, it will drive itself. Above 30 for about only 10 seconds. It comes complete with latest and great technology, including full LED lighting, 3D cameras, radar, and night vision. It has been said for years that if you want to know the tech that will exist in your car in 10 years, look at today's Mercedes S Class. It is a car that virtually drives itself. Including making sure it stays in your intended lane of travel, complete collision avoidance (that includes steering you out of the way of trouble), and braking to a complete stop. Plus in stop and go, it will accelerate and drive your vehicle for you.
So as you can see, it is a history of innovation. It would be quite exhaustive to talk about every feature. But it does help your understand their concept of The Best or Nothing. And it is one of the reasons I ordered an SLK 250. I will have full in depth reviews and videos after delivery later this month. But the impressive features are just a part of my decision, probably the most important reason is the balance that Mercedes creates in their vehicles. They don't focus on one thing, but the best balance of it all together.