The Mercedes-Benz W116 was a series of flagship vehicles produced from 1972 through 1980. The W116 automobiles were the first Mercedes-Benz models to be officially called S-Class, although earlier sedan models had already unofficially been designated with the letter 'S' - for Sonderklasse or "special class."
The 'new' S-class generation development began just one year after the launch of the W108/09. It was subjected to numerous studies before it was fully matured to make its debut. This was the first Mercedes saloon to feature the brand new design idiom which was to be continued until 1993 when the 190 was discontinued, its new design was a dramatic leap forward with more masculine charismatic lines which combined to create a well rounded elegant yet sporty character. The overall basic design concept was actually inspired from the R107 SL-Class roadster, especially the front and rear lights.
The most notable W116 was the high-performance, limited-production 450 SEL 6.9 which was the first production car to use a completely electronic 4-wheel multi-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), as an option from 1978 on. This V8 model boasted the largest engine installed in a postwar Mercedes-Benz up to that time, and also featured a self-leveling hydropneumatic suspension.
The 300 SD sedan (USA and Canada only) had a turbocharged 3.0 Litre I5 diesel engine developed from the record breaking C111 experimental vehicle.
Production totaled 473,035 units. The W116 was succeeded by the W126 S-Class in 1979. The W116 was sold throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.Source: Wikipedia Mercedes Benz W116 article.