In 1991, the new Mercedes S-Class caused a sensation.
On the one hand by sheer size, on the other by a mighty V12. Particularly in its home market of Germany, people were irritated by the size and presence of the sedan. Nowadays, in view of gigantic SUVs, one might almost laugh at the dimensions of 5.21m in length and 1.89m in width, which was so controversial at the time.
Amusement was provided by the dipsticks at the end of the rear fenders that come out when reverse gear is engaged. Quasi prehistoric PDC.
In 1986 BMW introduced the 750i (E32) as the first post-war 12 cylinder engine and for the first time massively poached S-class customers.
Therefore, Mercedes trumped with the newly developed 408 hp 6.0-liter V12 engine and was far ahead of the bavarian 750i with its 326 hp.
The 600 designations was intended to evoke associations with the legendary Mercedes 600, which had been in the lineup as an ultra-luxury sedan between 1964 and 1981.
Check out this dealer-promo-video: