Here’s what Mercedes calls its true flagship, ahead of both the SLS supercar or S65 AMG. It’s the S600, a twin-turbo, V12-powered saloon available in long-wheelbase guise only, loaded with on-board kit and apparently capable of outrunning all but the most serious sports cars while cosseting occupants in a private jet-like cabin.
Mercedes considers the S600 to be the spiritual successor to the Mercedes 600 of 1963, the gargantuan saloon preferred by every self-respecting celebrity and dictator of the 1960s.
Mercedes S600: the engine spec
Under the bonnet, we find a 6.0-litre, twin-turbo V12 engine. Forget downsizing: the engine is 500cc bigger than the 5.5-litre V12 which powered the previous-generation S600.
It’s also a good deal more powerful too. Mercedes claims the engine develops 523bhp, up from the 5.5’s 510bhp. Torque output is a frankly silly 612lb ft, all of which is at your chauffer’s disposal from 1900rpm. No wonder this 2185kg limo can accelerate to 62mph in a scant 4.6sec, and has to be limited to 155mph flat out.
More Germanic witchcraft means this S600m is potentially 21% more fuel efficient than the model it replaces. Mercedes claims a best of 25.4mpg, though CO2 emissions are a hefty 259g/km.
The S600 better have some pretty special kit on board…
The touch-sensitive infotainment control that features in the new Mercedes C-class (and wasn’t finished in time for the S-class launch) will be available in the S600, as is a new anti-crash system. The nattily named ‘Collision Prevention Assist Plus’ can instigate autonomous braking at speeds of up to 124mph, and will perform emergency stops from up to 25mph to prevent rear-end collisions. A head-up display also appears on this S-class.
Prices are yet to be revealed for the S600 (which is concentrated on the North American and Asian markets, rather than us fuel-conscious and heavily taxed European buyers) but should cost well into six figures. The S65 AMG will remain the most expensive S-class, however: it costs around £150,000, and packs 621bhp from its uprated V12 engine.