Bring on the ‘too much is never enough’ comments: this is the new Mercedes S65 AMG – the top dog of the S-class range. Set to be more than twice as expensive as an entry-level S350 BlueTec, which starts at £62k, the S65 AMG borrows its powerplant from the SL65 AMG, and comes close to embarrassing the SLS supercar in a drag race.
What’s the difference between a Mercedes S65 AMG and the S63?
Whereas the new S63 makes do with a piffling 5.5-litre biturbo V8 developing 577bhp, the S65 squeezes in a twin-blown V12 good for 621bhp – that’s only one horse fewer than the Mercedes SLS Black Series manages. Torque is a silly 1000Nm – that’s 737lb ft in proper English, and it’s sent to the rear wheels only (yikes) via a seven-speed automatic transmission with three shift speed settings, in place of the old S65’s five-speed slusher.
How fast is the Mercedes S65 AMG?
Very fast, not just for a two-tonne, long-wheelbase only limo, but just about anything. It’ll race from rest to 62mph in 4.3sec, and while the top speed is predictably reined in by the spoilsport limiter at 155mph, the car’s digital speedometer reads to a promising 225mph.
However, given the £119,565 S63 gets to 62mph a paltry 0.1sec later and has the same limited top speed, you’ve got to really want the V12…
With such potency on tap, it’s reassuring that enormous 420mm carbon-ceramic disc brakes are available as an option. Forged 20in multispoke alloys are standard-fit, along with a chrome-infused bodykit (which can be decked out in carbonfibre if Sir prefers), plus a quad-pipe sports exhaust.
Anything else new?
The S65 is the first S-class to get the company’s new smartphone-inspired control system. The touch-sensitive pebble replaces the flip-up armrest in 2013 model year S-classes – expect to see it in all new S-classes as of March 2014. Meanwhile, Mercedes has confirmed the new C-class will also get the haptic feedback system – click here to check out all the details.
But twice the price of a brilliant regular S-class?
That’s the real sticking point. Although the S65 makes a case for itself by being long-wheelbase only, packing in tech like the road-scanning ‘Magic Ride Control’ as standard and being undeniably quicker than any other S-class, it’s likely to cost around £150,000.
For that sort of wedge, you could get into a Bentley Flying Spur – or buy a standard S-class with enough change left over for a Jaguar F-type. If you must have that ‘5’ on your bootlid, the S65 goes on sale in spring 2014.
>> Is the Mercedes S65 marketing folly or an engineering masterpiece? Add your thoughts in the comments below