2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG First Look
More Loco, Less Eco
Turbocharged four-cylinders and eco-diesels continue to infiltrate Mercedes-Benz's U.S. lineup, but there's more to the automaker than efficient, small-displacement engines. Arriving in the second quarter of 2014, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG will be the S-Class to covet, mainly because of the twelve-cylinder beast under the hood making 621 hp, and 738 lb-ft of torque.
The 6.0-liter V-12 is essentially a carryover engine, though now it's mated to AMG's seven-speed automatic, versus the outgoing five-speed gearbox. Expect smoother and faster shifts and a 0-60 mph time that Benz has estimated at 4.2 seconds. The 2013 S65 AMG we recently tested needed 4.3 seconds to run to 60 mph, so Benz's guess for the new seems about right. The transmission has three drive settings, starting with Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S), and Manual (M).
AMG has been adding 4Matic all-wheel drive to a number of its eight-cylinder models like the E63 AMG and S63 AMG, but it has opted not to do so with the S65 AMG, likely because the additional four cylinders occupy space needed for the 4Matic hardware.
The large sedan will ride on an AMG-tuned suspension that includes standard Magic Body Control and Benz's new Road Surface Scan system, which prepares the suspension based on road imperfections scanned by a stereo camera. Also helping in the handling department is Dynamic Cornering Assist, providing pseudo torque vectoring by lightly tapping the inside brake while cornering.
Speaking of brakes, the 2015 S65 AMG has a standard composite system, but an AMG ceramic composite set is available. The optional brakes are 20-percent lighter, larger (16.5-inch discs up front), and will likely be a five-digit price bump to the MSRP. Carbon-ceramic brakes for the SL65 AMG, for example, are a $12,625 upcharge. Also lightweight are the S65's standard 20-inch forged rims, with bolt covers that appear like center-locking sets. Other rim designs and finishes will be offered.
Like its predecessor, the 2015 S65 AMG's exterior is relatively subtle. Cues hinting at the 12-cylinder powerplant include quad exhaust tips, extra chrome treatment for the lower front bumper and side rocker panels, and "V12 Biturbo" badges on the front fenders. Pop the hood and you'll find an engine cover constructed of carbon fiber.
Inside, passengers are surrounded by Nappa leather with diamond-stitch pattern and AMG badges. The premium leather is also used for the headliner, a feature unique to the S65 AMG. And since this is the range-topping S-Class, almost all available amenities on other models are standard in the S65 AMG. Once passengers overcome their initial shock from a 5000-pound car accelerating to highway speeds faster than most sports cars, they can relax with Hot Stone massaging seats, a Burmester 3D surround sound system, an Executive Rear Seat Package, and plushier floor mats. Options include Designo interior finishes, and Executive Rear Seat package Plus that adds folding tables, and an exterior carbon fiber package. Of course, Benz's full suite of safety tech will be standard, including Night View Assist, adaptive cruise control, and Active Lane Keeping Assist.
The 2015 S65 AMG will also debut two new technologies for Mercedes-Benz. First is a head-up display that projects pertinent info onto the windshield. Next is the touchpad, which works in conjunction with the COMAND infotainment system, providing another method to control radio, navigation, and climate control inputs. The touchpad operates like most smartphones, responding to tap and swipe gestures, and handwriting inputs.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG will debut at the 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show and should arrive in U.S. showrooms during the second quarter of 2014. Pricing hasn't been announced, but expect a base MSRP just over $200,000, considering that the 2014 S63 AMG starts at $140,425.
|2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG|
|BASE PRICE||$215,000 (est)|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 4-5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||6.0L/621-hp/738-lb-ft twin-turbo SOHC 36-valve V-12|
|CURB WEIGHT||5000 lb (est)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||206.5 x 74.8 x 58.7 in|
|0-60 MPH||4.2 sec (est)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||Not yet rated|
|ON SALE IN U.S.||Spring 2014|