For many years, Mercedes-Benz has been almost the only luxury car manufacturer to include in its range a two-door coupe based on a large sedan. The reasons many makers shy away from this layout is the belief that most buyers want four doors when they purchase a large car. But for Mercedes, the company not only perseveres with a big 2-door coupe, but makes the model one of the most opulent and expensive it produces. In fact, the S-Coupe has always been a showcase for the very best styling and technology the company is capable of and this is understandably reflected in the substantial price.
There is a V-8 model available, but we’re focusing on the range-topping S 65 AMG because it has the best performance and the most lavish specification to gloat over.
The new coupe is superbly styled and the word ‘svelte’ must have been conjured up for this car. It has sleek, sinewy, lines and seems to flow down the road rather than merely drive. It’s a real standout car and could easily upstage the most costly of exotics. The 20-inch AMG wheels look wonderful and through their spokes, you get a glimpse of the big ventilated disc brakes which bring the beast well under control. It’s a big car, there’s no doubt about that, as it’s based on the sedan platform, but somehow it doesn’t look bulky in any way. The two doors are very wide, so it’s no problem for people to climb into the back. There’s also a generous amount of cargo space in the trunk, with 400-litres available. Because of its basic platform, it is quite roomy in the back seat, if not as spacious as it is in the sedan equivalent.
The engine is an absolute delight and is super-smooth and very flexible, as you’d expect with six litres and twelve cylinders. Engines like this are designed for response and refinement, rather than flat-out speed, but even so, this is a very fast car. The basic Mercedes V-12 has been around for years in one form or another and I must have covered thousands of kilometres in cars so equipped. It is the ultimate engine configuration and not many manufacturers offer them nowadays. Jaguar stopped making V-12s many years ago and to be frank, the less expensive V-8 powered S-Coupe is almost as fast, but that’s not the point. If it’s the best you’re looking for, this IS the best.
The huge powerplant is aided by twin turbochargers and power is fed to the wheels via a 7-speed automatic with paddle shifter manual controls on the steering wheel. This is a rear-wheel drive car and traction control does take care of handling the serious power delivery quite well. This is a car we’d choose to cross a continent in and on winding roads, it handles with great precision and engenders a feeling of safety and solidity.
The interior is a total delight with every imaginable convenience item possible and some you’d never think of. There are two very large infotainment screens and the flow of the dash and door panels is as sensuous as the exterior styling. Even the controls for the power seats are designed with a flowing look to them. The chunky steering wheel, which is host to multiple controls, is flattened a little at the bottom to give a little extra thigh clearance. Naturally, the fit and finish is impeccable and the materials throughout the cabin are of the finest possible quality, as expected given the price tag.
The Mercedes-Benz S 65 AMG is one of the world’s supreme cars and you won’t see too many of them about. It offers everything anyone could possible dream up for a luxury car and then adds a few dozen more features. How can you go wrong with a car that has LED headlights with Swarovski crystals?
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Two-door coupe
ENGINE: 630-horsepower 6-litre V-12
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx 4.1-secs
FUEL ECONOMY: See Dealer
PRICE: See Dealer