Saturday, April 7, 2018



Mercedes-Benz has added a new, V6-powered base model to its S-Class portfolio with the S450 making its debut for 2018, and I’m sure it’s a great car as is typical of just about anything and everything that comes off the German automaker’s assembly line.

But if you really want to get a feel for what the S-Class is all about, you need to check it out after the engineers in the AMG department get their hands on it.

The S-Class nomenclature has been used since 1972 and is short for Sonderklasse, which is German for “special class,” or cut to “S-Klasse.”

When it comes to the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 sedan, I have another word for the S-Class:


Stunning also fits.

The opulent interior enmeshes you with unrestrained luxury with Nappa leather seats that caress your tush while their side bolsters gently hug you as you go around a corner. They’re heated and ventilated, of course, and offer massage capability and lumbar support to ease those long drives.

The 12.3-inch display screen is nicely integrated into the flow of the dash, which is accented by a soft, quilted leather panel on the passenger side for an eye-pleasing effect.

The flat-bottom steering wheel has a solid yet soft feel to the fingertips, and it comes with extra-size paddle shifters for selecting gears manually in the seven-speed automatic transmission, though if it’s performance you’re seeking, you will find the Sport+ setting delivers pleasing results.

Backseat passengers get 41 inches of legroom and just over 39 inches of headroom and also get their own fold-down console when only two are riding in the rear.

Convenience features like keyless ignition with push-button start, dual-zone climate control, a 26-speaker Burmeister High-End surround sound system, COMAND system with navigation, electronic trunk closer and self-close doors, Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, and a bevy of safety features are standard.

The latter includes adaptive cruise control, head-up display, lane keeping/change assist, Pre-Safe Plus system with rear collision protection, a surround view system, active park assist, and the usual collection of air bags, include side-impact protection. It’s also going to monitor you as the driver to make sure you aren’t getting drowsy on a long trip.

Oh, heck. Let’s cut to the chase here. If a feature can be found in today’s automotive world, you can find it in the AMG S65.

About the only thing it’s not is self-drive and, frankly, with a bi-turbo V12 power plant at your disposal, why would you want that?

That engine sends 612 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels that moves its nearly 5,000 pounds from zero-to-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, according to the company.

That result is a surprisingly nimble performance for a car of this class and size, and one that is equally smooth and quiet over the roughest of road surfaces.

(Sierra Club members might want to skip the next next sentence.) The AMG S65 drinks premium fuel at the rate of about 16 miles-per-gallon (13 city, 22 highway) or 6.3 gallons per 100 miles, according to the federal government. You were expecting more?

So now the kicker.

As a super luxury sedan, it the AMG S65 carries a super luxury price tag. Starting MSRP is $229,500 with destination and delivery charge ($995) and options like a carbon braking system ($8,950) running the final total to over $240,000. That’s Super Luxury, all right.

Depending on where you live, you probably could get a nice, comfortable condo for that price, but remember this: You can sleep in your car (and there is plenty of room in the S65 for that), but you can’t drive your house.

What I liked about the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65: Let’s make it quick. Darn near everything. Unlike a competitor, it also offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

What I didn’t like about the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65: I’m getting more and more used to it, but the COMAND system for infotainment systems still can be distracting to operate.

Would I buy the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65? Of course, I would, right after I win a multi-million dollar lottery. If you haven’t had any luck with Power Ball, note that opting for the V8-powered AMG S63 instead will save you around $82,000. It’s also slightly quicker with a 3.6-second zero-to-60 mph time, which may be one factor that eventually will lead to the end of the V12 in Mercedes models. 

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