2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 Review: The Irrational Monster

– New York, New York

The Mercedes-AMG S65 doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense on paper: it costs $82,500 more than the S63 sedan, yet is 0.7 second slower to 60 miles per hour, and the two models’ top speeds are identical – and both cars offer all the same options and features. There’s no clear, on-paper advantage to the S65. The car’s enduring appeal is, however, exactly down to its irrationality.

“There’s always going to be a customer that wants a 12-cylinder,” explains Nick Martin, AMG Product Manager at Mercedes-Benz. “They buy the ultimate in performance because that’s who they are.”

One of the few cars in the world still offered with a V12 engine, the S65 remains something special in part because it is so different. Mercedes hasn’t messed with that formula; this is the only S-Class powertrain that is completely unchanged for the 2018 model year. After all, Martin says customers buy it not for logical reasons but because this is the “best” car available in a dealership: “The S65 exists because there’s no S75.”

 

Pros

Epic power. The horsepower figure of 621 is mighty impressive, but the biturbocharged 6.0-liter engine really stands out because it dishes up an incredible 738 pound-feet of torque from just 2,300 rpm. At any speed in any gear, the engine pulls with reckless abandon; there’s enough grunt to pass anyone, at any time, in just seconds. And, as the S65 is available only with rear-wheel drive, it’ll light up the 20-inch rubber on command.

AMG-specific interior ...