Why does Mercedes still sell this model?
The Mercedes S-Class is an exceptional luxury vehicle. Even the "base" S550 comes with a 4.7-liter biturbo V8 that produces 449 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. You may want to add a few options like nicer wheels, Nappa leather, or some driver assistance technology, but it really isn't possibly to buy a spartan S-Class. The S550 is such a smooth car that it is way too big and too heavy to be considered sporty, so this made us wonder if anything other than the base model is just overkill.
We instantly took a look at the most expensive S-Class, the S65 AMG. The base S550 and S550e Plug-in Hybrid both start at $95,650. You might imagine that the V12-powered S65 might cost a little more, right? The S65 AMG has a starting price of $224,650. That is more than double what the normal S-Class costs. For that you do get a ton of power, 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque from a handcrafted 6.0-liter biturbo V12 to be exact. That is a lot of power, but does it actually do anything? The 0-60 mph time of the V8 S550 is 4.8 seconds. With all of that extra power and torque from its monster V12 engine the S65 is able to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. That is barely half a second faster for double the price.
Now, you may be asking yourself why anyone would possibly pay double for a car that is barely faster and drinks way more fuel. Well, it does have an AMG badge and a handcrafted AMG engine, which is pretty special. That is all well and good, but Mercedes makes another variant of the S-Class called the S63 AMG. Like the S65 this car also comes festooned with AMG badges and a hand-built engine. However, this car "only" has a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 with 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. You might expect that this lesser V8 model couldn't possibly match the top-dog V12, right? Actually, the S63 hits 60 mph from a standstill in 3.9 seconds, making it the fastest model in the range.
What is even more impressive is that the S63 only costs $143,250 compared to the S65 which is, again, $224,650. So now you still may be wondering why anyone would buy the S65. Well, because if they buy one, then they can say that they drive a V12. There is a famous quote that says: “I believe that anyone who is worth their salt should drive a V12 once before they die." Luckily, buying an S65 means that you are indeed worth your salt. However, the S65 isn't exactly what we would call a sports car, so why not just get the S600? This also has a biturbo V12, but with a more modest 523 hp and 612 lb-ft. It also has a more modest price of $169,050. It can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is faster than the S550 and only .2 seconds off the more expensive S65.
You really would have to be bonkers to buy the Mercedes S65 as a coupe or as a sedan. However, maybe that is why you should. There aren't many cars out there that are completely pointless, so perhaps the S65 AMG is the perfect way to announce to the world that you have way too much money, and that nothing but the best will do.