2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Review

Model Overview

Here’s the thing – the Mercedes-AMG S65 sedan is a big luxury sedan with a focus on performance and passenger comfort. But some connoisseurs prefer to be behind the wheel rather than behind the driver. For those people, the Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe is the cream of the crop – a supreme grand tourer to rival the Aston Martin DB11 and the forthcoming BMW M8. But underpinned by the same platform of the sedan, there’s added practicality over the Aston, while the AMG fettling and a V12 heart ensures competitive performance with a bespoke feel.

Interior

Unlike GT cars like the DB11, the Mercedes-AMG S65 is more than just a 2+2 seater. Though the rear seats may offer slightly less leg room and substantially less head room than its sedan counterpart, this is still a genuine four seat coupe suitable for adults – though only of average height in the rear of the cabin. Heated rear seats and luxurious design Nappa leather make rear accommodation lush, but this is a luxury GT with a greater focus on the driver than the driven. The front seats feature 12-way power adjustment with heating, ventilation, and massage function. The steering wheel is a more driver-engaging AMG-performance Nappa leather clad wheel with molded thumb grips, which adjusts in an innumerable amount of ways to allow for a perfect driving position. The coupe is also suitably practical, with 10.4 cubic feet worth of cargo volume beneath the duck-tailed trunk lid.

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Driving (Ride and Handling)

The pièce de résistance of the AMG S65 is the Magic Body Control’s curve tilting function – leaning into corners to counter body lean with an eerie ability that goes against natural driver instincts to rely on lean to communicate levels of front end grip and chassis balance. However the Magic Body Control’s primary function – automatically adjusting the 4-wheel independent suspension to suit the road based on camera inputs – lacks the full breadth of ability that most adaptive systems offer. Still, the ride is absorbent and pliant, though 20-inch alloys yield to potholes as their Kryptonite – sending jolts through the cabin regardless of the active suspension doing its thing. However, the S65 Coupe is an adept handler, making the most of its rear-wheel drive nature for a rather enthralling drive and providing a rapid way to cross the country in true grand touring style.

Performance (Engine and Transmission)

Though the Mercedes-AMG S63 may feature 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the S65’s mighty engine is far too powerful for the all-wheel drive componentry to handle The hand-built 6.0-liter bi-turbo V12 under the hood produces massive torque figures – 738 lb-ft of torque to be precise – and 621 horsepower. The rear wheels are driven through a 7-speed automatic gearbox. Without all-wheel drive, and without a launch control function, the 0-60mph time for the S65 lags behind that of the S63 – 4.0 seconds compared to the 63’s 3.8 – but this is more about smooth power and immense torque than it is straight line acceleration.

Equipment and Safety

The luxurious leather-clad leather seats with heating, ventilation, power adjustment, and massage functionality are just the tip of a comfort-oriented, technologically-packed iceberg. Pedestrian detection, surround-view cameras, adaptive braking technology, full-LED active headlights, and a night-vision camera are all completely standard. The panoramic roof features Magic Vision Control, which tints the roof at the touch of a button, while there’s even an optional refrigerator box in the rear of the cabin. Lane keeping assistant, blind spot monitors, and autonomous emergency braking are all standard safety features – though the S-Class has not been locally crash tested.

Verdict

Extreme luxury, incredible technology, and massive power are all standard, along with genuine practicality – making the Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe an impressive luxury GT. Add a dash of insanity, and this is the perfect car for luxury excess in a world of sedation and anaesthetized experiences.

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Starting MSRP
$238,900