2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG front 3/4 view

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG rear 3/4 view

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG front 3/4 view

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG rear 3/4 view

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG side view

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG front view

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG rear view

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG headlight

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG grille

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG front fascia

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG wheel

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG wheel

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG wheel detail

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG badge

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG taillight

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG badge

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG badge

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG rear fascia

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG exhaust tips

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG engine

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG engine

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG engine

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG engine detail

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG engine detail

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG interior

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG front seats

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG seat detail

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG gauges

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG infotainment system

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG dash settings

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG instrument panel

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG dash

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG center console

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG door

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG door speaker

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG rear seats

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG rear seats

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG rear seat television monitors

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG rear seat climate controls

Mercedes-Benz sells seven different models of its flagship S-Class sedan in the States. Look past the entry-level S400 Hybrid (base price $93,000) and the standard V8-powered S550 models. The four-door at the pinnacle – squashing the amazing S63 AMG ($140,000) and twelve-cylinder S600 ($160,300) as it steps over them – is the bordering-on-preposterous twin-turbocharged twelve-cylinder S65 AMG seen here.

"Excessive" is an understatement, as the S65 AMG leaves little to want. Tucked up front is a hand-assembled 60-degree 6.0-liter V12, force-fed air by twin blowers to develop 621 horsepower and 738 pound feet of torque. All of the mind-blowing power is sent through a robust five-speed automatic to the rear wheels where it seems utterly unchallenged by the sedan's curb weight of 5,082 pounds – the four-door will bust through the benchmark 60 mph barrier in 4.2 seconds and pull all the way to its electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.

Few will ever have the opportunity to see an S65 AMG in the flesh, let alone spend an hour alone with one, so I leapt on the opportunity. Upgraded from the standard trim, this particular test car was an even scarcer bespoke "Designo" model, with exclusive matte paint, custom shades of soft leather and glossy piano black trim. Pricing, as they say, is available upon request.

Driving Notes
  • Despite its omnipotence, the S65 looks rather low-key and almost indistinguishable from its siblings. Observers will note the "V12 Biturbo" badging on each front quarter panel and the "S65" on the rear decklid. Those with really good eyes will catch the slight difference in the horizontal slats on the S65's front grille (three twin-parallel slats, upgraded from four thick bars). Most all of the other sporty cosmetic enhancements are shared with the S63 AMG.
  • It is impossible to defeat the traction control on the S65 AMG, meaning mile-long burnouts aren't going to happen. While acceleration off the line was dizzying, the real fun happened above 50 mph when the explosive power under the hood spooled to its full potential (it's a treat to watch the traction control light blink at highways speeds). An illegal coast-to-coast run at 150 mph would be joyful and effortless, but I would hate to foot the fuel bill (or pay the fines).
  • Of course, the S65 will never feel as nimble as smaller sedans, but its active suspension was more than competent through every series of curves I tossed it into. There is no getting around two-plus tons of mass, but the aggressive staggered tire package (255/35ZR20 and 275/35ZR20) provided plenty of grip at the limit. The unique twin sliding-caliper brakes fitted over cross-drilled rotors effortlessly bled off the speed with very good pedal feel. It is a very large and comfortable luxury sedan, yet it is still very entertaining to drive - much to my surprise.
  • Those who couldn't care less about the S65's mechanical brilliance will find plenty to soothe their souls inside the cabin, as the opulence of a standard S-Class sedan has been turned up a full revolution on the dial. Supple seat leather is stitched, quilted and perforated (heated and cooled too) and the trim is polished to a mirror-like finish. Passengers in the second row will find leg crossing room, power seats and video entertainment. The cabin smells even better than it looks. I can't wait to see how the next S-Class looks and feels inside.
  • As fabulous as the S65 AMG is, the enthusiast in me still prefers the S63 AMG. Its twin-turbo V8, exhibiting almost no turbo lag, is better suited to our stop-and-go congestion and restrictive speed limits in North America. It is slightly lighter, nearly every bit as luxurious, and it only gives up a tenth of a second in the 60 mph sprint. Plus, I can buy a new C63 AMG with the money I save.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      Merc1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Amazing car, but outdated and AB the transmission is a 5-speed, not a 6-speed. Why bother to report on this one now? M
        J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Merc1
        "Few will ever have the opportunity to see an S65 AMG in the flesh, let alone spend an hour alone with one, so I leapt on the opportunity."
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mmmm, glorious excess.
      ZULF
      • 2 Years Ago
      Typo, 5-speed auto not 6.
      Houmpheng Phonsavath
      • 2 Years Ago
      6 speed auto??
      Dean
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've always loved the thought of being able to propel 4000+ lbs to 60, in less than 5 seconds...
      lazybeans
      • 2 Years Ago
      big engine, check. large rims, check. quad exhaust, check. body vents, check. yawn.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lazybeans
        Yawn? This is the ultimate sleeper once debadged. There aren't too many four doors that will crest 200MPH in supreme comfort.
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      If money were of no concern, a CL or S65 would be my DD. There is no better cruiser than one of those. A friend of the family has a S65 that's been debadged and has Renntech's Package 2. It is nearly untouchable on highway runs.
      JB
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love the face melting engine excess, but with those wheel arches it just remind me of the previous generation US focus, ugly as hell.
      John Smith
      • 2 Years Ago
      6.0 liter V12 = needs to be called an S60. Also needs fixed-caliper brakes.
      chrismcfreely
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would rather have the S400H.
      ajk724
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would take a new S8 and save over $100,000. Imagine the look on the S65 owners face as I blow by him while making it rain out of my window with the money I saved.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ajk724
        Odds are a person who owns an S65 could probably just borrow his wifes S8 if he wants to race you. Do you really think someone with the money to afford that cares what car beats them in a street race? What are you 16 years old?
      th0mb0ne
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love how understated but stupendously tasteful this car is both inside and out. This is is what you want when you want to drive a Bentley, but still have some taste.
    • Load More Comments