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2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 – V12 vanity

AMG 65! Stuffing AMG treated twin-turbocharged V12 engine under the hood of some Merc’s products propelled them to special price category, unreachable by BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Lexus and rest of the rivaling bunch. Just some of them had the honor to wear that special moniker placing them among Bentleys, Ferraris and Astons by price tags. In Stuttgart’s sedan world only S-Class with coupe and convertible version carries glorified AMG V12 underneath, among the SUVs that honor is reserved just for G-Class and among the roadsters SL was a privileged one.

If you thought that V12 powered Maybach was priciest S-Class that you can buy, then you are wrong. AMG S65 will knock out additional $36k from your wallet and refreshed 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 has just arrived, so let’s see whether it’s worth it.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 top view

2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 LOOKS

Just like all other parts of the S lineup, 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 received new headlights both in shape and configuration, new grille borrowed from Maybach version and the new layout for tail lights. Now for AMG part of the game, rear bumper is revised around quad-exhaust tips, and we have new AMG styled “floating” bumper at the front, which populates almost all new Mercedes-AMG models. Finally, it arrived to S-Class, keeping us wonder why it wasn’t there from the beginning since it was found on refreshed version of the previous generation of E65 AMG.

To give you visual satisfaction for paying the rude amount of additional cash compared to S63 version, this new front bumper is garnished with chromed mesh pattern, and all available alloys are one inch bigger stopping at 20-inch.


When it comes to the interior, all changes are shared between the two S-Class AMG models. We have the new gorgeously styled wheel with Alcantara patches, which doesn’t correspond to the one in regular version anymore. Also, we are getting touch sensitive buttons on the wheel, taken from E-Class along with two 12.3-inch displays sitting on a glass panel that is not divided in half anymore. AMG badges continue to bring special seats, aluminum pedals and special trim options.

Besides sporty connotations, this is still primarily “uber” luxury limousine, full of lavish things like Burmester 3D sound system, heating, ventilation and massage for all seats, an abundance of ambient lighting choices, panoramic roof with adjustable transparency and so on.


No changes happened here for S65 version, despite S63 one received new engine. Twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 remains with the same power output of 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, also keeping 4.2 seconds of acceleration time and a top speed of 155 mph or 186 mph if you opt for limiter removal. S65 doesn’t come with AWD as S63 does, it continues to keep RWD configuration, while also retaining its 7-speed automatic transmission.

Things like Magic Body Control complemented by Road Surface Scan and Curve Tilting still make this huge sedan worthy of corners. First one presents adjustable air suspension, second, as the name suggest, scans the road and gathers information about upcoming condition making suspension adapt before it reaches them while the last one will artificially tilt the car for you preserving comfort sensations.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 back view


If you read our story about AMG S63 model, you know that we don’t think so. Pure fact that the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 starts at whopping $227k and V12 under the hood might make you thinking about that it is a far superior choice in the segment. Well… If you look at power figures, $146k Maserati Quattroporte GTS takes the exactly same amount of time to reach 60 mph, despite using 3.8-liter V8 that delivers “just” 523 hp and it is most engaging to drive in this class.

BMW 760i knocks out $156k from your account balance and in return also gives V12, 6.6-liter one boosting 601 hp, and reduce acceleration significantly time to 3.4 seconds. That is not all as we have the $119k bargain Jaguar XJR with 5.0-liter V8, 550 hp and 3.8 seconds to 60 mph. An absolute gem in this segment is the Audi S8 Plus and its 4.0-liter V8 making 605 hp and taking blistering 3.3 seconds to 60 mph while managing to be cheaper by a couple of grand even from Jaguar.

And best is yet to come, as AMG S63 share all the looks, luxury, and technology with its sibling, while new 4.0-liter biturbo V8 delivers 603 hp and takes only 3.4 seconds to 60 mph or 0.8 seconds faster than V12 does. V8 also has significantly lesser turbo lag, much better powerband, cylinder deactivation, it is now paired with new 9-speed automatic and has $80k lighter price tag. So, Mercedes-AMG S-Class is a perfect choice, but just not the S65 one, no matter how much V12 sounds better.

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