MERCEDES HAS fired the latest salvo in the battle of the super-coupés with its new S 65 AMG coupé, expected to cost around £185,000.
The car’s 6-litre V12 bi-turbo engine produces an earth-moving 613bhp and 738 lb ft torque, a whisker shy of the 617bhp served up by the W12 in the £152,600 Bentley Continental GT Speed coupé, but a useful 133 lb ft musclier.
Again, in power terms, the new Mercedes trails the £230,000 Rolls-Royce Wraith whose 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 produces 624bhp, but talks the torque with a 148 lb ft advantage.
Thanks to its superior punch, the S 65, which has a seven-speed automatic transmission, accelerates from 0-62mph in 4.1sec, a tenth of a second faster than the Bentley and five-tenths quicker than the Rolls. Meanwhile, it averages 23.7mpg compared with the Bentley’s 19.5mpg and the Rolls’s 20.2mpg.
The S 65 AMG coupé, which goes on sale in autumn, is the pinnacle of the Mercedes range and as such, wants for little. Highlights on the rear-drive car (4MATIC four-wheel drive will not be available in the UK) include Magic Body Control which leans the car into corners to improve handling.
AMG 20in high-polish alloy wheels are standard, as is a new three-spoke AMG steering wheel and new figure-hugging sports seats. A head-up display projects key information including current gear selection.
But for all its greatness, the new S 65 AMG coupé presents the prospective purchaser with a dilemma: whether to buy it or the cheaper, £125,000 S 63 AMG coupé unveiled at the New York show earlier this year. The fact that the S 63 has the lowlier 569bhp V8 and sprints from 0-62mph in a yawning 4.4sec should seal it in the V12’s favour.