Preview: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Reviews I By Bradley Iger I November 15, 2013

 This is the Master Landing Page for the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG. From now on, as we further review this car, we will be updating this page with whatever fresh content we create. Future drive reviews, updated specifications, videos, and other relevant information will all be found right here, in one convenient spot.

Mercedes-Benz has announced the newest addition to the S-Class family, the flagship S65 AMG, which aims to provide "driving performance in its perfect form."
Providing the grunt for the S65’s substantial mass is AMG’s hand-built bitrubo V12, which generates a peak output of 621hp and a tire-melting 738 lb-ft of torque. With that level of motivation on tap, it’s no surprise that this new bruiser from Affalterbach will sprint to 60mph from rest in an estimated 4.2 seconds. But the newest S-class AMG entry isn’t just about going fast in a straight line.
Sporting AMG’s Magic Body Control suspension working in tandem with Road Surface Scan, a brand new system which employs cameras to predict undulations in upcoming road surfaces, the S65 will provide motorists a dynamic driving experience when tossing the big Benz into corners as well. Torque vectoring by way of Dynamic Cornering Assist promises to keep understeer at bay when handling at the limit.
Various weight-savings measures have been implemented as well, including a lithium-ion battery, which replaces both the conventional starter battery and backup battery – the first of its kind in a production car.
The inside of the new S65 has some new surprises as well. The new head-up display will provide vehicle speed, gear selection and navigation information projected onto the windscreen, positioned in such a way that the information will appear to "float" above the hood so that the data is easily found in the driver’s field of view. The positioning can also be adjusted to the driver’s tastes.
Additionally, the S65 brings a new tablet-like touchpad interface to the infotainment features, offering significant improvements in the ease of use of those features. The typical pinch, swipe and zoom features found on modern smartphones are all present, allowing the driver to control audio, telephone, and navigation systems though the use of gestures and haptic feedback.
The S65 AMG will premiere at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on November 20, 2013, and will go on-sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014. Pricing is said to be announced closer to the launch.
Get a closer look at the new S65 AMG in the attached photo gallery, and scroll down for more details and specs in the press release found below.
The New Mercedez-Benz S65 AMG
Driving performance in its perfect form
November 08, 2013 – Affalterbach
Twelve cylinders, twin-turbocharging, 621 hp (463 kW) of output and 738 lb-ft of torque – the new S65 AMG sets new standards as the most powerful vehicle in its segment. Exceptional performance and outstanding dynamics – these are the hallmarks of the AMG 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine. The AMG sports suspension based on MAGIC BODY CONTROL comes standard with ROAD SURFACE SCAN, the world’s first suspension with eyes. It goes without saying that the S65 AMG offers supreme exclusivity in design and equipment specification. Two innovations — the head-up display and the touchpad — represent further enhancements in terms of comfort and safety.
The S65 AMG is the only high-performance 12-cylinder automobile from a German premium manufacturer – and it’s a car with a pedigree: the first generation of the S65 AMG (V 220) was launched in 2003 (2005 in the U.S.), with the second generation (V 221) being produced from 2006 until 2013.
Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "Soon after the successful launch of the S63 AMG, we are unveiling the new S65 AMG. Supreme exclusivity and incomparable dynamism provide the guarantee of a high fascination potential. With the third generation of the S65 AMG, we offer our loyal and discerning V12 customers a unique high-performance automobile."
Key data at a glance:
Displacement          6.0-liter
Output          621 hp (463 kW) at 4800-5400 rpm
Horsepower  621 hp
Max. torque  738 lb-ft at 2300-4300 rpm
Acceleration 0-60 mph       4.2 s (est.)
Top speed    155 mph*
* Electronically limited
The AMG 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine delivers 621 hp (463 kW) with a maximum torque of 738 lb-ft – figures that enable the S65 AMG to outperform all other vehicles in its segment. This superiority is highlighted by the car’s performance: the S65 AMG accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The strengths of the 12-cylinder biturbo engine from Mercedes-AMG include its effortless acceleration in all speed ranges as well as its refined operation with the distinctive V12 sound typical of AMG. In short: the S65 AMG impresses with its superior and stylish performance.
Technical highlights of the AMG 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine:
Aluminium crankcase
Forged crankshaft of high-grade alloy steel
Multi-spark ignition with 12 twin-spark ignition units
Air-to-water intercooler with low-temperature circuit
Alternator management
ECO start/stop function
Exclusive carbon fiber engine cover with AMG engine badge
Opening the hood reveals the exclusive carbon fiber/aluminium engine cover, which is a further sign of the exceptional status of the AMG 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine. Two AMG logos on left and right together with a centrally positioned Mercedes star create a lasting impression. The 12-cylinder engine is assembled by hand at AMG’s engine production facility in compliance with the most rigorous quality standards according to the philosophy "one man, one engine". Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative precision and production quality, the AMG engine badge bearing the engine technician’s signature underneath the Mercedes star offers unmistakable proof of the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance brand.
As before in the SL65 AMG high-performance roadster, AMG combines the 6.0- liter V12 biturbo engine with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC. Unlike in the direct predecessor of the S65 AMG, which featured an AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission, the seven-speed automatic transmission with its wide ratio spread guarantees a noticeably lower engine speed level. This makes a key contribution to reducing the vehicle’s fuel consumption. The efficiency of the power train is further significantly improved by reduced-friction bearings and transmission oil heat management.
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC has three individual driving programs, which can be selected at the press of a button in the center console: Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M). In modes S and M the emphasis is on sportiness: maximum emotive appeal combined with truly perceivable dynamics is ensured by the brief, precisely defined cutback of ignition and injection during upshifts under full load; this shortens the shift times and lends an audibly more emotive tone to gearshifts. The ECO start/stop function is always activated in transmission mode "C".
Lithium-ion battery reduces weight by over 44 pounds
Like the S63 AMG, the S65 AMG features a lithium-ion battery. This innovative technology offers numerous advantages over a conventional battery concept: with a capacity of 78 Ah, the lithium-ion battery replaces both the starter battery and the backup battery – resulting in a weight saving of over 44 pounds. The high-performance battery is unaffected by cold temperatures and has compact dimensions. S63 AMG and S65 AMG are the world’s first volume-produced vehicles with such a battery system.
AMG sports suspension with MAGIC BODY CONTROL
The S65 AMG features as standard the AMG sports suspension based on MAGIC BODY CONTROL. The new S-Class is the first car in the world able to recognize road surface undulations in advance. If ROAD SURFACE SCAN detects such undulations with the help of the stereo camera, MAGIC BODY CONTROL adjusts the suspension in advance to suit the situation. The "Comfort" and "Sport" modes are available for a driver-defined suspension setup. While AMG-specific elastokinematics on the 4-link front axle and multilink independent rear suspension make for greater directness when a dynamic driving style is adopted, the AMG sports suspension based on MAGIC BODY CONTROL ensures the legendary Mercedes long-distance comfort.
The S65 AMG is equipped as standard with ESP® Dynamic Cornering Assist. Targeted braking intervention at the inside rear wheel provides torque vectoring resulting in defined cornering of the vehicle and ensuring greater agility when taking corners at high speed. This technology helps to mitigate irritating understeer when turning into corners.
AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with variable steering ratio
Electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with variable steering ratio is the perfect complement which greatly enhances vehicle handling and agility while maintaining driving safety at high speeds. In "Comfort" suspension mode, the AMG speed-sensitive sports steering enhances comfort by providing more steering assistance. If the "Sport" suspension setting is selected, on the other hand, the driver feels a more sporty stiffer level of steering assistance. The pre-programmed curves for power assistance enhance feedback from the roadway and steering precision.
AMG light-alloy wheels based on systematic lightweight construction
The S65 AMG is available exclusively with AMG forged light-alloy wheels. This design reduces weight while increasing strength. The result is lower unsprung masses, giving advantages in terms of handling and spring/damper element response. In the standard specification, the S65 AMG is fitted with AMG multispoke light-alloy wheels, ceramic, high-gloss polished – front: 8.5 x 20, rear: 9.5 x 20, tyre sizes 255/40 R 20 and 285/35 R 20.
The multi-spoke light-alloy wheels can be considered a reinterpretation of the traditional spoked wheels from the 1930s – such as the ones used in the legendary 540 K Mercedes dream car. The exclusive forged wheels on the S65 AMG fascinate through their exceptional design: each of the 16 spokes is twisted, which causes the light-catching contours to radiate to the center of the wheel hub. The effect: the wheel gives the impression of being even bigger. An additional high-grade detail is the screw-in, fully integrated wheel bolt cover of forged metal. Its shape is reminiscent of a center lock as seen in motorsport. The design also allows an unobscured view of the AMG high performance braking system.
The unmatched visual impact of the AMG forged wheels is due to an elaborate finishing process: initial polishing is followed by manual grinding of the lightalloy wheels. Two polishing stages using different grinding pellets ensure the desired deep sheen. Having been cleaned, the wheel undergoes final treatment, including sealing with clear varnish.
Alternatively, three other AMG forged wheels and 1 cast wheel of the same size are optionally available. The 10-spoke design is available painted in titanium grey and polished or painted in matt black with a high-sheen rim flange – and likewise features a screw-in, fully integrated wheel bolt cover of forged metal. Alternatively, AMG forged wheels in a 5-twin-spoke design painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish and a black wheel bolt cover or AMG 5-spoke wheels with grey inserts are available.
AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system as an option
Extremely short stopping distances and rapid deceleration are a given for any AMG high-performance car. And the S65 AMG is no exception as it is equipped with a weight-optimized AMG high-performance composite construction braking system. An AMG ceramic high-performance composite construction braking system is also available as an option. The more than 20 percent lighter design ensures lower unsprung masses as well as enhanced driving dynamics, agility and ride comfort. In addition, the system has a longer service life, is more resistant to corrosion and has higher thermal stability. The AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system has front brake discs with a diameter of 16.5 inches (420 millimeters) and is recognizable by the "AMG Carbon Ceramic" logo on the specially bronze painted brake callipers.
Design: Sensual clarity is combined with dynamism and exclusivity
The S65 AMG shows off its exceptional status not just with regard to its technology, but also in terms of design. The sensual clarity typical of Mercedes- Benz, with its classic architecture and flowing profile, is combined with expressive elements typical of AMG. Luxurious and stately, powerful and exclusive, dynamic and prestigious – the S65 AMG is a true eye-catcher with a self-assured presence. The large, upright and distinctly three-dimensional V12 radiator grille with its six twin lamellas in high-gloss chrome underlines the car’s special status. An exciting contrast to this is provided by the front apron with its three large cooling air intakes. The front section sports the AMGtypical, stylized "A" to emphasise the powerful exclusivity of the S65 AMG.
High-gloss chrome – this design element is used to exclusive effect in the S65 AMG. An eye-catching appearance, especially in combination with dark paint colours, is guaranteed by the lower bumper grilles and flics (air deflectors) on the side air intakes. The three-dimensional front splitter in highgloss chrome increases downforce on the front axle, while the gap above the front splitter ensures an effective flow of air to the separate engine oil cooler behind it. Also in high-gloss chrome are the inserts in the side sill panels and the trim of the high-gloss black rear diffuser insert. Customers who attach greater value to an understated look have the option of ordering the grilles and flics in high-gloss black.
Further exclusive design features include the "V12 BITURBO" lettering on the wings and the "S65 AMG" model badge on the boot lid – both in new, modern typography. The AMG sports exhaust system with its two chrome-plated, separate twin tailpipes is a source of fascination both visually and acoustically.
Exciting equipment and appointments together with supreme quality in the interior
Exclusivity and luxury, combined with emphatically sporty design elements – the interior of the S65 AMG fascinates through its exceptional feel, highestgrade materials and exquisite quality. The defining features are the upholstery in exclusive nappa leather with seat upholstery layout in an exclusive diamondpattern design. The delineated perforations in the leather upholstery of the AMG sports seats are a special highlight: there are intentionally no perforations in the nappa leather wherever there is contrasting topstitching. The result is extraordinarily neat seams and an unrivalled impression of quality. Other features of the Exclusive package include the nappa leather roof liner (exclusive to the twelve cylinder models), leather-lined dashboard, door center panels in a diamond-pattern design, leather-clad roof grab handles, additional wood trim and AMG stainless-steel door sill panels illuminated in white. Customers are able to choose between black, silk beige/espresso brown, nut brown/black, porcelain/black and crystal grey/seashell grey.
Exclusively developed AMG sports seats provide the guarantee of optimal longdistance comfort. Electric adjustment, memory function, seat heating and active ventilation are standard features. As an additional bonus, newly contoured seat cushions and backrests improve lateral support when cornering at speed. High-quality AMG badges on all four seat backrests are part of the standard specification, while embossed AMG emblems can be found on the front and – in the case of individual rear seats – also on the rear center console. Further AMG emblems are included on the trim of the seat backs.
The 2-spoke AMG sports steering wheel allows perfect vehicle control. The distinctly contoured steering wheel rim is covered with nappa leather, with perforated leather in the grip area. The insert is provided with characteristic AMG lettering. Aluminium shift paddles allow manual gear selection. To the right of the AMG sports steering wheel between the air vents is a high-quality analogue clock in an exclusive IWC design: this features three-dimensional, milled metal hands and genuine metal appliqués on the dial. High-grade chrome-plated door pins with AMG logo round off the exquisite S65 AMG interior.
AMG instrument cluster with animated round dials
The AMG instrument cluster with two animated round dials appears on the high-resolution TFT colour display. In addition to the AMG-specific lettering and the needles in red/silver, the typical AMG look includes the AMG logo in the speedometer with 220 mph scale (left) and the "V12 BITURBO" lettering in the rev counter (right). An animated AMG start-up display is shown on the right-hand display. The AMG main menu has a digital speedometer and a permanent gear display in the upper section. In transmission mode "M", the driver is also prompted to perform an upshift shortly before the rpm limit is reached. Two additional round dials provide information on the engine oil and transmission oil temperatures when the driver selects "Warm up" from the AMG menu. "Set Up" displays the transmission and suspension mode as well as the activated ESP® mode. Visual feedback is by means of an animated S65 AMG on the TFT display between speedometer and rev counter.
Head-up display for enhanced comfort and safety
Two new innovations make their debut in the S65 AMG: the head-up display and the touchpad. The head-up display projects important information such as vehicle speed navigation information and information from DISTRONIC PLUS onto the windscreen. The virtual colour display of size 8’’ x 3’’ appears to float on the hood at a distance of about two metres from the driver. This means that the head-up display is perfectly positioned in the driver’s field of view. He or she is able to take in relevant information without having to look away from what is happening on the road ahead. In addition, the display shows the digital speed, engine speed and currently selected gear. In manual transmission mode, a colored upshift bar and the possible gears for a manual gear change are projected onto the windscreen.
The brightness of the high-contrast display is automatically adjusted to suit the ambient brightness. The driver can also adjust the brightness to his or her preference. The position of the head-up display on the windscreen is heightadjustable and can be saved using the memory function.
Innovative touchpad for significantly easier operation
The new, innovative Mercedes-Benz touchpad makes it significantly easier to operate radio, telephone and navigation system. Unlike in conventional systems, the touchpad makes it possible to operate all infotainment functions.
The input area is approximately 2.6’’ x 1.8’’ in size and is integrated into the handrest with a cover for the keypad. The touchpad can be controlled in the same way as a smartphone or tablet PC: it can recognize one- and two-finger gestures, swipe gestures and zoom gestures through intuitive widening and narrowing of the fingers. It is also possible to enter letters, numbers and special characters using handwriting. Every language available in COMAND is possible. The touchpad is designed with high-quality surfaces in high-gloss black and silver shadow.
The control surface of the new touchpad is integrated in the handrest of the central control unit, allowing safe and comfortable input. Behind the touch surface are three touch-sensitive keys which can be used to control important functions quickly and directly: back function, favorites menu, audio quick menu. The user receives clear haptic feedback when operating the touchpad control surface and the keys. Another highlight is the new hand resting recognition feature: a three-dimensional sensor signal is evaluated in order to detect whether the driver’s hand is simply resting on the handrest or whether the driver is actually making an input with one or two fingers. This prevents incorrect inputs and improves the safety of operation. The driver can choose at any time which input method they prefer. As an alternative to the touchpad, the driver can also use the COMAND controller and Voice Control for the control of radio, telephone and navigation system.
The S65 AMG is equipped as standard with head-up display and touchpad. Both innovations will soon be available also in other Mercedes models.
Also included in the standard equipment package of the S65 AMG (selection):
AMG full-pile footmats, with edging in nappa leather and AMG badge in solid metal
AMG sports pedals of brushed stainless steel with rubber studs
Ambient lighting
Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system with 24 speakers
Exclusive Nappa Leather Upholstery
Driver Assistance package
Drive-Dynamic Seats with Massage including Hot Stone Massage Programs
Four Zone Climate Control
KEYLESS-GO with Hands Free Access
Exclusive trim package
LED Intelligent Light System
Media Interface
Metallic paint
Night View Assist PLUS
Panoramic sliding sunroof
Premium 1 package
Tire pressure monitoring system
Rear Seat package
Executive Rear Seat Package
Rear Seat Entertainment system
Sun Protection package
Surround View Camera package
Warmth and Comfort package
Numerous personalization options from the AMG Performance Studio are available ex-factory:
AMG Exterior Carbon fiber package
AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system
AMG performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA, black
AMG trim in carbon fiber/black piano lacquer
Brake callipers, painted red
Additional optional extras (selection):
designo appointments packages
Executive Rear Seat package PLUS including folding tables in the rear
Wood/Nappa Leather steering wheel
Intelligent Drive: new standards in safety
The S65 AMG also sets new standards in terms of active and passive safety: what began with PRE-SAFE® ten years ago and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS is now leading to a new dimension in driving. Comfort and safety have merged into one. Mercedes-Benz calls this "Intelligent Drive". New systems make the new SClass even more comfortable and safer:
Rear PRE-SAFE® package
Night View Assist Plus
World premiere in November, market launch in 2014
Like the previous model, the new S65 AMG is available exclusively with a long wheelbase. The AMG V12 sedan will celebrate its double world premiere simultaneously at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on November 20, 2013, and at the Tokyo Motor Show on December 1, 2013. The vehicle will go on-sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch.
About Mercedes-BenzUSA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 13 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class and the SLS AMG GT.
MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans, and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at, and

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