28 December 2005

Mercedes-Benz’s muscle flexing is set to continue at the Detroit motor show next week with the unveiling of the new S65 AMG, and it uses the same hand built twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 and five-speed auto as the earlier S65 AMG.

With 612bhp at 4750rpm and an enormous 738 lb ft of torque from 2000rpm, the V12 is claimed to slam the saloon from 0-62mph in just 4.4secs – matching the acceleration of the older model despite a slight increase in weight. Top speed is once again limited to 155mph, though like all top end AMG models buyers can pay to have the limiter recalibrated for a 186mph top speed. Accompanying the wholesale lift in performance is tauter suspension and reworked ABC (active body control) system. Also included is a reworked brake system with 390mm front and 365mm rear discs as well as a new twin sliding calliper arrangement that’s claimed to provide greater stopping ability than the standard set-up.

The S65 AMG is distinguished from lesser S-class models by a new front bumper with a gaping central air duct, chunkier sills and a deeper rear bumper with a quartet of chrome oval tailpipes. Added to this are five-spoke 19-inch wheels – 8.5-inches wide up front and 9.5-inches at the rear, shod with 255/40 and 275/40 tyres respectively. Inside, there’s unique instrument graphics, new gear shift paddles behind the steering wheel, sport seats and a so-called Racetimer device that allows the driver to record lap times or acceleration splits via a menu in the instrument binnacle.

Together with the S65 AMG, Mercedes-Benz is also developing a new S63 AMG model running the new 510bhp naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V8 engine unveiled in the ML63 AMG at the Frankfurt motor show in September. However, it isn’t planned to join the range until later in 2006.

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