Judging by the level of torque they’ve been dealing with, AMG’s drivetrain engineers have had it pretty hard of late. For 27 of the firm’s 33 years, an output of around 500 was the norm.
With the CLK GTR of 1998, that threshold jumped to 800. This car is one of three that raises that bar to four figures.
Newton-metres, mind, not British standard foot-pounds. Nevertheless, the grunt that this S-class packs works out at 738lb ft and that’s plenty. Especially considering that it’s an electronically limited figure: it would serve up 885lb ft of shaft-snapping twist, if only they could find a gearbox capable of transmitting it to the rear wheels.
We’ve encountered Merc’s 5980cc bi-turbo bent 12 before, in the CL 65 AMG, where it played a big part in dispatching the Bentley Continental GT. Unleashed on a derestricted stretch of road, this four-door luxury saloon rockets away just as spectacularly.
An extra 65kg of kerbweight over the CL makes a difference to the numbers, but not to the appreciable performance. A standing kilometre is destroyed in just 22 seconds, just as the speedometer runs into its 155mph limiter. That sort of performance would have been enough for this four-door limousine to make the top five in our ‘200mph club’ supercar test at Nardo last month.