From £130,7257
Nothing says 'I'm considerably richer than yow' better than an S65 Mercedes-Benz. We drive the Coupe to see if it warrants its astronomical price

What is it?

It's currently the most expensive car in the Mercedes-Benz range, the AMG-fettled coupe version of the firm's trend-setting S-Class.

Providing the muscle is a colossal twin-turbo 621bhp 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine. Of course, 621 is a big number, but 1000 is bigger, which just so happens to be the amount of torque in NM at your disposal. 

Sure, S65s and big numbers go hand in hand, but surely even the most laissez-faire oil baron can't ignore the huge escalations in price across the Coupe line-up. The jump between the £96,000 entry-level S500 and £125,000 S63 might seem steep, but, for an S65, you'll need to find another £57,000.

Upgrading from eight to twelve cylinders doesn't have a dramatic effect on drag race performance, either; the S65 is just 0.1sec quicker to 62mph than the S63. Rather, the extra cash brings a unique front end, more standard equipment and the knowledge that you have the biggest number possible on the boot lid.  

What's it like?

An incredibly capable car, as long as you aren't expecting the final word in dynamism. AMG might have waved its magic wand, but it was never its intention to try and turn the S-Class Coupe into a sports car. 

That's not to say it's useless, because entering corners at speed reveals decent grip, and, as long as you have the suspension in its Sport setting (one of three), a surprisingly well-behaved body. 

The problems lie with the steering. It's a heavy car, this, and it feels it when trying to tuck the nose in to bends, while the steering never really weights up enough to give you confidence. The lack of feedback is almost a given.

Switching the chassis to AMG's Dynamic Curve mode actually helps lean the car into bends before you reach them, but the end goal isn't greater cornering speed, says Mercedes, it's enhanced comfort. It works reasonably well, helping to quell some of the pendulum effect this two tonne Mercedes suffers through fast chicanes. 

That said, even when dialled right back to Comfort mode, the S65 picks up on rivets and broken Tarmac a little more readily on its standard 20in wheels than the lesser S-Class Coupes, and certainly more than an S-Class saloon. Mercedes' impressive Magic Ride system seemed to miss more approaching speed bumps than with the saloon, too. 

The S65's power delivery is more suited to GT continent-crossing than precision back-road blasts, too. Stamp on the throttle from stationary with the traction control switched on and it's a case of computer says no, as it tries desperately to divvy up the huge amount of power and torque. The result is squirming and dithering for the first second or two before the power is put down.

Of course, switch the traction control off, and the rear wheels will spin until their tyres flail away. No, where the S65 is best is from a rolling starting. On the motorway, you can simply pick a car on the horizon, squeeze the throttle and fully expect to be overtaking it before you've chosen which type of massage you like from the driver's seat. Also to be expected is around 15mpg. 

Indeed, if the S65's performance is staggering, its cabin isn't far behind for wow factor. Its quality is some of the best you'll see anywhere, and the standard front seats are some of the most comfortable and adjustable it's possible to sit in. They'll heat you, cool you, focus on massaging your shoulders or your lower back if you so wish. 

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Two large 12.3in colour screens sit side-by-side on the dash, displaying the instruments on the right and infotainment on the left. They're beautifully bright and crisp, and controlling the endless features using Mercedes COMAND rotary dial between the front seats is simple enough, even if the system's menus aren't the most straight forward on the market.

There's enough leg room adjustment in the front seats to free up some rear seat knee room, but if the front passengers are over six foot, then it'll be an uncomfortable journey for those in the back. The boot is better, offering 400-litres of space and surprisingly decent access given the Coupe's sleek lines. 

S65 buyers can expect those larger 20in alloy wheels, S65-specific front bumper styling, an AMG sports exhaust, LED headlights with Swarovski crystals, an interior swathed in Nappa leather and an upgraded Burmester sound system in return for braving the considerable financial step. 

Should I buy one?

Most people visit an estate agent to offload £183,000, and then spend 50 years paying it all back. If you're lucky enough to be visiting car dealerships with the intention of spending it, there aren't many 600bhp twelve-cylinder coupes around to make the decision particularly difficult.

The most obvious rival is Bentley's Continental GT Speed. It has less power and torque, is very marginally slower, and has an aged infotainment system, but it offers even more secure all-wheel-drive handling and sports an equally well finished interior. Also, it costs £15,000 less and is similarly well equipped. 

It seems absurd to talk about 'good value' when discussing S-Class Coupes, but it's incredibly difficult to justify spending £57,000 to upgrade to the S65 when the cheaper S63 still offers so much. Bear in mind, though, dear reader, that I type this from my humble desk. Should I be considering it from the top deck of my 150-foot super yacht, just as the typical buyer is likely to do, such trivial matters might be of lesser concern.    

Mercedes S65 AMG Coupe

Location Surrey; On sale Now; Price £183,075; Engine 12 cyls, 5980cc, petrol; Power 621bhp at 4800-5400rpm; Torque 737lb ft at 1500rpm; Gearbox 7-spd automatic; Kerb weight 2185kg; 0-62mph 4.1sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 23.7mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 279g/km, 37%

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jason_recliner 26 July 2015


Cars are officially too big. This thing is hideous, all steel and plastic with a tiny little glass 'turret' perched on top. From the back especially it looks like a tank. Or some kind of commercial vehicle.
J13Dog 21 July 2015

Burmester sound system

Ok so it has the Burmester sound system but it does not have the 360 rotating tweeters that the saloon has and it therefore lacks the theatre of them. It does however have a nicer steering wheel than the saloon but the saloon counters that with better exterior mirrors. If I could mix and match to make my perfect car I would but the E63 AMG with the Performaster tuning chip to take BHP to 692BHP would be my choice.
evanstim 21 July 2015

Money no object, not sure I'd get an S65 Coupe

If money were really and truly no object, I still cannot see myself in one of these. That the cabin is gorgeous there can be no doubt, but still. For one thing, I am not sure about the rear styling. Then again, I am still in love with the C215 Mercedes CL-Class (the one from 1999 to around 2005) - that had a purity to its styling (ignoring the fussy front end) that was just utterly gorgeous.

But since we're talking money no object, for me, a C63 Estate - NOW we're talking. I LOVE those - in the big scheme, its styling is understated for the performance on offer - it could easily be mistaken for be a diesel repmobile - yet has such a wonderful sound, and such thundering performance. If I had a spare £10 million lying around, yes I would have one of those, please, thank you. And probably a classic Rolls Royce for Henley.

Until then I'll stick with the 320d estate I currently have. Fantastic car, really all I need.