If you thought the S63 AMG was the ultimate Mercedes S-Class, this new S65 will change your mind. Instead of a 576bhp 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8, it gets a 6.0 twin-turbo V12 producing 621bhp and 1,000Nm of torque.
Buyers of this new flagship will find their car marked out from the S63 by a new 12-spoke grille – representing the number of cylinders in the engine – and the air intakes are finished with chrome mesh, rather than black.
Despite its higher output, greater displacement and four extra cylinders, the S65 isn’t officially much quicker than the S63; it accelerates from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, which is only a tenth of a second up on the V8-powered model. It should feel fastest in-gear, though, as the massive torque figure is 100Nm up on the S63’s.
The S65 returns 23.7mpg and emits 279g/km of CO2, but also meets strict EU6 emissions regulations, set to be enforced in 2015. This flagship will also bring two equipment firsts currently found nowhere else in the S-Class line-up: a head-up display and a new touchpad.
The touchpad allows owners to use smartphone gestures such as swiping and zooming, while the head-up display measures 21cm wide and gives information such as speed and current gear. The S65 will be unveiled at the LA and Tokyo Motor Shows later this month, with a likely UK price of around £170,000. That includes a Burmester stereo, massage leather seats and keyless go, but buyers must shell out for kit such as carbon-ceramic brakes and upgraded ‘First Class’ seats.