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The world’s best car – now with added bite. Mercedes-Benz S 65 AMG and S600L.


REGARDED as the best car in the world, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the epitome of luxury. Autodealer recently tested the S400h, an S-Class with a hybrid drivetrain. The car was phenomenal with its green personality. But as we know, Merc makes some mean performance vehicles and the newest editions to the S-Class line-up… the S65 AMG and the S600L.

Seeing this car in the flesh is something to behold. It’s long, stylish and luxurious inside and out. And, the addition of a feisty V12 to the family will get any driver’s heart pounding.

The S65 is equipped with 12 cylinders, twin-turbocharging and 463kW of power and a massive 1 000Nm of torque. This S65 AMG isn’t just the most powerful vehicle in its segment it’s also the only high-performance 12-cylinder automobile from a German premium manufacturer.

Words like dynamism, exceptional and top-class pedigree immediately come to mind when behind the wheel of the S65. Cocooned in premium comfort, the design elements inside are captivating as the car has a plethora of AMG touches.

The ample legroom and cabin space means that occupants can be seated in comfort and the host of features like massaging seats, innovative new touchpad (also found is the C-Class), makes operating the radio and navigation system easier.

Upon entering the car, you feel like everything was constructed and manufactured with purpose, from the tiniest, perfect stitch and the flawless leather-lined dashboard to the additional wood trim and AMG stainless-steel door sills, available in the Exclusive package, make this the supreme choice in vehicles.

I could wax lyrical about the inside of the S600L and the S65 AMG but these are cars that need to be driven.

I’ll admit, the S600L - which is available exclusively as a long wheelbase - is best to be chauffeured around in, thanks to its spacious interior.

Now don’t get me wrong, the 390kW of power and 830Nm is magnificent and the car’s handling characteristics are top-notch plus, the brute power of the V12 is exhilarating. However, if you’re a petrol head, seeing the letters “AMG” and “V12 Biturbo” splashed on the S65 you can’t help wanting to stomp the accelerator pedal.

Going from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds and a limited top speed of 250km/h, the big S65 defies the laws of physics. It’s quick and potent and we like it. The loud exhaust pipe signals the car’s intention as it blurts out a massive roar with every prod of the pedal.

Keeping the S-Class composed on the road is the Magic Body Control as standard and the S65 gets the AMG sports suspension. We had the opportunity to put the rather large S-Class through some handling courses at Gerotek and the outcome was impressive.

The new S-Class is the first car in the world able to recognise 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 set-up.

Safety is top of mind in the S-Class, with ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist fitted as standard along with a host of other safety features to insure all passengers are not only comfortable but safe, like the Night View Assist Plus (standard) and Rear Pre-safe package (optional).

As with the previous model, the new S 65 AMG is available exclusively with a long wheelbase.The AMG V12 sedan is introduced with the class-leading six-year/100 000km PremiumDrive maintenance plan:

S 65 AMG   R2 842 700 (excluding CO₂ 279 g/km)
S 600 L R2 170 000 (excluding CO₂ emission 299 g/km)


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