Promising an even more exhilarating driving experience than the just-launched S63 AMG, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG gets its formal world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Building off the already advanced engineering and technology found in the current baddest actor in the new S-Class Sedan family, the third-generation S65 AMG brings an even more potent 12-cylinder engine to the party as well as its own dynamic styling cues and other new driver-assist features.
To be offered only on the long-wheelbase version of the new S-Class Sedan, the 2015 S65 packs an AMG 6.0-liter Biturbo V12 under its hood that cranks out a heady 621 horsepower between 4,800-5,400 rpm and develops a tarmac-torturing 738 lb-ft of peak torque from 2,300 to 4,300 revs -- the same as it does in the current SL65 AMG. However, where the Gen II S65 used a 5-speed AMG SpeedShift automatic to change gears, the 2015 S65 AMG is fitted with the latest and quickest AMG SpeedShift Plus 7G-tronic that's also found in the SL63 and S63 AMG models. With three driver-selectable programs -- Controlled Efficiency/Sport/Manual - a wider ratio spread, reduced internal friction, and Eco start/stop mode, this new transmission will help M-B's ultra sedan earn better EPA stats while allowing it to effortlessly sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and reach an electronically limited top end of 155 mph.
Sharing much of its AMG-designed sport suspension with the S63 AMG, M-B's newest dream sedan comes with the most sophisticated version to date of the automaker's Airmatic/ADS Plus Adaptive Damping system. Dubbed Magic Body Control, it incorporates a Road Surface Scan feature that uses a stereo multipurpose camera to read upcoming undulations and then automatically compensates to reduce or eliminate body-pitch motions. The S65 AMG also comes with ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist that vectors torque to improve tracking through the twisties as well as electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive/variable-ratio steering that enhances high speed control and agility. AMG-spec carbon brakes provide standard stopping power, but the S65 AMG also offers an AMG carbon-ceramic upgrade that's 20-percent lighter as well as longer-lasting and even more resistant to heat-related fade. Like the S63 AMG, the S65 AMG is fitted with an advanced lithium-ion battery that replaces both the conventional starter battery and the backup unit, trimming the vehicle weight by a substantial 44 pounds.
As with any vehicle emerging from the company's go-faster headquarters in Affalterbach, the 2015 S65 AMG gets a distinctive visual remake to complement its awesome performance. The S65 AMG's recast front fascia features a unique grille treatment that sports three chrome split-transverse elements, oversize air intakes filled with bright mesh inserts, chrome deflector "flics" and a chrome-embellished but highly functional lower splitter. Bright accenting also is found on the custom side sills and on the car's gloss-black rear diffuser which houses dual-paired chrome exhaust tips. The S65 is fitted with staggered-size tires - 255/40 front and 285/35 rear on 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels - but several other choices are on offer, including three different ultra-light AMG forged rims.
That same AMG character is found throughout the cabin of the new S65, enriching the already elegant S-Class ambiance and megaload of primo standards with unique instrument cluster graphics, a 2-spoke AMG sport steering wheel with aluminum shifter paddles, four individual AMG sport seats with more supportive side bolsters and loads of high-quality diamond-pattern Nappa leather set off with an exclusive-design IWC analog clock.
In addition to its 24-speaker Burmeister 3D Surround Sound premium audio system, the S65 AMG also introduces two new design elements. The first is a head-up display that projects a height-adjustable 8x3-inch virtual color image about 6.5 feet ahead of the driver's view, providing an assortment of distraction-free digital readouts. The S65 AMG also is the first Mercedes to get a new more user-friendly touchpad. Integrated into the handrest of the central control unit, it functions much like the surface on a smartphone or tablet and can recognize a variety of touch/swipe/zoom gestures as well as handwritten alphanumeric inputs. Fully integrated with the COMAND telematics and Voice Control systems, it even includes a special hand-resting recognition sensor that helps prevent inadvertent messaging errors.
For those seeking additional personalization, the S65 AMG will be available with a host of optional goodies that range from designo exterior/interior packages and AMG carbon fiber trim bits to an Executive Rear Seat Package Plus and M-B's trick Splitview technology that lets the driver and passenger see two completely different images on same the central dash screen. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG is set to arrive here sometime in the second quarter of next year. Pricing will be released closer to its on-sale date.
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