2018 Mercedes-Benz S 560 Coupe Quick Take
I had the good fortune of growing up adjacent to a fairly well-to-do area, and during my high school years in the mid-80s, the Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC coupe always caught my eye. The sleek counterpart to the 560 SEL sedan, the coupe's flowing roofline and laid-back grille were, for the 1980s at least, the pinnacle of high-end luxury grand touring. I still kinda want one, even though by today's standards it's a little frumpy.
However, I'd happily settle for a new 2018 Mercedes-Benz S 560 Coupe. With an engine upgrade this year, the S-Class coupe gets a slight numerical bump as well, bringing back the classic "560" designation. And, once again my heart soars when I see one. This is a beautiful car, with a sensuous shape that does little to hide its impressive length. But who cares? It's supposed to be big, imposing, and beautiful, and it is all three. If you give up some utility because of the football field-length doors, well, that's just the price of beauty, darling.
The fabulousness continues inside. Our car's Designo interior treatment upped the already considerable ante with even softer quilted leathers in the kind of white that only the rich buy because they have people to clean it for them. At night you can custom program your own interior colors to highlight the whiteness inside, but we liked the pre-set purple/magenta combination, which alternated slowly. Of course, there's the S-Class Air Balance fragrance system, high-end Burmester audio system, and the rest of all the goodness that comes from driving an S-Class around.
The engine responsible for the name change is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. Astute observers will note that's smaller than last year's 4.7-liter V8, but the new V8 puts out more horsepower (463 vs 449) and the same torque (516 lb-ft) as the bigger engine. The upshot is that there's virtually no change in performance, and the S 560 Coupe remains seriously quick, hitting 60 mph in the same 4.5 seconds by Mercedes's estimate. Put it in Sport mode and this big coupe handles as well, the adjustable suspension firming up nicely, and pairing with the 4Matic all-wheel drive to button down the 4,700 or so pounds without punishing the driver and passenger.
You'll probably want to keep it to just the one passenger though. While the rear seat is less claustrophobic than you might think, getting back there isn't easy, and getting out is equally inelegant. However, there's one benefit for sitting there: the rear seat vent-and-storage-slot in the middle constantly making a face at the rear passengers will provide no end of laughs for whoever's back there (seriously, check out the pictures; that can't be by accident). There's a good-sized trunk though, which makes the S 560 the perfect weekend getaway coupe for you and your significant other.
Our 2018 Mercedes-Benz S 560 Coupe was about as loaded as you can get without dipping into AMG territory, meaning its price topped out at about $150,000. That included the forest green paint, AMG-look aesthetics, Designo interior, and a ton of driver assist and other technologies. But of course it is, because being expensive and looking the part is all in the job description for expensive luxury coupes. Creating desire in onlookers is another, and like its namesake from 30 years ago, it's one the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S 560 does splendidly.
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