Submitted by Jeff Klepac on 11-21-2013
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has just hit the road, but already, we’re getting our first looks at the 2015 model—and it’s starting off with a bang. Twelve of them, actually.
The first of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class models to hit the road will be the new S65 AMG, unveiled in advance of the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Packing a twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter V-12 engine, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG generates a ferocious 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque.
According to Mercedes, that peak 621-horsepower figure is delivered continuously from 4,800-rpm to 5,400-rpm, while peak torque is available from 2,300-rpm through 4,300 rpm. Those flat, long power bands mean the S65 AMG should feel more like a force of nature than a super-performance sedan.
That’s not to say that acceleration won’t be fantastically brisk: AMG claims it will hit 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
While the S65 is the first of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class models to get an official dossier, we expect the still-fresh 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 and S550 to carry forward their current stats with minimal revisions. That’s a very good thing.
Like all S-Classes, the S65, S63, and S550 offer some of the best interior accommodations in the automotive universe. Features are abundant in any trim, with upper-tier models offering things you didn’t even know existed outside of a Gulfstream, including airline-style work trays, reclining rear seats, warm-stone massages, Burmester sound systems, and much more. There’s even a custom S-Class scent, dispensed through the cabin via a special atomizer in the glovebox.
But the S-Class isn’t all about the executive seats in the back; the front seats are nearly as accommodating, and every bit as comfortable. For the driver, a dual TFT LCD screen system handles instrument and infotainment duties, spanning more than half the dash with their combined display area. Throughout the cabin, the materials, finishes, and accents are top-notch; if anything, they’re better than ever.
The S63 AMG isn’t quite as powerful as its twelve-cylinder counterpart, but the twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V-8 S63 is a touch quicker, hitting 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds thanks to its lighter weight and still-significant 577-horsepower, 664-pound-foot output. The standard S550’s 4.6-liter V-8 engine seems tame only in comparison, delivery silky power and ample acceleration. A seven-speed automatic transmission handles shifts in all models; rear-wheel drive is standard on the S550, while the AMG models get standard all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional on the S550.
A new S-Class will also join the range for the 2015 model year, the S500 Plug-in Hybrid. While final U.S. details are still forthcoming, Mercedes says the 328-horsepower, 354-pound-foot turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and 107-horsepower, 250-pound-foot hybrid combination will yield about 78 mpg on the European cycle (a figure that doesn’t translate well to U.S. EPA figures), while still allowing 0-62 mph acceleration in about 5.5 seconds.
Yet another S-Class addition will also join the range, in the form of the S-Class Coupe, previewed in concept form at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show.
Crash and safety data isn’t typically available for cars in the S-Class realm of price and rarity, but that doesn’t mean Mercedes skimps on the equipment. Cameras and sensors detect almost every aspect of the car’s movement and relationship to its surroundings, available to intervene if it looks like the driver isn’t paying attention or is simply not responding properly to the situation. Adaptive cruise control offers a measure of safety (and convenience) in stop-and-go traffic, and the S-Class can even stop itself if it detects a pedestrian, animal, or other obstruction in the road.
The first of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Classes, the 2015 S65 AMG, goes on sale in the second quarter of 2014.