This is a car designed for dictators. For those obsessed with power. No one needs to be able to launch an air strike on a Wednesday and nor does anyone need a four-seater convertible with 621bhp/463kW and 1000NM of torque. The Veyron-baiting torque is available from a early as 2300rpm.
Those numbers are right up there with some of the most desirable super sports car on sale at the moment. It’s roughly in the same ballpark as the Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari FF, Audi R8 V10 plus, and McLaren 650S. It has more or less the same bhp figure as the Mercedes-McLaren SLR. In a car that can seat four people and has enough boot space for some golf bags. That’s just ridiculous.
The insane power comes from Mercedes-AMG’s 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 as seen in the S65 sedan, S65 Coupe, SL65, and G65 AMGs. In fact, Mercedes have the widest range of V12 powered cars on the market at the moment. Yeah, the manufacturer with the most V12s is not Ferrari, not Aston Martin, not Lamborghini, but Mercedes-Benz.
In the S65 Cabriolet, that AMG V12 is able to accelerate the car from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h but an optional package raises that to 300 km/h. The engine benefits from an aluminium crankcase, forged alloy crankshaft, and the obligatory stop/start. Merc claims a rather respectable 12L/100km. But how close owners will get to this figure in the real world is another story.
Unfortunately due to the vast amounts of torque, Mercedes were unable to fit the S65 with their new 9-speed auto. Instead it has to make do with the tried-and-tested 7-seed auto. The AIRMATIC suspension has been tuned by AMG and offers a number of adjustability – as you’d expect in a car of this type. Of course, Mercedes’ Active Body Control (ABC) which negates lean around corners is still present.
But going fast around corners isn’t what this car is about. It’s a status symbol more than anything. It’s a way to make those people with a ‘V8 BiTurbo’ badge on the side of their S-Class Cabriolets feel bad and everyone else in the world feel insignificant. This is a car that was made to cover great distances in the highest levels of comfort and luxury for the people who can afford such a privilege. These people don’t want to lap around Laguna Seca in the fastest times.
They’re probably more interested in the fact that the S65 Cabriolet comes with designo Exclusive nappa leather as standard, everything inside is either electric, heated, or both. There’s also Merc’s AIRSCARF and AIRCAP systems. The roof, a multi-layered acoustic soft top, can be operated at speeds of up to 50 km/h and takes 17 seconds to open or close.
Despite the soft top, the S65 has the same torsional rigidity as the Coupe. That’s thanks to the use of materials such as aluminium and magnesium. Again, something buyers of this car probably won’t care about but it’s nice to know.
Is there a need for a car like this? No, there isn’t but it’s nice to have in existence. Perhaps not quite a bedroom poster like a Ferrari or an Aston but it’s just as impressive in my opinion. The S65 Cabriolet will go on sale in Europe sometime in May 2016. Prices are expected to be, a lot. Better start embezzling those government funds now.