12 for the Road: Mercedes Bids Adieu to V-12 S65 Super Sedan

The window is closing on a bygone era at the Mercedes-Benz display in Geneva as it rolls out the Final Edition of the Mercedes AMG S65 super sedan, a rear-wheel-drive V-12 brute, for the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. Among other Mercedes reveals this week was a concept for a coming electric minivan.

Related: More 2019 Geneva Motor Show Coverage

Mercedes will build just 130 copies of the fully tricked-out S65’s last hurrah — many of which are likely to end up in wealthy collectors’ Garage Mahals. Perhaps anticipating they won’t spend a lot of time on the road, Mercedes thoughtfully is including a matching AMG indoor car cover emblazoned with “AMG S65 Final Edition.” Pricing was not announced, but a similarly equipped regular S65 (that has every option and more) hovers around a quarter of a million dollars.

Highlights of the Final Edition (which include pretty much all available luxury and driver assistance features):

  • A lot of black, befitting the end of the line, including high-gloss Obsidian Black Metallic paint, black exhaust tips and an interior swathed in black Nappa leather. The AMG engine builder’s badge on the V-12 also is black.
  • Spoked 20-inch wheels and exterior accents with a matte bronze-color finish. That accent is picked up inside with miles of copper-color contrast stitching — even on the floormats. The ambient lighting choices also include a special copper color.
  • Carbon-fiber interior trim and a “1 of 130” badge on the console lid.
  • Standard features that include the variable Magic Sky Control panoramic moonroof, individual power reclining rear seats with a lounger leg rest on the passenger side and a full-length center console with heated and cooled cupholders.

The heart of the S65 version of Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class sedan is the 621-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 that puts out a trucklike 738 pounds-feet of torque. Mercedes estimates that it can push the U.S. S65 from zero-to-60 mph in 4.1 seconds; top speed is 186 mph if you have an autobahn handy. It’s not even the fastest S-Class sedan anymore, however; the AMG S63, with its more modern 602-hp, twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, all-wheel drive and launch control, hits 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.

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But that’s not the point. There is no comparison to the V-12’s smooth power delivery and the uniquely satisfying sound you get when you fire it up. I was told by Mercedes that the V-12, which dates in its current form to 2003, still is offered to satisfy the buyer who wants the “ultimate” cachet and sound.

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