Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet In-Depth
Pure unadulterated power combined with sexy exterior styling, luxurious yet sporty interior and a drop top. What more could you ask for?
by Marcus Bloom | 14 December 2015
With the new S 65 Cabriolet, Mercedes-AMG is for the first time offering a performance car which combines the impressive power of the 6.0‑litre V12 biturbo engine with the pleasure of open-top driving for four occupants. An output of 463 kW (630 hp), 1000 newton metres of maximum torque, the sport suspension based on AIRMATIC and the exquisite appointments emphasise the exceptional status of the new flagship model in the S-Class family from Mercedes-AMG. A new dimension in open-air motoring is guaranteed by the automatic wind protection system AIRCAP, the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, heated armrests and intelligent climate control. The three-layered acoustic fabric soft top is available in four colours, and has a very high-quality interior lining in nappa leather and DINAMICA microfibre.
No other car manufacturer in the world offers such a wide portfolio of twelve-cylinder models as Mercedes-AMG: The S 65 Saloon, SL 65 Roadster, G 65 off-roader and S 65 Coupé are now joined by the new S 65 Cabriolet as a further high- performance alternative for discerning automobile enthusiasts.
“The customer base for our V12 biturbo engine expects the ultimate in every respect. That is why we are offering a four-seater high-performance convertible with this legendary power unit for the first time. The new S 65 Cabriolet sets benchmarks for all relevant criteria: top performance, a breathtaking driving experience and exquisite appointments,” says Tobias Moers, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
The peak output of 463 kW (630 hp) and maximum torque of 1000 newton metres make for effortlessly superior performance: The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. The top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited). The AMG Driver’s package includes an increase in the top speed to 300 km/h (also electronically limited). Yet it is the unrivalled 12-cylinder driving experience that thrills much more than facts and figures: stylish driving comfort and effortless power delivery combine with great refinement and the unmistakable AMG V12 engine sound.
Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet key data at a glance
- Displacement- 5980 cc
- Output- 463 kW (630 hp) at 4800-5400 rpm
- Peak torque- 1000 Nm at 2300-4300 rpm
- Fuel consumption, NEDC combined- 12.0 l/100 km
- CO2 emissions- 272 g/km
- Efficiency class- F
- Acceleration 0-100 km/h- 4.1 s
- Top speed- 250 km/h*
* Electronically limited
With an NEDC combined fuel consumption of 12.0 litres per 100 kilometres (equivalent to 272 g/km of CO2), the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Coupé is significantly more economical than all of its rivals.
Technical highlights of the AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine
- Aluminium crankcase
- Forged crankshaft in high-grade alloy steel
- Multi-spark ignition with 12 twin-spark ignition units
- Air-to-water intercooler with low-temperature circuit
- Alternator management
- ECO start/stop function
The exclusive carbon-fibre/aluminium engine cover also visually conveys the exceptional strengths of the V12 engine, which will be hand-assembled on the new, additional AMG engine line in Mannheim from 2016. The ultra-modern assembly layout is logistically and ergonomically perfect for the AMG philosophy of “One Man, One Engine”. This means that at AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach (production of V8 engines) and in AMG engine production in Kölleda/Thuringia (4‑cylinder engines), each engine is assembled entirely by hand by a single technician in Mannheim. A badge bearing the technician’s signature and attached to the engine is a personal testimony of perfection and quality.
Power transmission with three individual driving modes
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission is responsible for transferring power to the rear axle. This automatic transmission offers a choice of three individual modes, Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M). Sport and Manual emphasise the vehicle’s dynamism: the ultimate emotional appeal and tangible sportiness are ensured by the brief, precisely defined cutback of ignition and injection when shifting up a gear under full load. This shortens shift times and lends an audibly more emotive tone to gearshifts. The ECO start/stop function is activated in transmission mode “C”.
Design features: High-sheen chrome as a distinguishing feature
The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet also fascinates with its irresistible, timeless design lines. V12-specific features include the numerous design elements in high-sheen chrome at the front, sides and rear, which are particularly effective in conjunction with dark paint finishes. The large central Mercedes star on the front apron, the “twin blade” radiator grille, all of the air intake grilles, the trim strip on the “A-wing”, the side flics (air deflector elements) and the front splitter are in high-sheen chrome. The front splitter reduces lift at the front axle, while the gap above the front splitter ensures an effective flow of air to the separate engine oil cooler behind it.
At the sides, the eye is drawn to the “V12 BITURBO” lettering on the wings and the high-sheen chrome inserts in the side skirts – which harmonise perfectly with the ceramic high-sheen multi-spoke forged wheels. Their large size of 8.5 J x 20 with size 255/40 ZR 20 tyres at the front, and 9.5 J x 20 with tyre size 285/35 ZR 20 at the rear, emphasises the model’s athletic appearance.
In the closed position, the multi-layered acoustic soft top has the design contours of a coupé silhouette. The fabric soft top is available in black, dark blue, beige and dark red. It can be electro-hydraulically opened and closed while on the move, up to a speed of 50 km/h. Opening and closing take around 17 seconds. The soft top is deposited above the automatically extending luggage compartment partition. This avoids the need for any additional closures on the soft top compartment lid, in keeping with the high design quality embodied by the S 65 Cabriolet.
The rear section also sparkles: The AMG sports exhaust system’s two chromed twin tailpipes in V12 design are fully chrome-plated and perfectly integrated into the rear apron. Above the distinctive diffuser insert, painted in high-gloss black, the trim element forms an effective contrast: it echoes the design of the “A-wings” on the front apron and is finished in high-sheen chrome.
Bodyshell: lightweight and torsionally rigid
The sculptured outside skin surrounds a highly stable structure which is light in weight yet extremely strong thanks to the intelligent material mix. The bodyshell of the new S 65 Cabriolet achieves the same torsional rigidity level as a coupé. At the same time the outside skin, the front section and the rear section of aluminium, as well as the use of magnesium, reduce the weight of the bodyshell to that of the current S 65 Coupé. The bulkhead behind the rear seats also contributes to this. This serves to rigidify the bodyshell, but also saves weight by carrying the pyrotechnically deployed rollover bars.
Careful attention to detail is also evident in the luggage compartment concept: when the soft top is opened, it folds away into a section of the luggage compartment. The soft top is separated from the remaining luggage compartment space by means of an electrically operated, retractable cover which encloses the soft top. This luggage compartment partition extends automatically when opening of the soft top. This means that the driver no longer needs to stop in order to operate the luggage compartment cover manually. The partition is not activated if the luggage compartment has been so loaded in such a way that there are objects in the area of the partition. When the soft top is closed, the luggage compartment partition can be retracted by pressing a button in the inner panelling of the boot lid, so as to increase the available luggage space. Additional convenience and space benefits include standard-specification electro-hydraulic remote locking for the luggage compartment and a through-loading facility into the interior.
Interior: equipment, quality and ambience of the highest standard
The extraordinarily stylish character of the twelve-cylinder model is also obvious in the interior: The S 65 Cabriolet welcomes its occupants with an incomparably exquisite ambience. The sport seats in designo Exclusive nappa leather are a distinctive highlight with their model-specific diamond-pattern layout. The perforations deliberately avoid the areas where stitching features in the nappa leather. The result is exceptionally neat contrasting seams and an unrivalled impression of quality. Electric adjustment, a memory function and seat climatisation are standard features. More contoured seat cushions and backrests improve lateral support when cornering at speed.
The fabric soft top has an interior lining completely in DINAMICA microfibre. High-grade nappa leather lines the window frame including the A-pillars, the roof claddings and the sun visors.
Outstanding climatic comfort with the roof open or closed
Maximum climatic comfort is assured by the automatic wind protection system AIRCAP, the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, the heated armrests, the seat heating also in the rear, and the intelligent climate control. In contrast to conventional systems, the climate is controlled fully automatically. This means that the driver does not need to select a mode for closed or open top, nor is it necessary to save a temperature setting for these driving conditions.
Sport steering wheel in a three-spoke design
A perfect feel for the car’s behaviour is ensured by the 3-spoke sport steering wheel in nappa leather, which has a flattened lower section. It features shift paddles, a distinctly contoured rim trimmed with perforated leather in the grip area, and a metal insert with AMG lettering.
Another typical AMG speciality is the AMG instrument cluster: information on the engine speed, vehicle speed and much more appears on two animated round dials on the 31.2 centimetre, high-resolution colour TFT display. The typography, the needles in red/silver, the speedometer with its 360 km/h scale and the “V12 BITURBO” lettering in the rev counter all have a specifically AMG look. When the driver’s door is opened, an AMG start-up screen appears on the right-hand display, while an animated Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet appears in the instrument cluster.
Lithium-ion battery reduces weight by over 20 kg
The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet is equipped with a lithium-ion battery as standard. This innovative technology offers numerous advantages over a conventional battery concept: with a capacity of 78 Ah, the lithium-ion battery replaces both the starter battery and the backup battery – resulting in a weight saving of over 20 kg.
Sport suspension based on AIRMATIC
The sport suspension based on AIRMATIC provides an incomparable driving experience. It has AMG-specific kinematics, considerably tauter elasto-kinematics and new parameterisation of the variable damping adjustment – the driver benefits from more direct responses, and also faster handling responses with a dynamic driving style. The damping characteristics can be preset in two modes: a high level of long-distance comfort or a sporty, stiff setup.
It is perfectly complemented by the electro-mechanical, speed-sensitive sport steering with a constant, direct steering ratio of 13.5:1: this optimises vehicle handling and agility while maintaining driving safety at high speeds. Depending on the suspension setting, the steering characteristics are adapted for more sporty or comfortable response. In either case the driver feels precise feedback from the road surface, and a high level of steering precision.
Ceramic high-sheen forged wheels with fully integrated wheel bolt cover
The exclusive forged wheels of the V12 Cabriolet appeal with their exceptional design, which represents a contemporary interpretation of classic sports car rims: each of the 16 spokes twists so that the light-catching contours radiate to the centre of the wheel hub. The effect: The wheel appears larger than its actual dimensions of 8.5 J x 20 at the front and 9.5 J x 20 at the rear.
As standard the forged wheels feature a high-quality, screw-on, fully integrated wheel bolt cover in forged aluminium. Its shape is reminiscent of a centre lock as seen in motorsport. The AMG lettering is incorporated into the rim as a design element. Three further forged wheels in the same format are available as optional alternatives – one design variant with a matt black finish and high-sheen rim flange.
Optional ceramic high-performance composite brake system
The high-performance composite brake system features large brake discs and brake callipers with a grey finish – red callipers are available as an optional extra. A ceramic high-performance composite braking system with 420 x 40 mm discs at the front and 360 x 32 mm discs at the rear is optionally available. This is around 40 percent lighter in weight. The lower unsprung masses improve driving dynamics, agility and ride comfort.
Extensive standard equipment with head-up display and touchpad
The extensive range of standard equipment for the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet includes the head-up display and the touchpad. The head-up display projects key information such as the vehicle speed, speed limits, navigation directions, traffic signs and information from DISTRONIC PLUS onto the windscreen. The visualisation of the engine speed and the current gear is exclusive to AMG. In Manual transmission mode, a coloured upshift bar and the possible gears for a manual gear change are also protected onto the windscreen. The virtual colour display measuring 21 x 7 centimetres appears to float on the bonnet at a distance of about two metres from the driver. The innovative touchpad makes it significantly easier to operate the radio, telephone and navigation system. In contrast to conventional systems, the touchpad can be used to operate all of the infotainment functions. The input area is approximately 6.5 x 4.5 centimetres in size and is integrated into the handrest with a cover for the keypad.
Intelligent Drive: new standards in safety
The new S 65 Cabriolet is available with numerous innovative assistance systems that make driving even more comfortable and safe. “Intelligent Drive” systems include PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, Brake Assist BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and Night View Assist Plus. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS features distance and collision warning functions with adaptive Brake Assist, offering protection against collisions from just 7 km/h, plus an additional function: when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to more than 100 km/h, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. At speeds of up to around 50 km/h the system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at up to around 40 km/h.
The preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® has also been extended. As PRE-SAFE® PLUS, it can now also recognise an imminent rear-end collision and warn following traffic by activating the rear hazard warning lights at a high frequency. When a danger of collision persists, the system can “lock” the brakes of the stationary vehicle prior to a rear-end collision and activate the PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners immediately before impact. This action minimises the risk of whiplash injury by reducing the forward jolt caused by the impact, and ensuring that the occupants are in the best possible position.
Standard equipment for the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet includes the following (selection):
- Exclusive package incl. upholstery in designo Exclusive nappa leather
- Headliner in nappa leather / DINAMICA microfibre
- LED Intelligent Light System
- 360° camera
- Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC
- Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system
- Driving Assistance package Plus, including DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, PRE-SAFE® Brake, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS
- Seat Comfort package for driver and front passenger
- KEYLESS-GO package
The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet can be ordered from 4 April 2016 onwards, and the market launch in Mercedes-Benz own-retail outlets and dealerships will be from May 2016.