Back in 1991, Automobile Magazine editor David E. Davis, Jr. wrote a column about the just-introduced 1992 S-class, specifically its nose-bleed pricing, as the top-of-the-line 600SEL reached $125,000. If a $100,000-plus S-class was big news back then, what to make of this $200,000-plus S-class?
The S65 AMG, with its custom-order "designo" interior, crests that magic number, reaching $207,965 as tested. Wow. True, there was no AMG version of the S-class back then. (A more direct comparison shows today's S600 starting at $145,075.)
Clearly, the success of Bentley has shown that there is sufficient oxygen to support luxury sedan sales at the lofty, $200,000 price level. And with Mercedes' own Maybach prices starting with a 3, the company obviously felt that the best way to play in the $200k neighborhood was to grow the S-class at the top end.
Thus, we now have not one, but two V-12 S-class sedans (the S600 and the S65 AMG), and not one, but two AMG S-class sedans (the S63 AMG and the S65 AMG). The latter situation is the most bizarre, with the $127,875, 504-hp, eight-cylinder S63 competing against the $194,875 (base price), 604-hp, twin-turbo V-12 S65. Both are insanely fast: 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds versus 4.2 seconds.... Read full article