Mercedes-Benz has expanded its lineup once more with the addition of the S600, a twelve-cylinder version of the new S-Class luxury sedan. As with the S600 version of the last-generation S-Class, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 packs a V-12 engine and slots in between the existing S550 and S63 AMG versions of the S-Class.
That twin-turbocharged V-12 engine now displaces 6.0 liters, up from 5.5 liters in the outgoing S600, and delivers 523 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque from just 1900 rpm. That means the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 not only produces 68 hp more than the current S550, it also has a 13-hp advantage compared to the previous S600. For the first time ever in an S600, the engine features a stop/start fuel-saving function.
The engine, however, is not the only way in which the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 outshines the entry S550, as it boasts several features that are new to the Mercedes S-Class lineup. The car comes with a new head-up display as standard, which projects information on the car’s speed, navigation directions, and more on the windshield. A new touchpad for the infotainment system allows occupants to “write” letters and numbers. On top that, a safety feature called Collision Prevention Assist Plus expands on the existing Mercedes feature than can automatically bring the car to a halt at low speeds to prevent a crash. The Plus software can apply braking when the car is travelling as fast as 124 mph if it detects an imminent accident; while that may not avoid a crash entirely, Mercedes hopes the autonomous system will at least reduce the severity of an accident. There’s also an optional heated front windshield designed to obviate the need for scraping ice on cold mornings
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 also has several pieces of standard equipment that are optional on the S550: the Magic Ride Control suspension, which automatically adjusts to absorb road imperfections; and the Driving Assistance Package that bundles lane-departure prevention, Active Blind Spot Assist, adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous steering, and a pedestrian-detection braking system.
Given the power increase and the additional standard equipment, expect the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 to command a considerable premium over the 2014 S550’s $93,825 (with destination) entry price. The S600 goes on sale in the U.S. this spring.