2007 Mercedes-Benz S600

Charlie Magee

Ann Arbor Ignore the Ford Focus-style fender flares. Forget about the Chris Bangle knock-off trunk lid. The new Mercedes-Benz S-class might not be pretty, but it sure is good to drive and to be driven in. And that's what we thought about the V-8-powered S550. Now that we've driven the S600, we can only conclude that it's the best luxury car on the road.

The extra $50,000 for the V-12-equipped S600 is money well spent if you consider that this car drives better than a Rolls-Royce Phantom and is nearly as sybaritic as a Maybach 57. Like the S550, the S600 is communicative for its size and weight, and the addition of four cylinders and two turbochargers allows it to dispense with many big-name sports cars with ease--the S600 jets from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds.

The S600's extra tariff nets all of the options available on the S550, items such as Distronic cruise control and Night View Assist. The S600 also gets exclusive features like a massage function for rear passengers and an Alcantara headliner. Mercedes-Benz's new flashing brake lights, which alert drivers behind of emergency stops, also debut on the S600.

It's not so much the S600's cylinder count that grabs us, but rather the way it effortlessly combines luxury and performance.

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