If you’re one of that segment of the population who gets through winter solely on thoughts of summer sun, Mercedes-AMG has given you something to look forward to with a new S 65 Cabriolet.
Powered by a 5980cc, biturbo V12, the luxury convertible develops 621bhp in a spread from 4800-5400rpm and 738lb ft of torque – that’s a round 1000Nm to our continental cousins – in a 2300-4300rpm plateau.
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It’s the first AMG V12 engine to be built not at the firm’s headquarters in Affalterbach, but at a new facility in Mannheim, opening in 2016. It will however be built by hand, just like every AMG engine, where technicians will assemble the unit’s aluminium crankcase, forged crankshaft, 12 twin-spark ignition units and of course, a placque bearing the builder’s signature.
When dropped in the S 65’s substantial body, it’s capable of launching the car to 62mph in 4.1 seconds and on to an electronically limited 155mph. An ‘AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic’ transmission handles the grunt, sending torque to the rear wheels alone. As ever, shifts can be adapted by cycling between Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual modes, while the first of these also enables the S 65’s stop-start function.
In the past, 738lb ft of twisting power would have been the recipe for all manner of chassis imperfections, but Mercedes-AMG claims the Cabriolet is as stiff torsionally as the coupe version. Remarkably, it’s no heavier either (no figure is quoted, but the coupe tips the scales at 2185kg).
Suspension is by Airmatic air springs, with electronically-controlled damping in either comfort or sport settings. Brakes are composite front and rear, with a ceramic high-performance composite setup optionally available – also 40 per cent lighter than the standard units.
The wheels, 20-inch front and rear with 16 spokes in a unique twisting design (with 255/40 ZR 20 tyres up front and 285/35 ZR 20 at the back), are directed by an electro-mechanical power-assisted setup.
The S-class-derived interior features a head-up display, a Burmester sound system and a three-spoke steering wheel, while graphics on the huge digital displays are unique to the AMG model. Roof down, occupants are warmed by Airscarf neck heating; hood up, driver and passengers will appreciate a nappa leather and microfibre roof lining.
Order books open from April 4, 2016, while the first cars are expected to reach dealerships in the summer.