Mercedes-Benz Eyes Efficiency Hike for 2015 S65
- The redesigned 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG gets a new seven-speed automatic transmission with an eye on improving fuel economy.
- The luxury car was unveiled ahead of a double world premiere on November 20 at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show and 2013 Tokyo Auto Show.
- The 2015 S65 AMG, the pinnacle of the S-Class lineup, will go on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014.
AFFALTERBACH, Germany — The redesigned 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG gets a new seven-speed automatic transmission with an eye toward improving fuel economy. The luxury car was unveiled ahead of a dual world premiere on November 20 at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show and 2013 Tokyo Auto Show.
The 2015 S65 AMG, the pinnacle of the redesigned S-Class lineup, will go on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014. Pricing will be announced closer to launch date, but the car is expected to start around $215,000. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG starts at $212,905, including a $905 destination charge. There was no 2014 S65 AMG.
The 2013 S65 AMG featured an AMG Speedshift five-speed automatic transmission and returns a combined 14 miles per gallon (12 mpg city/19 mpg highway), according to the EPA.
Mercedes-Benz did not provide fuel economy estimates on the 2015 S65 AMG. Christian Bokich, a Mercedes-Benz spokesman, said those estimates will not be available until next year.
"The seven-speed automatic transmission with its wide ratio spread guarantees a noticeably lower engine speed level," said Daimler in a statement. "This makes a key contribution to reducing the vehicle's fuel consumption."
The new transmission has three individual driving programs: Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual. An Eco stop-start function is always activated in the Controlled Efficiency mode.
A lithium-ion battery replaces the starter battery and the backup battery, resulting in a weight savings of more than 44 pounds, according to the automaker. Despite the lithium-ion battery, the car is not a hybrid. The unusual battery is there for weight savings and overall efficiency. However, U.S. technical specifications on the car, including curb weight, will not be released until next year.
The 2015 S65 AMG is equipped with the carryover AMG 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 that generates 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The car accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.
The new S65 AMG features a standard AMG sport suspension that employs Mercedes' recently introduced Magic Body Control. If the car's Road Surface Scan detects road undulations, Magic Body Control adjusts the suspension beforehand.
Exterior cues that differentiate it from the standard S-Class include high-gloss chrome touches, "V12 Biturbo" lettering and an AMG sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated twin tailpipes. The cabin gets AMG sport seats with new seat cushions and backrests.
Two technology upgrades make their debut in the S65 AMG: a new head-up information display and touchpad infotainment interface.
The head-up display projects information on the windshield including vehicle speed, navigation information and information from the Distronic Plus safety system. The new touchpad can be controlled like a smartphone or tablet PC. It is also possible to enter letters, numbers and special characters using handwriting.
Standard equipment includes AMG sport pedals, ambient lighting, a Burmester 3D surround system with 24 speakers and seats with hot stone massage programs.
Options include an AMG exterior carbon-fiber package, AMG ceramic brakes and a rear seat package with folding tables.
Mercedes-Benz USA did not release sales predictions on the 2015 S65 AMG, but it is expected to be sold at "very low exclusive volumes," Bokich said.
"We don't have buyer (demographics) as it's a small sample size," he said. "But, in general, AMG buyers are more affluent than Mercedes-Benz buyers, and younger — in fact, the most affluent customers that Mercedes-Benz has; V12 customers are definitely at the top of the income list."
Edmunds says: One of the most coveted cars in the world returns to the Mercedes-Benz lineup next year.