Twin-turbo 6.0L V-12 may be replaced by hybrid gasoline-electric V-8.
Twin-turbo 6.0L V-12 may be replaced by hybrid gasoline-electric V-8.

Mercedes-AMG S65 Final Edition: V-12’s Swan Song?

Although it is yet to discuss the future of its existing V-12, rumors have long suggested Mercedes-Benz and its AMG performance division have decided to replace its largest-capacity engine with a hybrid gasoline-electric V-8 in future incarnations of the S-Class.

Mercedes-AMG reveals the S65 Final Edition, a limited-run model the German automaker says marks the “pinnacle of the twin-turbocharged 6.0L V-12 gasoline engine in the S-Class sedan.”

Although it is yet to discuss the future of its existing V-12, rumors have long suggested Mercedes-Benz and its AMG performance division have decided to replace its largest-capacity engine with a hybrid gasoline-electric V-8 in future incarnations of the S-Class.

The unveiling of the new S65 Final Edition at this week’s Geneva auto show, and the announcement proclaiming it as the pinnacle of the V-12 engine in its flagship sedan, would appear to substantiate those rumors.

The V-12, developing 621 hp and 737 lb.-ft. (1,000 Nm) of torque, has been assembled since 2015 at Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler’s truck and bus factory in Mannheim, Germany.

In its place, Mercedes-Benz and AMG are expected to provide the next generation of upper-end S-Class models, including exclusively styled Maybach versions, with a new twin-turbocharged version of the 4.0L gasoline V-8 combined with an EQ Power hybrid system featuring an electric motor and lithium-ion battery.

Originally showcased in the Concept GT at the 2017 Geneva auto show, the new driveline is claimed to be capable of developing up to 805 hp, some 184 hp more than the existing V-12 in its highest state of tune.

Limited to a production run of 130, the S65 Final Edition will be sold exclusively in a high-gloss black. It features copper-colored highlights within its front and rear bumpers as well as its side sills and standard 20-in. alloy wheels.

The unique look continues inside with similar copper-colored stitching and highlights within its carbon-fiber dashboard trim. A badge within the center console confirms the new model’s limited-edition status.

Other identifying features include a special black engine fitter’s badge within the engine bay. Standard equipment for what is expected to be AMG’s last V-12 model is a so-called First Class rear suite with individual seats. It also receives an AMG Driver’s Package allowing it to achieve a limited top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h).

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