As far as grunty open-top luxury cars go, the 812 GTS and the S 65 can be considered the creme de la creme

They might share the same engine configuration, but the 2020 Ferrari 812 GTS and the 2020 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet are two very different dishes. One’s naturally aspirated while the other uses the magic of forced induction. One is a purpose-built supercar while the other is the open-top version of one of the most luxurious full-size sedan you can buy today.

But here at Top Speed we have a knack for dissecting things, so we thought an in-depth comparison between the 812 GTS and the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabrio would be equally useful and interesting, even as they come from two different worlds.

Ferrari 812 GTS vs. Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet Exterior Design

As you’ll also read further down this page, it’s important to note right off the bat that these two cars, although similar to some degree, are built based on totally different concepts.

The 812 GTS is a pure-breed supercar, while the Merc-AMG, potent in its own right, comes as the open-top version of the S-Class luxury sedan.

This aspect holds a lot of weight when comparing the two from a visual standpoint.

Front

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There’s no doubt that the 812 GTS packs the sharper design here.

The Ferrari is, in fact, identical to the 812 Superfast below the waist, so it retains the generous mesh grille, the aggressive lower section of the front spoiler, and the long, muscular hood.

In other words, you’ll know this is a Ferrari without having to look for the prancing horse badge on the car’s nose.

The S 65 Cabrio, however, isn’t less spectacular, but it operates in a different spectrum. So Merc’s designers sacrificed the sporty look for a more luscious, opulence-inducing approach that suits the S-Class better. The big change is the introduction of the Panamericana grille with its chromed-out vertical slats that are flanked by the neatly-designed headlight units and neighboured in the lower front section by two gaping air intakes positioned on either side of the bumper. The Merc’s hood is also less flashy than the Ferrari’s, although it puts quite a distance between the driver and the nose of the car.

Side

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If the frontal differences between the 812 GTS and the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet weren’t obvious enough, then let’s have a look at their sides. Whereas the Mercedes is all about fluidity and fewer creases, the Ferrari continues the beefed-up thematic thanks to muscular front fenders and rear haunches. The wheel passages are also more prominent, again, hinting at the 812 GTS’ supercar nature. The Ferrari’s shorter wheelbase is also making the Prancing Horse look more compact, like a feline on the prowl, while the S 65 Cabriolet adopts more of the luxo-barge stance, hinting at absolute comfort and poshness first and foremost.

Rear

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The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabrio’s rear end is dominated by the double, vertical taillights and the pair of double rectangular exhausts. You get the Mercedes-Benz logo in the middle, complemented by the “AMG” and “S 65” badges. It’s worth saying that the rear end of the Merc falls in line with the overall design, as it goes for elegance and clean design instead of downright sportiness.

The same cannot be said about the 812 GTS’ tail. Equally muscular as the rest of the Prancing Horse’s body, it flaunts enlarged, quad exhaust pipes and round taillights, as well as a new bumper that incorporates a floating diffuser, plus aero-boosting bits and bobs such as active flaps, something you don’t get from the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet. What you also don’t get from the Merc is that sexy pair of flying buttresses and the very short decklid, but Affalterbach’s go-fast convertible does come with an extra pair of rear windows compared to the 812 GTS.

Ferrari 812 GTS vs Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabrio
Ferrari 812 GTS Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet
Length 184.7 inches 198.9 inches
Width 77.5 inches 83 inches
Height 50.2 inches 55.7 inches
Wheelbase 107 inches 115.9 inches
Front track 65.8 inches 64.1 inches
Rear track 64.7 inches 64.7 inches

Ferrari 812 GTS vs. Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet Interior Design

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The lavish and comfy character of the Merc couldn’t be better highlighted than in juxtaposition with the 812 GTS’s cabin. While the former is brimming with top-notch squishy materials, generous tactile displays and pretty much all the candy Mercedes-Benz has in store, the Ferrari houses an interior that looks almost spartan: all you get is a new flat-bottom steering wheel with a center section made from aluminium, new controls, and all sorts of grip areas, as if it was borrowed from a race car. The Merc’s steering wheel is the exact opposite, as it has to reflect, just like the whole interior, the owner’s wealth.

The seats found inside the Ferrari might look comfy, but their primary job is to keep your back connected to what’s happening on the road. You really need to feel the 812 GTS and get a grip (pun intended) on what’s happening below each tire. In the S-Class, the driver-car connection isn’t that important and it’s easy to spot that from the armchair-like seats, the massage functions, and the perfumed ionized air pumped into the cabin.

As for cabin amenities, the Ferrari sticks to a bare minimum of air vents and a basic multimedia system, as well as a simple layout on the center console, as opposed to the Merc’s show of fanciness.

Interior Space Comparison

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Interior
- image 860168

Have a thorough glance at the S 65 Cabrio’s spec sheet and you’ll see a lot of TBAs in the interior dimensions section. We don’t get to know the amount of headroom, leg room, or shoulder room, just like there’s no info whatsoever on cabin volume. We could try to guesstimate it by looking at the S-Class sedan, but the differences between the two cars run so deep that it’s impossible to come forward with an accurate rating. The same goes for the Ferrari 812 GTS, which does a hell of a job in keeping its interior space ratings hidden for the time being.

What we can tell you, however, is that you’ll get more space inside the S 65 Cabriolet, and that’s due to a very simple reason: the S 65 Cabrio is merely a two-door, roofless version of the S-Class, whereas the 812 GTS (just like the 812 Superfast it’s based on) is a purpose-built supercar.

And, if there’s one thing you can expect from supercars, other than insane performance, it is a cramped interior designed to wrap itself around the driver first and foremost. The S 65 Cabriolet also retains the back seats, although they’re not as lavishly laid out like in the sedan, with legroom falling on the lower end of the spectrum, while the 812 GTS doesn’t know what rear seats are simply because it does not have them. Oh, and one more thing: the Ferrari uses a retractable solid roof, while the Mercedes-AMG comes with a folding canvas roof.

Cargo Room Comparison

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Interior
- image 729593

In the cargo room department, the situation is pretty straightforward. The Ferrari 812 GTS has a trunk capacity of 7.4 cubic feet (210 liters), while the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet makes do with 12.4 cubic feet with the top up, which is close to double the space offered by Maranello’s go-fast convertible.

Ferrari 812 GTS vs. Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet Drivetrain and Performance

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 729608

Let’s start with the Italian supercar. The 812 GTS, being the open-top version of the 812 Superfast, has the same 6.5-liter (6,496-cubic centimeters) naturally-aspirated V-12 cranking out 789 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 530 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm, but it’s been tweaked to meet emission standards. Routing those resources to the rear wheels is a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle.

According to Ferrari, the 812 GTS can sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds, so without having a concrete figure, we can assume that the 812 GTS is just as quick as the Superfast, therefore it needs 2.9 seconds to reach 60 from a standstill.

Vmax comes in at 211 miles per hour (339.5 kilometers per hour).

The Mercedes-AMG S 65 employs a 6.0-liter, handcrafted bi-turbo V-12 engine that packs 621 horsepower unleashed between 4,800 rpm and 5,400 rpm, complemented by 738 pound-feet of torque unlocked in the 2,300 rpm - 4,300 rpm band. Despite falling behind by 168 horsepower, the S 65 makes up with 208 pound-feet of torque more than the Ferrari 812 GTS, which comes from the extra boost brought in by the two turbochargers. Power is sent exclusively to the real axle via the AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic transmission.

Final Thoughts

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS vs. 2020 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet Exterior
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As you can see, the Ferrari 812 GTS and the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet might pack V-12 engines and offer infinite headroom with the press of a button, but this is pretty much where the similarities end. And we wouldn’t have it any other way, because ultimately, these two cars are shaped by each brand’s customer fanbase needs and desires. The Ferrari is still the infernal driving machine you’d expect it to be, while he Mercedes-AMG stays true to the luxuriously-wrapped-performance creed but tends to highly favour the luxury bit a tad more.

Therefore, while you’d have no problem in taking the Ferrari 812 GTS out for a corner-carving session, the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabrio is better suited to a drive that lets you enjoy the comfort and the scenery more, and not the car’s mechanical prowess. In the end, it’s a matter of taste and expectations clients have from the two.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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