It’s been 44 years since Mercedes-Benz stopped offering a convertible version of its largest coupe, and the Germans finally developed a two-door variant of their full-size model. It’s called the S-Class Cabriolet and, as the name suggests, it’s identical to the S-Class Coupe from the waist down, which, in turn, is based on the S-Class sedan, arguably one of the most comfortable and luxurious limousines you can buy nowadays. As is the case with most modern Mercedes-Benz models, the S-Class Cabriolet also received the AMG treatment. Having already seen the AMG S63 version at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, it is now time to have a closer look at the S65.

Just like the S65 Coupe is to the S63 Coupe, the S65 Cabriolet is essentially the more powerful sibling of the S63 Cabriolet. Of course, there are other details that set them apart inside and out, but the main highlight of the S65 moniker, no matter to which nameplate it’s attached, is the impressive amount of horsepower and torque.

Scheduled to make its public debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show in January, the S65 Cabriolet is the ninth member of the current S-Class lineup and the fifth Merc to wear the S65 badge. It is also the most powerful large convertible available from Stuttgart and a full-fledged competitor for the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible. How does it stack against Britain’s posh drop-top? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet.

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    630 @ 4800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    737 @ 2300
  • Displacement:
    6.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
    250000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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From the distance, the S65 seems identical to the S63, which isn’t surprising given that both models are based on the S-Class Cabriolet and feature AMG’s most aggressive body kit for this nameplate. Massive yet elegant, with a low-slung profile and deeply sculpted character lines, the S65 is beautiful to look at from every angle. By comparison, the Bentley Continental GT Speed seems bloated and slow.

If you loved the S63, you'll definitely feel the same about the S65, as it employs all the nice features seen on the less powerful drop-top.

If you loved the S63, you’ll definitely feel the same about the S65, as it employs all the nice features seen on the less powerful drop-top. Highlights include the twin-blade radiator grille with the large Mercedes star, aggressive front bumper, sporty side skirts, multi-spoke wheels, quad exhaust pipes, and a high-gloss diffuser insert.

Upon closer inspection, the S65 Cabriolet stands out by means of high-sheen chrome elements on the front fascia, including the grille behind the emblem and in the bumper air intakes, as well as the splitter. These high-sheen elements are particularly effective when combined with dark paint finishes as the one seen in these photos. Arguably, the most telling features about what lies under the hood are the "S65" badge on the trunk lid and the "V12 Biturbo" lettering on the wings. Finally, there are the ceramic high-sheen, multi-spoke forged wheels measuring 20 inch front and rear.

Just like the S63, the S65 comes with a multi-layered soft-top that has the design contours of the coupe. It’s not exactly identical since the quarter windows are smaller, but the car is quite handsome even with the top up. Available in black, dark blue, beige or dark red, the roof can be electro-hydraulically opened and closed while on the move, at speeds up to 31 mph (50 km/h). Opening and closing take around 17 seconds. When opened, the soft top is deposited above the extending luggage compartment partition.

Interior

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Interior
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Much like the S63 Cabriolet, the S65 Cabriolet’s interior is identical to the standard model as far as design goes. What makes it different is the numerous extra standard features, including the sporty seats wrapped in Designo leather, the unique inserts, and AMG’s flat-bottom steering wheel with aluminum paddle shifters. For added luxury, the window frames and A-pillars are lined in high-grade Nappa leather, while the fabric top has Dinamica microfiber lining.

The cabriolet is also equipped with the AMG instrument cluster, which displays information on engine speed, vehicle speed, and much more

The cabriolet is also equipped with the AMG instrument cluster, which displays information on engine speed, vehicle speed, and much more on two animated round dials on the 12.3-inch, high-resolution color TFT display. An outstanding level of comfort is provided by the automatic wind protection system (Aircap), the neck-level heating system (Airscarf), the heated armrests, the rear seat heating, and the intelligent climate control. Because the climate control is fully automatic, the driver does not need to select a mode for closed or open top, nor is it necessary to save a temperature setting for each of these driving conditions.

The extensive range of standard equipment for the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet includes the heads-up display and the touchpad. The heads-up display projects key information such as the vehicle speed, speed limits, navigation directions, traffic signs and information from the Distronic Plus system onto the windshield. As for the touchpad, it can be used to operate all of the infotainment function, making it significantly easier to access the radio, telephone and navigation system.

Drivetrain

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Drivetrain
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Powering the AMG S65 Cabriolet is the same 6.0-liter, V-12 engine found in the S65 Sedan and S65 Coupe. The twin-turbo mill cranks out a whopping 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, which travel to all four wheels through AMG’s Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission. Charging from 0 to 62 mph takes 4.1 seconds, which is identical to the Coupe version, while top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph in standard guise and 186 mph with the AMG Driver package.

The transmission comes with three individual driving modes. Controlled Efficiency returns better fuel economy with help from a start/stop function, while Sport and Manual emphasize the vehicle’s powerful and dynamic character.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type V-12
Displacement 5,980 cc
Output 630 HP @ 4,800-5,400 RPM
Peak torque 737 LB-FT @ 2,300-4,300 RPM
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 4.1 seconds
Top speed 250 KM/H (155 MPH)

Suspension

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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Just like its sedan and coupe siblings, the S65 Cabriolet received the company’s Magic Body Control suspension. The system combines three different functions — Active Body Control, Road Surface Scan, and curve tilting — and allows the S65 AMG Coupe to lean into bends for a "more pleasant motoring experience".

Comfort is further enhanced by a speed-sensitive sports steering with variable ratio, which provides the coupe with better handling and agility through more steering assistance.

Stopping power comes from AMG’s latest, high-performance compound brake system. The new design is more than 20-percent lighter than a conventional braking system and can be upgraded to the available ceramic-compound system.

Safety

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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The new S65 Cabriolet is available with numerous assistance systems that increase both comfort and safety. "Intelligent Drive" systems include Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian detection, Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, Brake Assist Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, and Night View Assist Plus.

Collision Prevention Assist Plus adds distance and collision warning functions with adaptive Brake Assist, offering protection against collisions from just four mph (seven km/h). Mercedes also extended the Pre-Safe package to recognize an imminent rear-end collision and warn following traffic by activating the rear hazard warning lights at a high frequency. When a danger of collision persists, the system can lock the brakes of the stationary vehicle prior to a rear-end collision and activate the belt tensioners before impact.

Prices

Mercedes-Benz has yet to announce pricing for the S65 Cabriolet, but given that the S65 Coupe retails from $234,050, it’s safe to assume that the drop-top will fetch close to a quarter million dollars. Such a sticker would make the S65 Cabriolet about as expensive as its Bentley-badged competitor and the most expensive convertible Mercedes has ever built.

Competition

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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While the AMG S63 Cabriolet was less expensive and a bit quicker than the GT Speed Convertible, the AMG 65 is on par with the British machine. Powered by a 6.0-liter W-12 rated at 626 horsepower and 607 pound-feet of torque and a ZF eight-speed automatic, the Conti benefits from five extra horses and falls behind in the torque department by no fewer than 131 pound-feet. It only needs four seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, which will be about the same as the Merc when the Germans release U.S. specs. The Bentley wins the top speed battle with its 202 mph versus the AMG’s 186-mph rating. As far as pricing goes, the GT Speed Convertible retails from about $240,000, a sticker that might just make it a bit more affordable than the S65.

Find out more about the Bentley Continental GT Speed here.

Conclusion

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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The fact that S65 badge may add more than $70K to the S63 Cabriolet’s already eye-watering sticker is disheartening to say the least, but we must remember that vehicles competing in this niche aren’t built for rational people. Much like the Continental GT Speed, the AMG S65 Cabriolet is a ludicrous combination of luxury and performance that few can actually afford and those who aren’t emotional enough won’t even consider paying a quarter million for. For the industry itself, the S65 Cabriolet means two things. It’s the ultimate Mercedes drop-top and the only vehicle capable of giving the Continental GT Speed Convertible a run for its money.

  • Leave it
    • * Eye-watering sticker
    • * The Continental GT is a well-established player in this niche
    • * More expensive than a Bentley?

Press Release

With the new S 65 Cabriolet, Mercedes-AMG is for the first time offering a performance car which combines the impressive power of the 6.0‑litre V12 biturbo engine with the pleasure of open-top driving for four occupants. An output of 463 kW (630 hp), 1000 newton metres of maximum torque, the sport suspension based on AIRMATIC and the exquisite appointments emphasise the exceptional status of the new flagship model in the S-Class family from Mercedes-AMG. A new dimension in open-air motoring is guaranteed by the automatic wind protection system AIRCAP, the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, heated armrests and intelligent climate control. The three-layered acoustic fabric soft top is available in four colours, and has a very high-quality interior lining in nappa leather and DINAMICA microfibre.

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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No other car manufacturer in the world offers such a wide portfolio of twelve-cylinder models as Mercedes-AMG: The S 65 Saloon, SL 65 Roadster, G 65 off-roader and S 65 Coupé are now joined by the new S 65 Cabriolet as a further high- performance alternative for discerning automobile enthusiasts.

"The customer base for our V12 biturbo engine expects the ultimate in every respect. That is why we are offering a four-seater high-performance convertible with this legendary power unit for the first time. The new S 65 Cabriolet sets benchmarks for all relevant criteria: top performance, a breathtaking driving experience and exquisite appointments," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The peak output of 463 kW (630 hp) and maximum torque of 1000 newton metres make for effortlessly superior performance: The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. The top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited). The AMG Driver’s package includes an increase in the top speed to 300 km/h (also electronically limited). Yet it is the unrivalled 12-cylinder driving experience that thrills much more than facts and figures: stylish driving comfort and effortless power delivery combine with great refinement and the unmistakable AMG V12 engine sound.

With an NEDC combined fuel consumption of 12.0 litres per 100 kilometres (equivalent to 272 g/km of CO2), the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Coupé is significantly more economical than all of its rivals.
Technical highlights of the AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine

Biturbocharging
Aluminium crankcase
Forged crankshaft in high-grade alloy steel
Multi-spark ignition with 12 twin-spark ignition units
Air-to-water intercooler with low-temperature circuit
Alternator management
ECO start/stop function

The exclusive carbon-fibre/aluminium engine cover also visually conveys the exceptional strengths of the V12 engine, which will be hand-assembled on the new, additional AMG engine line in Mannheim from 2016. The ultra-modern assembly layout is logistically and ergonomically perfect for the AMG philosophy of "One Man, One Engine". This means that at AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach (production of V8 engines) and in AMG engine production in Kölleda/Thuringia (4‑cylinder engines), each engine is assembled entirely by hand by a single technician in Mannheim. A badge bearing the technician’s signature and attached to the engine is a personal testimony of perfection and quality.

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Power transmission with three individual driving modes

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission is responsible for transferring power to the rear axle. This automatic transmission offers a choice of three individual modes, Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M). Sport and Manual emphasise the vehicle’s dynamism: the ultimate emotional appeal and tangible sportiness are ensured by the brief, precisely defined cutback of ignition and injection when shifting up a gear under full load. This shortens shift times and lends an audibly more emotive tone to gearshifts. The ECO start/stop function is activated in transmission mode "C".

Design features: High-sheen chrome as a distinguishing feature

The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet also fascinates with its irresistible, timeless design lines. V12-specific features include the numerous design elements in high-sheen chrome at the front, sides and rear, which are particularly effective in conjunction with dark paint finishes. The large central Mercedes star on the front apron, the "twin blade" radiator grille, all of the air intake grilles, the trim strip on the "A-wing", the side flics (air deflector elements) and the front splitter are in high-sheen chrome. The front splitter reduces lift at the front axle, while the gap above the front splitter ensures an effective flow of air to the separate engine oil cooler behind it.

At the sides, the eye is drawn to the "V12 BITURBO" lettering on the wings and the high-sheen chrome inserts in the side skirts – which harmonise perfectly with the ceramic high-sheen multi-spoke forged wheels. Their large size of 8.5 J x 20 with size 255/40 ZR 20 tyres at the front, and 9.5 J x 20 with tyre size 285/35 ZR 20 at the rear, emphasises the model’s athletic appearance.

In the closed position, the multi-layered acoustic soft top has the design contours of a coupé silhouette. The fabric soft top is available in black, dark blue, beige and dark red. It can be electro-hydraulically opened and closed while on the move, up to a speed of 50 km/h. Opening and closing take around 17 seconds. The soft top is deposited above the automatically extending luggage compartment partition. This avoids the need for any additional closures on the soft top compartment lid, in keeping with the high design quality embodied by the S 65 Cabriolet.

The rear section also sparkles: The AMG sports exhaust system’s two chromed twin tailpipes in V12 design are fully chrome-plated and perfectly integrated into the rear apron. Above the distinctive diffuser insert, painted in high-gloss black, the trim element forms an effective contrast: it echoes the design of the "A-wings" on the front apron and is finished in high-sheen chrome.

Bodyshell: lightweight and torsionally rigid

The sculptured outside skin surrounds a highly stable structure which is light in weight yet extremely strong thanks to the intelligent material mix. The bodyshell of the new S 65 Cabriolet achieves the same torsional rigidity level as a coupé. At the same time the outside skin, the front section and the rear section of aluminium, as well as the use of magnesium, reduce the weight of the bodyshell to that of the current S 65 Coupé. The bulkhead behind the rear seats also contributes to this. This serves to rigidify the bodyshell, but also saves weight by carrying the pyrotechnically deployed rollover bars.

Careful attention to detail is also evident in the luggage compartment concept: when the soft top is opened, it folds away into a section of the luggage compartment. The soft top is separated from the remaining luggage compartment space by means of an electrically operated, retractable cover which encloses the soft top. This luggage compartment partition extends automatically when opening of the soft top. This means that the driver no longer needs to stop in order to operate the luggage compartment cover manually. The partition is not activated if the luggage compartment has been so loaded in such a way that there are objects in the area of the partition. When the soft top is closed, the luggage compartment partition can be retracted by pressing a button in the inner panelling of the boot lid, so as to increase the available luggage space. Additional convenience and space benefits include standard-specification electro-hydraulic remote locking for the luggage compartment and a through-loading facility into the interior.

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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Interior: equipment, quality and ambience of the highest standard

The extraordinarily stylish character of the twelve-cylinder model is also obvious in the interior: The S 65 Cabriolet welcomes its occupants with an incomparably exquisite ambience. The sport seats in designo Exclusive nappa leather are a distinctive highlight with their model-specific diamond-pattern layout. The perforations deliberately avoid the areas where stitching features in the nappa leather. The result is exceptionally neat contrasting seams and an unrivalled impression of quality. Electric adjustment, a memory function and seat climatisation are standard features. More contoured seat cushions and backrests improve lateral support when cornering at speed.
The fabric soft top has an interior lining completely in DINAMICA microfibre. High-grade nappa leather lines the window frame including the A-pillars, the roof claddings and the sun visors.

Outstanding climatic comfort with the roof open or closed

Maximum climatic comfort is assured by the automatic wind protection system AIRCAP, the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, the heated armrests, the seat heating also in the rear, and the intelligent climate control. In contrast to conventional systems, the climate is controlled fully automatically. This means that the driver does not need to select a mode for closed or open top, nor is it necessary to save a temperature setting for these driving conditions.

Sport steering wheel in a three-spoke design

A perfect feel for the car’s behaviour is ensured by the 3-spoke sport steering wheel in nappa leather, which has a flattened lower section. It features shift paddles, a distinctly contoured rim trimmed with perforated leather in the grip area, and a metal insert with AMG lettering.

Another typical AMG speciality is the AMG instrument cluster: information on the engine speed, vehicle speed and much more appears on two animated round dials on the 31.2 centimetre, high-resolution colour TFT display. The typography, the needles in red/silver, the speedometer with its 360 km/h scale and the "V12 BITURBO" lettering in the rev counter all have a specifically AMG look. When the driver’s door is opened, an AMG start-up screen appears on the right-hand display, while an animated Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet appears in the instrument cluster.

Lithium-ion battery reduces weight by over 20 kg

The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet is equipped with a lithium-ion battery as standard. This innovative technology offers numerous advantages over a conventional battery concept: with a capacity of 78 Ah, the lithium-ion battery replaces both the starter battery and the backup battery – resulting in a weight saving of over 20 kg.

Sport suspension based on AIRMATIC

The sport suspension based on AIRMATIC provides an incomparable driving experience. It has AMG-specific kinematics, considerably tauter elasto-kinematics and new parameterisation of the variable damping adjustment – the driver benefits from more direct responses, and also faster handling responses with a dynamic driving style. The damping characteristics can be preset in two modes: a high level of long-distance comfort or a sporty, stiff setup.

It is perfectly complemented by the electro-mechanical, speed-sensitive sport steering with a constant, direct steering ratio of 13.5:1: this optimises vehicle handling and agility while maintaining driving safety at high speeds. Depending on the suspension setting, the steering characteristics are adapted for more sporty or comfortable response. In either case the driver feels precise feedback from the road surface, and a high level of steering precision.

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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Ceramic high-sheen forged wheels with fully integrated wheel bolt cover

The exclusive forged wheels of the V12 Cabriolet appeal with their exceptional design, which represents a contemporary interpretation of classic sports car rims: each of the 16 spokes twists so that the light-catching contours radiate to the centre of the wheel hub. The effect: The wheel appears larger than its actual dimensions of 8.5 J x 20 at the front and 9.5 J x 20 at the rear.
As standard the forged wheels feature a high-quality, screw-on, fully integrated wheel bolt cover in forged aluminium. Its shape is reminiscent of a centre lock as seen in motorsport. The AMG lettering is incorporated into the rim as a design element. Three further forged wheels in the same format are available as optional alternatives – one design variant with a matt black finish and high-sheen rim flange.

Optional ceramic high-performance composite brake system

The high-performance composite brake system features large brake discs and brake callipers with a grey finish – red callipers are available as an optional extra. A ceramic high-performance composite braking system with 420 x 40 mm discs at the front and 360 x 32 mm discs at the rear is optionally available. This is around 40 percent lighter in weight. The lower unsprung masses improve driving dynamics, agility and ride comfort.

Extensive standard equipment with head-up display and touchpad

The extensive range of standard equipment for the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet includes the head-up display and the touchpad. The head-up display projects key information such as the vehicle speed, speed limits, navigation directions, traffic signs and information from DISTRONIC PLUS onto the windscreen. The visualisation of the engine speed and the current gear is exclusive to AMG. In Manual transmission mode, a coloured upshift bar and the possible gears for a manual gear change are also protected onto the windscreen. The virtual colour display measuring 21 x 7 centimetres appears to float on the bonnet at a distance of about two metres from the driver. The innovative touchpad makes it significantly easier to operate the radio, telephone and navigation system. In contrast to conventional systems, the touchpad can be used to operate all of the infotainment functions. The input area is approximately 6.5 x 4.5 centimetres in size and is integrated into the handrest with a cover for the keypad.

Intelligent Drive: new standards in safety

The new S 65 Cabriolet is available with numerous innovative assistance systems that make driving even more comfortable and safe. "Intelligent Drive" systems include PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, Brake Assist BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and Night View Assist Plus. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS features distance and collision warning functions with adaptive Brake Assist, offering protection against collisions from just 7 km/h, plus an additional function: when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to more than 100 km/h, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. At speeds of up to around 50 km/h the system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at up to around 40 km/h.

The preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® has also been extended. As PRE-SAFE® PLUS, it can now also recognise an imminent rear-end collision and warn following traffic by activating the rear hazard warning lights at a high frequency. When a danger of collision persists, the system can "lock" the brakes of the stationary vehicle prior to a rear-end collision and activate the PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners immediately before impact. This action minimises the risk of whiplash injury by reducing the forward jolt caused by the impact, and ensuring that the occupants are in the best possible position.

Standard equipment for the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet includes the following (selection):

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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Exclusive package incl. upholstery in designo Exclusive nappa leather
Headliner in nappa leather / DINAMICA microfibre
LED Intelligent Light System
360° camera
Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC
Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system
Driving Assistance package Plus, including DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, PRE-SAFE® Brake, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS
Seat Comfort package for driver and front passenger
KEYLESS-GO package

The Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet can be ordered from 4 April 2016 onwards, and the market launch in Mercedes-Benz own-retail outlets and dealerships will be from May 2016.

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