At Mercedes-Benz, There Remain Instances in Which There’s No Replacement for Displacement

Want a six-cylinder engine?

Don’t buy a two-door Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

For the 2018 model year, Mercedes-Benz will offer a S450 sedan with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. It’s not underpowered. 362 horsepower produce a claimed 0-60 miles per hour time of 5.1 seconds.

But sometimes, every now and then, in a handful of remaining instances, Mercedes-Benz evidently believes there is no replacement for displacement. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe and cabriolet?

V8s and V12s only, thank you very much.

Thoroughly revamped for the 2018 model year, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues to be the technological tour de force you always expect it to be. But the S-Class, in particular the S-Class sans rear doors, is also a horsepower showcase. The “basic” 2018 S560 will utilize a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 463 horsepower.

Yeah, we don’t know what “560” has to do with a 4.0-liter, either. But the time for debating those contradictions with automakers, Mercedes-Benz and others, has sadly passed. 560 does not and will not represent a 5.6-liter engine, but it does represent major league power.Two upgrades are available for the S-Class two-door, pricing for which currently starts at $123,745. The AMG S63 also features a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, but power jumps from the S560’s 463 ponies to 603. The V12-engined S65, also a twin-turbo, adds another 18 horses. As for the sedan, upgrading from six-cylinder power to the V8-engined S560 requires precisely $10,000. That’s $99 for every extra bhp; $68 for every extra lb-ft of torque.

Automotive News reports that Mercedes-Benz’s 2018 S-Class timeline will include cars that go on sale in the first half of 2018, but only briefly, before 2019 models arrive in 2018 Q3. In the meantime, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues to be the straw that stirs the full-size luxury segment’s drink.

The S-Class, which includes two-door models that used to operate under the CL-Class banner, is on track for a four-year U.S. sales low of roughly 15,000 sales. But its best-selling direct rival, the BMW 7 Series, generates barely more than half that many sales.

[Images: Daimler AG]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.


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