• Mercedes shows off new S65 AMG ahead of LA
  • Offers subtle styling upgrades, new interior features
  • Uses 604-hp engine and new 7-speed automatic

A redesigned Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG is coming to the LA Auto Show. That's the latest from Mercedes-Benz, which recently announced several details about the high-performance luxury sedan ahead of the show next week. 

On the outside, the 2015 S65 AMG looks exactly as you might expect: like a meaner version of the new S-Class. Think large front air dam, huge wheels and brakes, quad exhaust pipes and subtle V12 Biturbo badges behind each front wheel, as is AMG tradition. 

Inside, there aren't as many changes. Mercedes says two features are debuting: a head-up information display that projects information onto the car's windshield and a touchpad interface for the infotainment system. Integrated into the center console, the touchpad allows drivers to touch, swipe or zoom when desired -- and it can even understand handwriting. That means drivers don't have to scroll through an on-screen keyboard to spell out destinations or phone contacts. 

But aside from the new technology, few features let you know you're riding in one of the most powerful sedans on the market -- until you put your foot down. The reason is that the S65 still boasts last year's engine: a twin-turbocharged V12 that's good for 621 horsepower and a wild 738 lb-ft of torque. It's one of the most powerful engines available, and it helps the S65 reach 60 miles per hour in around four seconds. All that power is sent through the rear wheels, unlike the latest E63 AMG, which recently started using all-wheel drive. 

Still, don't think the S65 is all about gas-guzzling acceleration. Mercedes says the sedan now has a 7-speed automatic -- compared to last year's 5-speed -- with the goal of improving gas mileage. Anything would be better than last year's numbers, which were 19 miles per gallon on the highway and a dismal 12 mpg in city driving. 

"The 7-speed automatic transmission with its wide ratio spread guarantees a noticeably lower engine-speed level," said Mercedes-Benz in a statement. "This makes a key contribution to reducing the vehicle's fuel consumption." 

As for pricing, Mercedes has not yet released final numbers. But considering the current model starts around $213,000 with shipping, we expect the 2015 S65 will be closer to $215,000. It's a big number but not surprising when you consider the S65's power, technology and position atop the S-Class model range. 

We'll have more S65 AMG coverage at this year's LA Auto Show. 

What it means to you: The latest Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG reminds shoppers that there's some serious power at the top of the S-Class lineup.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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