A couple of months ago, Mercedes-Benz finalised the SL65 AMG model – the legendary torque monster 6-lt V12 (Internal code M275). I still remember the day when I read about SL65 AMG being unveiled to the public – it was around 2005. The engine output looked insane, going as quick as 100 km/h just like the Ferrari F430 (3.9-sec to 100 km/h)! SL65 AMG was producing 612 HP and 1000 Nm of torque, but it was reduced to avoid destorying the transmission.
This engine was based on the existing V12 engine that was introduced in 1998 (Internal code M137). I can’t say the engines were the same, but they were very similar.
A V12 petrol engine with a bi-turbo was mind-blowing in those years. The Bugatti Veyron was still in the production phase, but it was failing all the time. Ferrari and Aston Martin were producing moderate engine outputs, but Mercedes-Benz came out from nowhere and upped the game.
In the following years, Mercedes-Benz introduced CL65 AMG, S65 AMG, G65 AMG (Yes, they made this for a very short period of time), Maybach 57S and 62S. All of these models were ready to burn some rubber.
As the years passed, the world changed, and the V12 bi-turbo engine became more efficient, kind of. Sadly, the emission restrictions and the lack of demand for this engine forced it out of production.
As people preferred the 63 models (they were much better at delivering power to the wheels), demand was drying out. Mercedes-Benz didn’t make a serious revision to the engine and instead kept using the outdated single overhead camshaft (SOHC) technology. We can’t ignore the weight imbalance when you place a massive V12 engine at the front of a car; it has a negative impact on braking and acceleration.
Unfortunately, 65 models struggled to deliver such enormous power to the road. Aside from the G65 AMG, the rest of the range had a layout of rear-wheel drive, which wasn’t the best set-up to deliver 1000 nm of torque to the road.
The torque problem was so serious that the last S65 AMG models were letting automatic transmission slip on the first two gears to keep the transmission in one piece. Otherwise, it would be shredded into pieces.
This year, Mercedes-Benz decided to stop making 65 models and introduced the S65 AMG Final Edition. It was limited to 130 vehicles, and the legendary V12 was producing 630 HP and 1000 Nm of torque. I am pretty sure this car will be a future ‘classic’ when looking back!