Your head begins to fill with important questions even before you drive off in the S-Class Coupe. It starts as soon as you open the door, sink into the driver’s seat and close it behind you – a familiar routine you have carried out thousands of times before, but one that in the S-Class Coupe becomes a celebration of engineering brilliance: With just a few millimetres to go, the door is gently pulled shut by the on-board electronics. Click: a pleasing sound, and a pleasant feeling. In fact, it makes you want to open and shut the door all over again. Hence the questions that spring to mind: Why is it so rare to feel that everything is functioning in perfect harmony, that everything is just as it should be? And another question: Could it be that perfection in life does exist after all?
Winning fans before you set off
The S-Class Coupe draws the eye from afar, long before you reach for the door handle. Perhaps it has something to do with the silhouette, which is both spectacular and straightforward. The design looks deceptively simple for a process that was undoubtedly both time-consuming and expensive. The elongated hood runs seamlessly into the elegant curve of the roofline – undisturbed by any B-pillar – and then gently subsides into the rear, creating a harmonious profile that intuitively strikes you as being just right.
The interior displays a similar clarity of lines. You don’t feel you’re in some futuristic spaceship – you feel, quite simply, that you’re at home. Much of this is due to the seats, which provide firm support yet are still as comfortable as armchairs. They will even offer a massage if required. The dashboard is dominated by two large screens. The left-hand one displays the tachometer and speedometer; the one on the right shows, among other things, sat-nav information or pictures from the 360° Camera, which generates a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle’s surroundings to facilitate parking.
Nowadays we tend to be rather spoiled and demanding – we are never quite satisfied and always find something to complain about. The new computer freezes at work, or a newly purchased jacket starts to develop a crease at the back. These are, of course, trivial problems, but they stoke our desire for everything to be perfect, just once. Perhaps it makes sense that this wish has been fulfilled by an automobile – a product born of the marriage of high tech and craftsmanship, a vehicle that is both fast and stylish, that triggers emotions and bristles with technical innovations. A vehicle that is, quite simply, a thing of beauty.
So it is hardly surprising that the S-Class Coupe starts attracting attention even before you embark on your test drive. Passersby crowd around, peering into the interior, asking questions about performance and price. Real perfection is something people find hard to tear themselves away from. And even as the driver, you catch yourself stroking this vehicle absentmindedly: the elegant curve of the dashboard and its fluid transition into the door cladding; the soft materials lining the glove box and armrest compartment; the gleaming inlay on the steering wheel. Of course, you could always busy yourself switching on the “fragrancing” function or putting a bottle of mineral water in the generous 8.5-litre refrigerated compartment in the rear to chill (only available on the S 65 AMG). But we’re not in a high-tech home, we’re in an automobile. So it’s hands on the wheel, finger on the starter button, foot on the accelerator – and off.
You cruise gently through the city streets toward the highway, and when you reach the on-ramp you put your foot down – a blissful sensation. At highway speed, the vehicle runs so smoothly that the landscape passes by in a stately manner. Even the throaty roar of the engine upon acceleration suggests a perfect balance of power and control. The twin-turbocharged V8 generates 449 hp and has an electronically governed top speed of 210 km/h.
Clinging to the road like a painted line
On a test drive, everyone is equal. But somehow, on this test drive, you can’t help feeling special. It’s simply that everything is just right – from the carefully calculated resistance of the indicator lever to the way this all-wheel-drive car clings to the road like a painted line. The rear-wheel-drive S 65 AMG Coupe also offers MAGIC BODY CONTROL: A camera scans the road ahead to identify any unevenness in the surface, and in a split second the air suspension is adjusted to compensate for it. The car is also accompanied by a world first: the new curve tilting function that enables the vehicle to lean into curves at an angle of up to 2.65 degrees, reducing the lateral acceleration acting on the occupants and making for a more comfortable ride while increasing the fun of negotiating winding roads. But rest assured, this function isn’t just a toy for engineers – it really does improve the ride experience. With or without this innovation, the S-Class Coupe by nature responds calmly and instantaneously to the driver’s wishes, shutting the door when you were about to do so yourself and reacting with alacrity to the slightest movement of the steering wheel. The fact that it also leans intuitively into curves just like you do brings driver and automobile that much closer together.