By on January 13, 2014

Mercedes-Benz S 600 (W 222) 2013

No other car on the planet combines technological supremacy and ventricle-bursting depreciation like a modern V-12-powered Mercedes-Benz. For the newest take on the formula, the automaker’s turned all the knobs to 11.

First bit of good news: for the first time in longer than anyone would care to admit, that “600″ decklid badge reflects reality. The six-liter V-12 turns out 523 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque thanks to a pair of turbochargers. It can make autonomous braking decisions at up to 124mph and execute a wide variety of other “pre-safe” behaviors. There’s a new heads-up display and a gesture-recognition system said to be able to accept “common smartphone gestures”.

Look for the S600 to appear at, in rough temporal order:

  • Hollywood premieres
  • international financial leadership conferences
  • Rap videos
  • major executive parking lots
  • The Real Housewives Of Atlanta
  • Mercedes-Benz service centers
  • Detroit nightclubs
  • Episodes of COPS
  • the 24 Hours of LeMons
  • Midwestern dealerships
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47 Comments on “NAIAS 2014: Mercedes-Benz S600 Is What You’re Expecting...”


  • avatar

    No dictator garages in that list, then?

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      List seems about right. Wondering how long the new one will take to go through the steps. The 140′s took probably a decade to hit the bottom; the 220′s managed to half that figure. Not sure how the 221 and 222′s will fare.

    • 0 avatar
      BMWnut

      The S-class has the ride of choice for third world despots for a long time. Don’t know why it wasn’t included in the list.

  • avatar

    And it still has a smiling clown-face when viewing the steering-wheel directly on with the gauges forming the eyes.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      Wow, I just saw that. It’s begging for an ICP Edition.

      (F*ckin’ magnetically dampened suspensions: How do they work?)

      • 0 avatar

        I think that’s a sub-heading under “Detroit nightclubs.”

      • 0 avatar

        It’s a liquid that becomes hard when magnetized. Imagine steel shavings suspended in oil, then fill a shock with that. Computer then can command it become stiffer or softer without moving any valves. Unlike the air suspension, magnetic cannot lift the vehicle on command.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          I think ash fully understands how a magnetic suspension works. The Insane Clown Posse released a song a few years ago about “miracles” and one of the lines was “****ing magnets: how do they work?” I would recommend youtubing the video if you need a “WTF?” moment today.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            In their defense, as much as I hate to do it, the *how* of magnetism (as in, why does it work at all and how does that force at a distance actually work, not “it has two poles and like repels like!!!”) is something people without graduate-level quantum mechanics knowledge don’t understand, for the most part.

            The line was one of many meant to express wonder at the hard-to-understand things that surround us, not to say “we don’t know that magnets stick to iron!”

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Machines of astonishing complexity.

  • avatar
    CosworthVega1721

    Believe you’ve omitted one.

    The docket of your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs Lemon Law cases to be heard.

    The buy-backs will begin about 90 days after retail deliveries.

    Good luck M-B fixing these rolling ethernet networks in 3 tries.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Jack, you sure it’s a six liter? The previous S600s dating back to 2003 were all 5.5L motors, with the 6.0 being reserved for the ’65 series AMG’s.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    It broke while I was looking at it, where is the nearest MB dealer so I can get my loaner CLA?

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Looks like the list was for U.S. only
    I was going to add OPEC oil meetings in Qatar

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I bet $200k still buys you the same crappy plastic door handles as the last generation too….

  • avatar
    jmo

    Looking at the data, recent S-classes have been noted for significantly above average reliablity. Where is everyone getting data that shows them doing poorly?

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      It’s the Best and Brightest! They don’t need no stinkin’ statistics. All German cars are ticking reliability time bombs! Double the horrors if it has a turbo! You have to be an idiot to own one outside of warranty!

      /sarcasm off

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Jaeger

        Indeed, the M120 V12 engine in the CL600 and SL600 were very reliable engines. They came with ABC suspensions that did require expensive maintenance, but the engine was certainly nothing to avoid.

        But slagging cars the B & B can’t afford to own isn’t about actual reliability anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I don’t know about the Mercedes, but I get my advice from a BMW master mechanic, who would never own a V12 7-series outside the warranty. The first thing to go is the air suspension, about a 6 grand fix, followed by various electrical issues. BMW no longer carries parts after 10 or so years, so you have to go aftermarket or junk yard to find some common items, creating a situation where part costs go up with age.

      It seems to me that V12 anything is bought because it’s the most expensive, not because it has any true advantage compared to modern V8′s. To me, a 15 year old Bentley, Rolls Royce, or even Toyota Century is still a baller, whereas a V12 7-series or S-Class of the same era screams “leftovers”.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Don’t you go actin like you can has a Century in the USA.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        No parts after 10 years? If that’s true at all, it is specific to V12 7s. BMW has a good reputation for parts availability.

        • 0 avatar
          WaftableTorque

          My conversation about the V12′s was 4 years ago, so I was trying to recall the specifics. The first generation V12 was essentially 2 I-6 engines stuffed into an engine bay, so it had two of everything, and twice as much to break. I can’t remember if the latter engines were the same.

          He specifically mentioned the parts availability problem for older 7 and 8 series that gets serviced at the dealership. Also stupid stuff that breaks, like the soft close door actuators and power windows, stuff that would never break on a Lexus or Infiniti.

          Finally, he warned me to beware of used 7-series. Owners are usually surprised at how expensive the cars are to keep running, so they’ll usually let them go rather than fix them. It’s not unusual for a 7-10 year old 7-series to require $12-$20k worth of repairs to have all the electrical and mechanics working.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Maybe people are thinking about the less-recent ones and extrapolating?

      I know you’d have to *pay me* to try and have a W140 as a daily driver.

      Of course, the newest W140 is also 16 years old, so there’s that.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It’s so absurd that I love/want it. Quilted leather on the dash, oh yes. More car and engine than anyone needs – for what this thing is actually USED for (carting about high end executives to airport/helipad/hooker’s flat/meetings) it would be fine with a 3.2 diesel.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Jack you realize this is the perfect car for someone like yourself who owned not one but TWO VW Phaetons? Just wait till the used examples hit sub $20,000… :P

    And if you can keep it running long enough to hit true rock bottom, think of the LeMons possibilities!

  • avatar
    segfault

    The V12 emblems on the front fenders are tacky. That’s a stylistic feature I would expect on a pickup truck, not a Mercedes flagship.

  • avatar
    WhiskerDaVinci

    There was a slight mistake in where you’ll be seeing these…
    -Hollywood premieres
    -international financial leadership conferences
    -Rap videos
    -THEN service centers.

    Mercedes-Benz and the V12 do not a reliable car make. Worth it though if you can afford it.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I guess the very wealthy LIKE having a horrifying clown face staring at you as you drive, or at least as the car drives itself.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    “ventricle-bursting depreciation”
    Excellent fake-out. I was lulled into buff book hyperbole and slammed with brutal reality. The used market tells the truth about this marque.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Actually quite a large number of S600s are bought by pro-athletes. If you are talking about S Classes in general, I would argue that most are actually bought by physicians. Panning back to the S600, you will almost never see one at a dealership in the Midwest for sale, if ever. They are almost always special order. In fact my NBA neighbor got his S600 when the W221 style first came out before the dealerships even saw it. When I took my car in for service they did not believe me it was out, so we brought it in for them to see. V12s are rare and hard to sell, even my local Audi dealership won’t order one even though one of my neighbors has one.


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