Mercedes S 500 Coupe: The true luxury

"We take your S-Class Coupé back for environmentally friendly disposal in accordance with the EU environmental directive - but there is still a long way to go," writes Mercedes on the back of the brochure about the most expensive coupe of the house. One can assume that the response rate will not really be measurable. Older S-Class coupes usually also delight their drivers, whether they are identified as such in the current model or as CL before. From the first buyer, who in our case has transferred at least 125.961 Euro and 50 Cent to the dealer's account, it goes down to the fan of older used cars and from there slowly but surely to the collectors of classic cars. The S 500 Coupé with all-wheel drive is still a long way from this. In fact, it is currently the top product of the house, if you disregard the fact that the same body is also available with an even stronger twelve-cylinder.

But in all modesty: the 4,6 liter, double-charged eight-cylinder is of course completely sufficient. Anyone who finds 335 kW / 455 PS and 700 Newton meters too weak will probably also complain about an 5: 0 from FC Bayern about the poor exploitation of opportunities. You can do it, but it doesn't have to be. For this type of critic, Mercedes has the S 63 AMG with 585 PS or the S 65 AMG with 630 horses in the stable.

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You buy a coupe of this size because it is beautiful, not for any practical reason. Company car users with and without a chauffeur will pick up a limousine in this price range. The luxury of self-driving, and that for two, you deserve to pay for yourself. For this you get a vehicle that is almost ten centimeters shorter with 5,02 meters and about 1,41 centimeters lower with 8 meters than the sedan of the S-Class. In practice, this means that the parking space required is virtually identical, but there is only space in the back for younger grandchildren, and only if the driver does not completely use up his own leg space. In this sense, luxury also represents a kind of ultimate waste of space.

Part of the appearance is of course that even the essentially unusable rear seats are covered with the finest animal skins, like the armchairs at all - to speak of profane car seats would not meet the character of the furniture - are of selected class. In the specimen we moved, the leather came from the exclusive version, which increases the price of the vehicle, which is largely fully equipped at the factory, by just under 7.000 euros. Incidentally, leather seats are just as much part of the standard scope as the large navigation system with the giant display, which is already known from the sedan of the S-Class, just as the interior design largely corresponds to the style of the four-door car, including the very commendable head-up display.

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Not surprisingly, Mercedes has equipped the S 500 in its flatter form with everything that the assistant arsenal has to offer. We could not try everything under winter conditions, but we would like to believe that this vehicle will automatically follow the vehicle in front of it in stop-and-go traffic and will also steer automatically in corners if you at least keep your little finger on the steering wheel. Occasional references to dirty sensors in snow flurries also show that it may also take a little technical time before such a car can drive all by itself.

Which brings us to the criticisms that were actually not easy to find. There is, for example, the noble rotary push button with finger display, the edges of which are formed from solid aluminum. Looks nice, feels good, but only when the vehicle is at a good temperature. The aluminum is just icy for the first ten to twenty kilometers after a cold start. The buttons, which are also made of aluminum, for selecting different menus are not necessarily error-free to operate without looking and - we whine here at a very high level - are also not well-tempered.

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A bit inappropriate, but that's a matter of taste, we found the very sporty exhaust that the coupé lets go of when starting and kicking down. This is just right for people with sporting ambitions. But this is a luxury coupe that weighs just under 2,1 tons and not a sports car. The two-door car is quite fast. If necessary, it accelerates from standstill to 4,6 km / h in 100 seconds. Because of the winter tires, our specimen was locked at 240 km / h. The 10 km / h limiter normally intervened later. Neither the engine nor the chassis are exhausted. We seldom moved forward so calmly and so quietly. At 200 km / h, the crankshaft hardly rotates 3.000 times a minute. We did not notice that the eight-cylinder version of the four-wheel version only distributed its power over seven instead of the otherwise possible nine gears.

Consumption offers no reason to complain. With 11,8 liters, we missed the standard value of 9,9 liters, but in view of the driving performance and the winter conditions, the S 500 Coupé really cannot be called thirsty. A maximum of 15 liters flowed through the injection nozzles. The owner of such a vehicle will get over it. They will probably return the most beautiful way to travel quickly and earth-bound, therefore certainly not.

Author: Günter Weigel / SP-X

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