Stick Shift: 2019 Mercedes-Benz S650

Bold, elegant, refined, politely powerful and full of every expected and unexpected luxury you could want and need. Where else but from the German auto manufacturer that has defined and redefined luxury for generations, Mercedes-Benz. The 2019 S650 sets the bar higher once more as the poshest Mercedes super sedan money can buy. As such, there’s no shortage of areas and avenues where your money has gone. 

Let’s start with the behemoth V12. Part of a dying breed, fast being replaced by twin turbo V8’s. This nearly extinct jewel can catapult the heavy weight sedan to triple digit speeds with ease. Acceleration is effortless though. Perfectly steady and with barely a perceptible gear change even. Steering is light but feedback builds gradually in a synthetic way you’d not only expect, but are perfectly OK with. Body roll is minimal for such a big car as well. It handles itself with grace and poise through the corners, only revealing its true size when the bends are especially tight, but otherwise behaving like a much smaller sedan. 

The biggest difference between lesser S-class models and the superb S650 full-size sedan is the extra 10 inches in the wheelbase. Almost all of it goes inside the cabin to the back seat. All that newly acquired legroom allows the rear seats to recline like an especially intelligent and expensive lazy-boy. From high resolution monitors mounted behind the driver and front passenger seats, displaying beautifully rendered graphics, rear occupants are given almost complete control over their lavish environment. The S650 really is a car best experienced in the back. A true chauffeur-mobile. Windows and window shades, the highly adjustable, heated, cooled and immensely comfortable leather seats, massagers, climate settings, navigation, media, music and more are all under your control. Even the wide arm rest heats up if you’d like. Everything done on an easy to navigate touchscreen from the perfectly sound insulated back seat. 

Photo via: Mercedes-Benz

Their are details, big and small, almost too numerous to mention, that will leave you in awe of the craftsmanship and exquisite attention to each square inch of the new S650. Everything culminates to create a vehicle that is truly special, and as a result, you’ll feel special driving it. The way the incredible sounding Burmester audio system speaker covers curve and flow with the silky lines of the S650s’ interior. The two small round speakers mounted near the A-pillars even spin and extend out at you when the vehicle is turned on.   

A color combination of black and dark brown paired perfectly with the deep green paint color on the outside. The visual effect was nothing short of stunning. Heavy round polished metal air vents tucked inside a quilted pattern leather front dash butt up to a long digital display that will show and tell way more than I could list here. From simple media and navigation to the most nuanced, tucked away setting like the color of your ambient lighting or cabin air freshener intensity. 

Up front, the seats continue to amaze with side bolsters that stiffen and flex under cornering loads depending on which direction your body wants to slide. All to keep you comfortably in place. The incredibly designed headlights are as smart as they are beautiful. They feature unfolding curtain high beams, LEDs’ that swivel around corners and even flash at road-side joggers in the dark to illuminate not just them, but jittery wildlife as well. 

Photo by: Brandon Randall

Especially with the many driving-aides clicked on, piloting, or riding along in the 2019 Mercedes-Benz S650 gives you the sense that your comfort and safety is always being considered first. This is a car that seems to be continually thinking things through. Sensing every curve and road undulation, every car on the road around you, different and changing lighting conditions, even how you’re driving to sense if you need a break and knowing when to suggest it. Always calculating that little extra thing it can do to make your trip, whether its just down the street for a gallon of milk, or to some far away place, as comfortable and memorable as possible.

By: Brandon Randall

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