Mercedes-Benz AMG S70

A black Mercedes-Benz S-Class exudes menace. This AMG-tuned 7.0-litre V12 one has the bite to match the bark. 

Words: Nathan Chadwick Pictures: Richard Pardon



here's something of the night about this car. And that's why it's most at home prowling the mean city streets under sodium street lighting. Intimidating for bystanders? Yes. But equally for a first-time driver. It's big, you see. Very big. 

It's left-hand drive too, which makes it feel almost overwhelming in the confines of the city. That may be an odd first impression, but when there's a rather special V12 under that impossibly long bonnet capable of developing enormous numbers – and it has reached the higher echelons of its rev range, dominating the vast interior with its rasping howl – you'll understand it completely. 

But first you have to get there, and there's a lot to concentrate on while threading through Belfast. What were highways moments ago are now 2001: Space Odyssey-esque tubes of light, noise and fear. This is going to be a dark night.

There's something very dark about this W140, alright – and we're rather looking forward to getting under its skin. There’s  7.0 litres, 518bhp and 546lb ft of torque to play with. Supercar figures? You'd be right – a variant of this engine ended up powering the Pagani Zonda. Time to slip it into D and start to play…

Engine: 7023cc/V12/DOHC
Power: 518bhp@5900rpm
Torque: 546lb ft@4000rpm
Performance: Top speed: 186mph; 0-60mph: 5.4sec
Fuel consumption: 17-21mpg
Transmission: RWD, five-speed automatic