Back in 2014, the nice people at Mercedes-Benz invited me down to Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands to drive a variety of their new cars. Of course, my obvious choices throughout the day were their 4x4's, the new G, GL, GLA and ML Class. Suitably impressed by them all, more so the G350, I wanted to end the day with a bang, so I asked what they had that was big ‘n’ fast. Their response was to hand me the key to an S 500 L AMG.
‘That’ll do.’ I thought.
Now, I’ve always had a thing for big V8 saloons, over the years I’ve owned an Rover SD1 and a Lexus LS400, and more recently I was tempted by a Mercedes CL500, but the cash was ear marked for a new kitchen instead, meh.
It had just began to rain, and the nice folks on hand escorted me to the S500 under an umbrella. I grinned, not because I was being treated like a VIP, but walking up to this huge 4.7ltr V8 monster had just knocked 40 years off and made me feel like an 9 year old boy on Christmas morning.
After settling into the driver’s seat you find yourself surrounded by leather, wood, chrome and utter class. Dare I say it was nicer than a Range Rover? I just might.
Have you ever driven something that makes you chuckle inside, and when you put your foot down you break out into uncontrollable maniacal laughter? That was me wafting around the leafy suburbs of Surrey in this incredible car.
Flicking through the spec sheet I was amazed by the amount of equipment it had, and being honest, I didn't even know what most of it was; 'Magic Body Control Suspension' for example is something I had to look up. Using a camera at the top of the windscreen it scans the road up to 15 metres ahead and prepares the air-suspension to suit the upcoming road surface.
I soon came to the conclusion that this car is in a different league to any other car that I’d ever driven, but with an ‘on the road’ price of £88,130, then include the £35,500 worth extras, you should expect something a bit special.
Unfortunately my brief encounter was soon to end, but Mercedes gave me what I asked for, and more. The combination of a fantastic ride quality, almost zero road noise and the beautifully smooth engine and gearbox makes the S500 an incredibly relaxing way to travel, I so wanted to keep it for my 220 mile, 4 hour journey home, but instead I had Muddy Madams ageing Skoda, oh hum...