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Mercedes-AMG’s 621-hp S65 Cabrio caters to sun-worshipping speed junkies

Mercedes-AMG has added the S65 Cabriolet to the growing S-Class family. Set to greet the public for the first time next month at the Detroit Motor Show, the 2017 S65 Cabriolet is the fifth V12-powered member of Mercedes-Benz’s hot-rodded AMG-badged lineup.

The V12 in question is a hand-built, 6.0-liter unit that generates 621 horsepower from 4,800 to 5,400 rpm and a massive 738 pound-feet of torque from 2,300 to 4,300 rpm thanks to the use of two large turbochargers. The 12-cylinder sends AMG’s newest convertible from zero to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds and on to a top speed that’s electronically limited to 155 mph. Buyers who live in Germany — or who want to take the nearly 5,000-pound S65 Cabriolet out on the track — can bump the speed limiter up to 186 mph by ordering the optional AMG Driver’s package.

The S65 Cabriolet ships with a seven-speed automatic transmission that can be controlled manually using steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. AMG has dialed three modes into the transmission called Controlled Efficiency, Sport, and Manual, respectively. An automatic start/stop system kicks in when Controlled Efficiency mode is selected in order to keep gas mileage in check.

The biggest visual difference between the S65 Cabriolet and the less powerful S63 and S550 models is found up front, where the convertible gains metal mesh inserts in the grille and in the lower bumper, and an extra dose of chrome trim. Moving further back, the range-topping topless S gets V12 Biturbo emblems on both fenders, model-specific 20-inch forged wheels, quad exhaust outlets, and an air diffuser built into the rear bumper.

Inside, the S65 Cabriolet comes with all of the features buyers expect from a flagship model built by Mercedes-Benz. The long list of standard equipment includes Nappa leather upholstery with contrast stitching, a three-spoke sport steering wheel, a heads-up display, heated front and rear seats, and even heated armrests. Finally, Mercedes’ Airscarf technology makes top-down motoring possible even when the thermometer starts to dip by keeping the front occupants’ necks warm.

Related: The next E-Class will inaugurate new modular engines

The cloth top can be raised or lowered in 17 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph. It’s offered in black, dark blue, beige, and dark red.

The 2017 Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet is scheduled to go on sale in Germany next April, and the first deliveries are scheduled for the following May. Pricing information hasn’t been revealed yet, but we expect it will cost more than the S65 Coupe, which carries a hefty $234,050 base price.