2015 Car of the Year | No. 11: Mercedes-Benz S550 4-Matic Coupe
Comfortable and deceptively quiet
The S550 coupe evolved from the S550 sedan, which participated in Robb Report’s 2014 Car of the Year event and also finished in 11th place. Like the sedan, the coupe is powered by a 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that delivers 449 hp and 516 ft lbs of torque. The new model also shares the sedan’s bevy of driver-assistance programs, including thermal-imaging cameras for night driving and an adaptive suspension system that uses forward-facing cameras to analyze and adjust to upcoming road conditions. Unfortunately, as was the case last year with the sedan, the judges drove the coupe in sunlight on smooth roads, so they did not have the chance to sample some of Mercedes-Benz’s more impressive technology. In a different place at a different time, the S550 coupe may have finished higher in the rankings.
The standard and optional cabin amenities include Magic Sky Control, which electronically changes the transparency of the sunroof glass; an atomizer that fills the car with a choice of fragrances; heated armrests; and a hot-stone massage feature for each seat.
Such opulence does not come at the expense of performance. The S550 Coupe can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It is faster off the line than the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 and nearly as quick as the Bentley Continental GT V8 S and the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. Yet because the cabin is so effective at blocking out road noise, drivers may feel detached from the car’s power. As one judge observed, “It does all the things that the other cars do, but it’s very sedate in terms of the experience inside.”
CONFIGURATION: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive coupe
ENGINE: 4.7-liter turbocharged V-8
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic
POWER: 449 hp at 5,500 rpm
TORQUE: 516 ft lbs at 1,800 rpm
CURB WEIGHT: 4,707 lbs
ZERO-TO-60 MPH: 4.5 seconds
TOP SPEED: 130 mph (limited)
BASE PRICE: $119,900