With Mercedes' facelifted 612hp S63 AMG about to hit UK showrooms, we take a closer look at the AMG S-Class saloons of the last twenty years
It may only make up a small fraction of the UK car market, but the luxury saloon segment is still the place where premium manufacturers debut many of their latest advances. None more so than Mercedes which, with the S-Class, repeatedly sets itself the target of being the most advanced of them all.
Ever since the W116 model was first introduced in 1972, it has strived to combine all the elements of a luxury saloon with the performance of a proper sports car. A tall order, and one which has been pursued with little consideration of cost, especially where the AMG models have been concerned. As a result, Stuttgart's star has always carried a seriously hefty price tag, but when you're targeting the top that doesn't present much of problem, with CEOs happy to find funds for the very latest model.
However, as an AMG S-Class gracefully ages it falls rapidly out of favour, resulting in the kind of depreciation which would give your bank manager recurring nightmares. This means that mere mortals can consider owning one the world's finest cars whilst it's still relatively young though, and if you have such grand aspirations, the Mercedes AMG S-Class Saloon offers truly epic metal for your money - and Ferrari 550 levels of performance.
Available in 'sensible' V8 and opulent V12 guises, and both regular and long wheelbase bodies, prices for early-Noughties W220 examples now start at just £13,000. And it's this model, plus the later W221 and current W222 incarnations that are the focus of our attention here.
So which, if any, versions of these monster AMGs are appreciating in value? Which make the best buys at the moment? And which AMG S-Class is most likely to become a future classic? We probed the market to uncover the answers.