The figure “600” has long been a legend in the history of the automobile: the model 600 (W 100) launched in 1963 was the first passenger car from Mercedes-Benz to feature a V8 injection engine. This same powerful (184 kW/250 hp) and the refined engine were also used from 1967 on in the W 109 model series (in the top-of-the-range 300 SEL 6.3). Further top models to feature a V8 engine included the 450 SEL 6.9 from the model series 116 (210 kW/286 hp) and the 560 SE in the 126 series (220 kW/300 hp in the ECE version). The 600 SE model in the 140 model series of 1991 marked the introduction of the first twelve-cylinder engine as standard in a Mercedes-Benz passenger car. The M 120 delivered 300 kW (408 hp) from a displacement of 6 liters and began a tradition of V12 units as the top-of-the-range engines in the S-Class. Since the 220 series, Mercedes-Benz has also offered especially sporty, AMG-optimised variants with V8 and V12 engines at the top of its S‑Class range, in the form of the S 63 AMG and S 65 AMG.
With an output of 390 kW (530 hp), the V12 Biturbo engine in the 2013 Mercedes S 600 packs a bigger punch than its predecessor did with 380 kW (517 hp). The displacement of the engine has increased from 5513 to 5980 cc. The maximum torque of 830 Nm is available from 1900 rpm. The S 600 now features the ECO start/stop function as standard, while it also meets the Euro 6 emissions standard. The combined fuel consumption of the S 600 stands at 11.1 litres/100 km – 21 percent lower than that of its predecessor (14.1 l/100 km).