The S-Class Coupé has to compete with the cachet of the Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin Vantage

This flagship model features a "valet" arm, heated steering wheel, "ambient lighting" and a choice of perfumes to filter subtly through the air conditioning

Price: £125,595 (£155,115 as tested)
Engine capacity: 5.4 litre petrol
Power output (hp @ rpm): 585@5,500
Top speed (mph): 186
Fuel economy (mpg): 28
CO2 emissions (g/km): 175

The nicest thing about the S-Class Coupé, something of a flagship model for Mercedes-Benz, is a feature that actually goes back some decades; a sort of "valet" arm that extends from the rear of the vehicle to offer the driver and front-seat passenger their seat belts as they settle in. It is just so sweet, so courteous and so "Mercedes". It makes you feel just that little bit special.

Sounds spoiled? That was only the start of it. How about the heated steering wheel and armrest? Or "ambient lighting" as they call it, interior lighting adjustable for intensity and colour; I settled for a sort of nightclub scarlet in the end. Or a choice of perfumes to filter subtly through the air conditioning? I was also very impressed by the night vision screen, using technology you might usually associate with the military. You get a real-time view of the road as you proceed, next to the speedometer, and it outlines pedestrians some distance ahead in little red boxes. Very clever, very safe.

Then there's the growly, twin-turbo V8 power plant, as developed, in this version, by AMG, the people who make fast Mercedes even faster. It delivers almost neck-snapping acceleration in any of the automatic gearbox's seven ratios, and remarkable fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, all things considered. A cliché, yes, but when you press the accelerator it really does just launch you at the horizon. This coupé is too big and heavy to be truly agile and sporty, but, at any speed, it is exhilarating

So, given all that, it was disappointing that the panoramic sunroof wouldn't work. Obviously this isn't the time of year to use it, but it was irritating to think that here was yet another toy all ready for me to play with, after I finally got bored with the heated and ventilated soft Nappa leather chairs. Really annoying. Still, I suppose that's how you start to think when you get spoilt.

Dramatically styled, superbly engineered, and in many ways the pinnacle of the automotive art; yet the S-Class Coupé, even the ultra-exclusive V12 S65 version (RRP: £181,920), still has to compete with the cachet of the Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin Vantage. All are wonderful cars. When you are wealthy enough to think of buying one of these cars, you're thoroughly spoilt for choice, too.

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