Let me explain how power in a car works. Think of torque as the work being done, and horsepower as the rate at which that work is applied. Simply put, torque is the force that gets the car moving. How much torque does this insane Mercedes S-Class have? Way more than a Challenger Hellcat, at the price of a mid-range Ford Taurus. Life is good.
This 2006 Mercedes S65 AMG isn't just fast, it's 747-on-takeoff fast. Its 6.0L twin turbo V12 produces 604 horsepower, and a blistering 738 ft-lbs of torque, nearly 100 more than the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. With the traction control turned off, you'd be able to roast the rear tires at highway speeds. But that's not the best part - a Renntech ECU upgrade, with all other components untouched, would give you a net power of 700+ horsepower and 800+ ft-lbs of torque. This equates to a near 10-second quarter mile time and a more than 200 mph top speed. All this on a car that massages, heats, and cools your butt.
This luxo-cruiser had a close to $200,000 MSRP when new, and it shows. Perforated Nappa leather seats, widescreen navigation/multimedia system, paddle shifters, alcantara suede headliner, and burlwood and aluminum accents absolutely everywhere. It's the pinnacle of the W220 model, which is in my humble opinion, one of the best and most timeless looking S-Class bodies to date.
This car can be expensive to maintain, from its expensive $1500 each coilpacks (there are two) to its endlessly complicated but amazing ABC hydropneumatic suspension, it can have costly repairs if you're unprepared for breakdowns. But if you put aside some money for a rainy day and plan accordingly, you can have a truly spectacular, world-beating car, with surprisingly decent fuel economy and unparalleled ride quality and opulence for less than a fully loaded Toyota Camry V6. This absolutely defines the phrase "used car value". I had the lesser W220 S600, and that was a blast, and I currently drive a W220 S500 and love every minute of it. Get this one, as the AMG V12 versions don't come around often, especially not in this condition.
For more awesome performance finds, check these out:
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.