The mighty V12 will survive another day. Or, more accurately, for another generation of Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
As recently as last year, Mercedes also offered the V12 here in the Mercedes-AMG S65. An S-Class without AMG or Maybach badges was also available, wearing the S600 nameplate. It was discontinued after 2017.
The S65 is still available in other markets, including China and the US.
There had been speculation the V12 engine’s days were numbered at Mercedes-Benz, particularly with the proliferation of the company’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8.
For example, though Maybach models have traditionally used V12 engines, the latest addition to the Maybach line-up – the Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 – uses the 4.0-litre V8.
Speculation of the V12’s demise appears to have been premature. However, according to Källenius, there are no plans for a V12-powered Maybach GLS, though there’ll be a six-cylinder variant “in due time”.
A six-cylinder Maybach version of the S-Class sedan is already available in China. Called the Mercedes-Maybach S400, the car uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 which could be a candidate for the future six-cylinder Maybach GLS, though Mercedes' new generation of inline six engines are more likely to appear in the luxed-up SUV.
The upcoming EQS electric limo will assume the alternative propulsion mantle in the upper-large luxury sedan segment, leaving the S-Class to offer glorious, guilty pleasure powertrains like the V12.
The next-generation S-Class should debut sometime in 2020.