By Aaron Bragman on July 16, 2013
Just days after testing the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, we've been handed the details for the even newer 2014 S63 AMG 4Matic performance variant. The S63 AMG is a more powerful, more outrageous luxury sedan — just in case the regular S-Class was too tame.
Swinging the pendulum from ultra-luxury to ultra-performance, the new S63 AMG swaps out the 4.7-liter V-8 in the S550 for AMG's hand-built twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter unit. It's good for 577 horsepower and a staggering 664 pounds-feet of torque, which should propel the massive sedan to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. That's as quick as an Aston Martin Vanquish, if you're keeping score.
All that power is channeled through an AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic transmission and ends up at all four wheels thanks to standard all-wheel drive (4Matic in Mercedes speak). Three driving modes are available to choose the behavior of your S63: Comfort, Sport or Manual; a start-stop system that shuts off the engine when idling is standard and active only in Comfort mode.An AMG-tuned air suspension is standard, with Comfort and Sport settings to adjust the S63 to the driver's mood and desires. Electric power steering is also present with a variable steering ratio.
The new S63 is the subject of some attention to weight. The new model is 220 pounds lighter than the outgoing one, thanks to efforts by Mercedes-Benz to curb unnecessary mass. That's like leaving an entire person at home whenever you drive the car somewhere. Insert significant-other jokes here.
The starter battery is now a lithium-ion unit instead of the traditional 12-volt lead-acid type found in nearly every car on the planet, allowing Mercedes to eliminate a second backup battery and save 44 pounds overall. Special lightweight AMG wheels also help: 19 inches front and rear, but 20-inch wheels are available.
AMG has added its sporting touch to the styling inside and out as well, with special high-gloss black trim and unique badging on the exterior. Inside, special AMG sport seats are standard, and unique milled metal trim adorns the instrument panel and doors.
The 12.3-inch display screen, which has replaced gauges in the S-Class, gets exclusive AMG-style graphics and special AMG content that focuses on driving performance and engine information. Some content available on the S550 is also available on the S63, such as the Night View Assist Plus and the Driver Assistance Package, but others are not, such as the new Magic Body Control automatically adjustable suspension system.
No pricing has been announced for the S63 AMG, but it is expected to hit dealerships at the same time as the all-wheel-drive S550 in November.
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron