By Aaron Bragman on March 19, 2014
Competes with: Bentley Continental GT, Rolls-Royce Wraith, Aston Martin DB9
Looks like: An even badder, bolder S-Class Coupe
Powertrains: 577-hp, twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8, seven-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: fall 2014
Mercedes-Benz introduced the new S-Class Coupe at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show and has just unveiled a more potent performance version. The new 2015 S63 4Matic AMG coupe takes everything that is already outstanding about the S-Class Coupe and cranks it up to crazy levels in the way only Mercedes-Benz's in-house AMG tuners can.
Outwardly, not much on the body has changed, aside from the inclusion of additional air-cooling grilles, side sills and a rear diffuser in either gloss black or silver. Larger wheels and tires are fitted, with optional 20-inch forged aluminum wheels unique to the AMG model. AMG badges are also scattered around the car, from the grille to the wheels to each of the four tailpipes.
The opulent environs of the S-Class are intact in the S63 AMG, but taken to the next level. The instrument panel still consists of two massive side-by- side LCD displays, but with graphics in red and silver and fonts specific to AMG vehicles. Nappa leather sport seats exclusive to the S63 are included, as is a unique three-spoke AMG steering wheel. As expected, AMG badges abound throughout the interior, including embossed versions in the seats themselves. Aside from these updates, the interior is pretty much the same as the regular S-Class Coupe. Notable options include a heads-up display and a heated windshield.
This is where you'll find the biggest changes. Hidden under swaths of plastic covers is a hand-built, twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 engine cranking out 577 horsepower and 664 pounds-feet of torque. This is up by 41 hp from the outgoing CL63 AMG model, but the new one will be more fuel efficient according to Mercedes-Benz thanks to shedding nearly 140 pounds. Engine power is channeled through a standard seven-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels; all-wheel drive is standard. Drivers can select one of three operating modes: Controlled Efficiency, Sport or Manual, each one affecting the transmission, shift points, throttle response and special butterfly valves on the unique sport exhaust. A stop-start engine cut-off system is standard, ostensibly to improve fuel economy when the vehicle is at idle.
All that power should get the S63 AMG from zero-to-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds according to Mercedes, an eye-popping number for a coupe that weighs 4,400 pounds. The car also features the Airmatic full air suspension system as standard, including the ADS Plus active damping suspension system introduced on the S-Class Coupe. Stopping is done with a standard composite braking system, with a full ceramic braking system offered as an option.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one of the most advanced automobiles in the world when it comes to safety systems, and the S63 will be no exception. The list is typical Mercedes-Benz buzzword soup, but includes items like brakes that detect imminent collisions to the front or rear, active lane keeping with steering assist, blind spot warning with cross-traffic alert, adaptive high- beam headlights, a night vision system, a surround-view camera and even a cruise control system that will steer the car autonomously as you're driving down a highway.
The new S63 AMG will make its debut at April's 2014 New York International Auto Show before going on sale in the U.S. market in the fall of 2014.
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