Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe review

Driven: Mercedes S 63 AMG Coupé | Two doors good?

By Tim Kendall | 27th January 2015

Vital Statistics

  • Model: S 63 AMG Coupé
  • Engine: 5.5 V8 Bi-turbo petrol (582hp)
  • Transmission: 7-speed auto
  • Price: £125,595 (£149,165 as tested)
  • 0-60: 4.2 secs
  • Top Speed: 186 mph (AMG Driver's package)
  • Economy: 28 mpg
  • Options fitted to test car:
    See Text

What is it?

The CL63 AMG is dead, long live the new Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe. Occupying the same café crème smoking, perma-tanned niche as its forebear, the flagship two-door Merc is vying for the attention of disaffected Continental GT buyers and is available in a Mercedes retailer near you now.

DrivingTalk bagged some time with the German powerhouse at a recent Mercedes event. What’s it like? A hybrid of Angela Merkel and Claudia Schiffer. Think serious and powerful, but alluring.

It’s based on the latest S-Class launched in 2013 and as such is a more rakish take on the three-pointed star’s headline act. The AMG-fettled version packs the ubiquitous 5.5-litre V8 bi-turbo, which appears elsewhere in the AMG line-up but in this tune produces an ample 582bhp and 664 lb ft of twist. More horsepower than one can legitimately deploy in the Home Counties.

s63 coupe

What’s interesting about the Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe?

Aside from the surfeit of grunt, the biggest Benz two-door is a lavish tech-fest which proffers a uniquely cossetting and uncouth way of crossing continents. On the downside, it’s big for a two-door, despite giving away 9cm in length to the full-size S-Class saloon. Given the size of the thing, it’s a tad disappointing to discover the back seats lack any meaningful knee-room and are thus the preserve of the vertically challenged. Or kids. Insert reverse tardis cliché here.

Interesting factoids? On the options list are headlights which contain 47 Swarovski crystals.

Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe

What about the design?

Thankfully Mercedes haven’t just chopped out two doors from the saloon and signed it off as the S-Class Coupe, it’s a bespoke clean-sheet effort. Possibly in the minority, DrivingTalk is undecided on how successful a piece of design it is, with some angles flattering it, others less so. Yes, the S63 AMG Coupé looks brutishly imposing in the metal thanks to its sheer size, but that presence is reined in slightly by a sleek window line and high waist that seem to shrink the car’s ample proportions. The tapered derriere is a touch Japanese looking to these eyes, but, one man’s marmite and all that. It’s also quite wheel-sensitive, looking slightly undernourished in the wheel-arch department with the 19” alloys as fitted to the test car (which wore winter tyres). The car in these pics wears full sized rims.

ercedes S63 AMG Coupe

What about the gadgets?

You need a day or so to familiarise yourself with the wizardry available in the new S63 AMG Coupe. DrivingTalk didn’t have that so resorted to fumbling ineptly through a myriad of menus within the infotainment system.  On later realising the surface hadn’t even been tarnished, I delved into the spec sheet for the test car. This revealed wonders like Climatised Seats and ‘Air Balance’. Not Nike’s latest offering, but a selection of four different Glade plug-in perfumes, selectable via the push of a button to satisfy your olfactory desires. At £380, I’d let my local hand car wash attached a sickly smelling magic tree to the rear view mirror instead. There’s also the obligatory hot-stone massage function on the seats, a head-up display and four wheels to bridge the gap between car and road.

Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe

 

Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe

Did I mention it’s a big car? Well a standard-fit 360-degree camera makes light work of navigating the five-metre long S63 AMG into parking spaces. Thereafter it goes a bit Paul Daniels. Magic Ride Control, Magic Vision Control, Magic Sky Control and Magic Eye Control.  That lot  translates as trick suspension that senses the road ahead and pre-adjusts damper settings to suit, windscreen wipers that silently secrete cleansing liquid onto the windscreen and a self-tinting sunroof to reduce glare on that tanned bonce (optional at £4,030). And Magic Eye Control? I may have made that one up. A tremendous 24-speaker Burmester sound system (£5,300) with 1,520 watts to keep your ears amused is the cherry on the icing on the cake.

s63 coupe 1

What’s the Mercedes S63 AMG Coupé like to drive?

The thing that looms large when thinking about how to describe the S63 Coupé driving experience is it’s err, size. It’ll reach 62mph in 4.3 seconds, yet weighs over two tonnes, so there’s no denying the seismic performance capability. With maximum 664 lb ft of torque arriving at 2250 rpm, in everyday driving no more than a twitch of throttle is required to belt you up the road and beyond the legal limit before you’ve selected your preferred level of back pummeling from the hot-stone massage function. If there’s a fly in all this, it’s that you can never quite shake off the feeling of size, despite nicely weighted and accurate steering and the fancy curve-tilting hydraulically controlled suspension. The latter actually leans the car into corners, thus making fast cornering a more level affair – like so much of Merc’s new tech, it’s clever and it works. Combined with the Magic Ride Control, which employs cameras to read the road ahead for bumps and imperfections and pre-loads the suspension accordingly, the S63 is a very compliant and soothing place to iron out crap roads in. As is befitting of a GT car.

s63 AMG coupe headlight

Cheque book at the ready. What does the S63 Coupé cost?

Much like the S63 AMG Coupe’s spec sheet, the price tag is a bit OTT. At £125,595 before options, we’re firmly in Bentley territory, but judged on performance, equipment and desirability this supersized AMG is bang on the money. The tastiest options like the Burmester 3D sound system (£5,300) don’t come cheap, and the staggeringly expensive ‘Warmth Package’ (heated steering wheel and armrest) at £4,660 helped nudge the test car to within a whisker of £150k. You’ll need a cast iron stomach for depreciation if you’re going to take the plunge.

s63 AMG coupe wheel

2015 Mercedes S63 AMG coupe

Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe review

  • Performance: 9/10
  • Ride & Handling: 9/10
  • Economy: 5/10
  • Equipment: 10/10
  • Want one factor: 7/10

The Verdict

It’s a bit OTT. The gadget count, the power and the price. But take the time to understand the S63 AMG Coupé's multi-faceted nature and it begins to make sense. Not much else combines this level of technology, dynamic polish and offshore powerboat thrust. Should you need to cross a continent in anger, then here's your weapon.

Summary

  • Towering performance and tech
  • Towering price

By Tim Kendall
27th January 2015

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