Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe buyers are a small but dedicated bunch. Their choice of wheels, however, marks them out as people of not only extreme wealth – the entry ticket is $370,500, or $399,900 for the Cabriolet – but also excellent taste.
MOTOR had the chance to get behind of the wheels of AMG’s updated super-coupe at the recent GLC63 S launch. The drive route was brief, but enough to be reminded of the fact that the S63 Coupe stands tall as one of the finest cars in the world.
A bold claim which needs substantiating. The inclusion of AMG’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in its most potent guise certainly answers any performance questions. Despite the near-two tonne kerb weight, 450kW and 900Nm deliver crushing acceleration at any speed.
Like its four-door sibling, the Coupe is built to dominate autobahns and can either cruise in near silence or deliver a snarling V8 soundtrack depending on the drive mode selected. The new engine comes attached to AMG’s new nine-speed MCT gearbox, which works brilliantly in this application, for you’re not chasing the final few milliseconds of shift speed like you might be in a C63 Coupe or similar.
MOTOR comparison: AMG S63 Coupe v Bentley Continental V8 S
The S63 replaces the S560’s pre-emptive Magic Body Control system with AMG-tuned air suspension but ride quality suffers little, most bumps being smothered before making their way to the occupants, making it easier to relax in one of the finest automotive interiors around.
Rich leather, glossy carbon, cool metal offer old-school luxury, but there are gadgets galore. Most obvious are the twin 12.3-inch digital displays for the infotainment and instruments, along with every conceivable active safety aid, heated and cooled massage seats, a 13-speaker Burmester stereo, digital TV and more, though a JLR-style split screen setup would be helpful to allow TV and navigation to be displayed simultaneously.
All this is available in the $314,900 S560, which is probably the pick if you’re the grand touring type, especially as with 345kW/700Nm it’s still plenty powerful. Just don’t drive an S63. The extra grunt is addictive and can be put to remarkably good use.
Local S63s remain rear-drive only, but while the coupe is no lighter than the sedan, its shorter wheelbase, lower centre of gravity and wider front track make it a sharper steer. It is more than capable of carving tighter corners, but it lives for open sweepers, the only caveat being that driving it anywhere near its limit would result in licence-killing speeds.
So it has incredible performance and involving dynamics, along with a beautiful four-seat interior, superb refinement, the latest tech and, to these eyes at least, amazing looks (just avoid the rear from dead-straight-on).
Purchases at this end of the market are highly personal, but anyone in the market for an Aston Martin DB11, Bentley Continental GT or Ferrari Portofino should at least sample the two-door S63. You might end up joining a small but dedicated bunch.
Where it matters on MOTOR reviews
2018 MERCEDES-AMG S63 COUPE SPECS:
Engine: 3982cc V8, DOHC, 32v, twin-turbo
Power: 450kW @ 5500-6000rpm
Torque: 900Nm @ 2750-4500rpm
0-100km/h: 4.1sec (estimated)