Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe review, test drive
10th Aug 2015 12:35 pm
When AMG engineering meets the stately Mercedes-Benz S-class Coupe, the result is pretty spectacular. Here’s our impression from the hot seat.
What is it?
The S-class Coupe is, well, the two-door version of Mercedes-Benz’s spectacular S-class sedan. That is to say, it’s a full blown luxury coupe. It’s been put on sale in India for the very first time and can be had in two guises – in S500 form or in mad S 63 AMG form as featured here.
While the S-class in the name does link it to the sedan we’re familiar with, the Coupe’s distinct design doesn’t. The Coupe sits lower, has a more rounded roofline and rightfully has a sportier air about it. You’ll also find a more aggressive front end here (replete with Swarovski crystal-encrusted headlamps!) and a unique, rounded tail. Of course, the AMG version gets sportier bumpers, the signature twin-blade grille and quad exhausts but even the ‘standard’ S500 is incredibly attractive.
It’s better still in the cabin. The dashboard, with its dual screens (one for the dials and the other for the COMAND system), not only looks thoroughly modern, but is brilliantly finished too.
The front seats are fabulous in their own right with infinite adjustability and six types of massages on offer. Those seated in the back aren’t pampered quite as much. Sure, access to the back two seats is decent, space is nice and seat comfort is good, but these seats won’t be the first preference for anyone.
As you can imagine, the S Coupe is brimming with features. The standout ones include a brilliant Burmester sound system and a sunroof that can go from opaque to transparent at the touch of a button. Just wish Mercedes had a better solution for spare tyre placement; the space saver spare sits in the boot and compromises space for luggage.
What is it like to drive?
There are no two ways about it, the S 63 AMG is wildly quick; its 4.2 second 0-100kph time spells out just how much. The incredible performance is made possible by a 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 and its jaw-dropping power and torque figures of 577bhp and 91kgm, respectively. Power delivery is just relentless, so you’ll probably run out of road before the S 63 runs out of breath. To be honest, even the back straight at the Buddh International Circuit won’t be sufficient to fully exploit the S 63’s performance capability. Just as well because shifts from fifth to sixth and sixth to seventh gears on the seven-speed auto gearbox are jerky at the very limit.
What Mercedes-AMG has got really right is the sound level in the cabin. The S 63’s engine sounds quite cultured as AMGs go, but luxury coupe buyers are unlikely to want it any other way. Thanks to the brilliant refinement and general poise, the S 63 also masks speed unbelievably well. This is a car in which you’ll often find yourself driving much faster than you think you are.
That’s true around the corners too. The S 63 remains controlled and flat during quick direction changes that lends it an agility you wouldn’t associate with a car of this class. What helps is the steering that’s not sharp per se, but has a nice smoothness to it.
In more everyday driving conditions too, the S 63 feels quite special. It features Merc’s Magic Body Control that scans the road ahead to prime the suspension in advance for all sorts of bumps and undulations. Our roads probably have the system working overtime but it does its job well. Ride quality is only a notch down on the standard S-class sedan – very impressive for a performance coupe.
Should I buy one?
The S 63 AMG is an incredibly special car. It has amazing presence, cocoons occupants in luxury and offers superb performance. It is also supremely expensive at Rs 2.6 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi) but see it in light of competitors from Aston Martin, Bentley and even Rolls-Royce, and it comes across as well-priced too.
Were it our money though, we’d give the S 500 a more serious look. Its 449bhp, 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8 promises brisk performance at the very least. Ahem, not to mention it costs a full Rs 60 lakh less! Think about it.