26 Nov 2014

Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe Review

Colin Hubbard reviews the Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe

2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

The S-Class is Mercedes' flagship saloon and has long since been its pioneer of technology, showcasing new tech which filters down the range - then into other manufacturers cars which we drive today. Airbags and anti-lock Brakes both originate from the S Class and you'll struggle to find a new car without them now.

Mercedes has just released the coupé version of the current S-Class and, surprisingly, from launch it's only available as AMG model. A non AMG model will be available later this year along with a V12 AMG derivative.

Technically speaking there has previously been a coupé variant in the form of the CL (Coupe Long) but it was never in the limelight and the new tech was saved for the 4 door car.

The coupé is 26cm shorter than the saloon but is 15kg heavier, nevertheless a 10mm drop in ride height on revised suspensions settings along with the shorter length means it is more agile in the bends.
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

Power comes from the new 5.5 litre bi-turbo V8 rated at 577bhp, which is the unit that replaced the old 6.2 naturally aspirated V8. It is much smoother than the 6.2 and bulging with low down torque. With 664 lb/ft available from just over 2,000 revs it is effortless to drive.

The gearbox is a 7-speed conventional auto which drives the rear wheels only, although LHD markets get all wheel drive.

The chassis has adjustable dampers with air springs and the S-Class team has been working overtime to create 'Dynamic Curve.' This uses a front mounted camera to read the road ahead and, in conjunction with steering inputs,  tips the car into corners when steering angle is applied.

The brakes are large composite vented discs all round with 6 pot front and 4 pot rear calipers which sit behind optional 20' ten spoke alloys. 19' alloys are standard but would look a little lost in the arches.

The coupé has more than a passing resemblance to the BMW 6 series, especially the rear three quarter view but that's no bad thing. Ridges have been used to create tension in the body with 4 on the bonnet and 2 down each side which not only add attitude but also help strengthen the aluminium panels.

The headlights are all LED so not only do they provide an energy efficient clean beam they will also last longer than conventional headlights, that is unless they are stolen as they feature Swarovski crystals set into them. Very bling, very S-Class.
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

The side profile reveals a tall, pillarless body with shallow glass area.

There's no rear spoiler, not even a retractable one as it would ruin the lines. Instead it relies on a chunky rear diffuser and fairly discrete front splitter for aero duties.

The cabin is a strict 4 seater with some quite plump but supportive front chairs and 2 individual rear seats. The rear seats have much less legroom than the saloon but are adult comfortable all the same with sufficient legroom for a long journey. They are trimmed in perforated leather with complex silver stitching featuring cross patterns at the side that tapers off toward the top. The leatherwork detail is superb and on par with Crewe's finest coupé.

The rest of the materials have been carefully considered, the highlights being Swarovski crystals set into the ashtray lid in piano black lacquer and the headlining trimmed in Dinamica Microfibre which feels and looks like wet suede.

The 'floating' effect dash houses two large digital screens, the central one is for the sat nav mapping and reversing camera duties while the driver's side screen takes care of speedo, revs and the night vision display. When night vision is selected the speedo and rev counter gently roll outwards so the outside night view is a greater area.

The hi-fi is a £5,300 optional extra supplied by Burmester which consists of 24 speakers and a 24 channel amplifier delivering 1,520 watts. It uses the 24 channels to full effect to supply 3D surround sound to the cabin and the sound is epic, full of drama and huge volume. Not only is it crystal clear but the Burmester detailing around the speakers adds to the exclusivity of the cabin.

There is a vast amount of buttons littered around the cabin that seem quite overwhelming at first but on consideration are entirely necessary as there are so many functions I don't have the space to go into them all. To list but a few, there are heated armrests, heated and air cooled electrically operated seats, fragrance generator and head up display. The list is pretty goes on and to try to operate them all from the main system controller on the centre console would take far too long.
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

The engine starts with a throb and gets going with just a tickle of throttle, straight away it feels cosseting and comfortable as a big grand tourer should. Not as quiet as the saloon but then it is designed more as a driver's car than a chauffeur car so a little more engine noise is appropriate.

Play with the throttle a little more and it responds quickly to your inputs, with so much torque available from so little revs and the masses of sound deadening you could soon land yourself in trouble.

Full throttle reveals a dirty, bassy V8 rumble from the 4 shiny tailpipes, the previously subdued soundtrack now angry and immediate. The pull is spine-crushing and grip is outstanding in a straight line although you can feel the traction control delicately cutting power when exiting corners.

Time to try out the much hyped AMG 'Dynamic Curve' ride control now so I drop out of sport mode and into it. It's a weird feeling at first, when you start to move the wheel into a corner the outside effectively hardens up and the inners soften so a tipping motion is felt which makes the car feel quite edgy on tight roads.

Apparently it's noticeable externally and works exceptionally well at high speeds but at low speeds on winding roads it is edgy and sensitive. Like a Jack Russell waiting for you to throw a ball it is ready for your inputs in that you can feel the body twitch and move around with heavy steering inputs.
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

The actual ability when in this mode feels much tidier than in sport if you don't provoke it, it is genuinely usable not just a gimmick.

The coupé corners with more poise than the saloon, the slightly sportier set up and reduction in wheelbase have made it more agile and it feels almost effortless to drive fast. The vast external dimensions do genuinely feel like they shrink the faster you go.

Those plump front chairs do a great job of holding you in place when hustling along, not gripping like a vice more cocooning like a baseball glove.

It really does feel special place to spend time and is enjoyable and quite majestic to drive. This is much more the drivers car over the saloon.

Mercedes has nailed the luxury feel to such a level that its main rival is the Bentley Continental GT. Both cars are sporty yet luxurious coupés and having driven the CGT I'd say both are equally talented and would only be divided by personal taste.

The 4.0 V8 CGT is near enough the same price as the S63 but doesn't quite have the pace of the German car, if you want comparable performance you will need to find another £28k for the W12 Speed, making the S63 seem like a bit of bargain.

The S-Class Coupé S63 combines waftability with road crushing ability in a great looking package.


Price - £125,595 (£155,115 as tested)
Engine – 5.5 litre, V8, twin turbocharged, petrol
Transmission - 7-speed twin clutch auto
Drive – rear wheel drive
0-62mph – 4.2 seconds
Top speed - 186 mph (limited)
Power – 577 bhp
Torque – 664 lb ft
Economy – 28mpg (combined)
CO2 - 237 g/km
Kerb weight – 2,070 kg
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe