The Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe is a grand touring luxury car that you can also have fun with on a racetrack.
Let’s say you are the inventor of a product. You have been making that product for a hundred years. There are now a lot of competitors making the same product but, you have always been at the forefront of improving your own product and making it better than everyone else’s. Would you say that you are the best at what you do? Well, you would think so, wouldn’t you?
Mercedes-Benz is a perfect example of this case scenario. They have been producing some of the best cars on the planet and their roots date back to the invention of the automobile. Today, the S-Class is widely considered by many to be one of the best cars in the world. It’s got everything you need – performance, comfort, luxury, reliability, and class leading features. There is however, another derivative of the S Class that is aimed towards a more, let’s say, enthusiastic customer – and that’s the Mercedes-AMG S63 coupe.
Where the S-Class is more of a luxury saloon, the S63 coupe from the performance division of the three-pointed star is more brash sports car disguised as a cool and collected luxury one. It’s for someone who likes exotic cars but, without that brazen sharp design that could easily cut your eyeballs. No, the S63 is a luxury sports car that you can drive everyday as a normal car but, it can also hang out with those flashy exotics.
This car here is the updated S63, and now the flagship of the AMG fleet in India. It gets a tweaked design compared to the older generation, and it now comes with a new pan-Americana grille with new air intakes upfront and a rear diffuser and quad AMG exhausts at the rear. It also gets 20-inch rims as standard and the silhouette of the car is that of a grand tourer. Although, a little understated in exuberance, it still has got a strong and bold stance on the road, and with the AMG badge you know it means business.
Luxury and Power
This is an AMG after all and it’s on a shortened S-class chassis. The interior is absolutely gorgeous as it borrows over a lot from the saloon. The dash layout is the same with two huge touchscreens, while everything is drowned in nappa leather, and the detailing like the stitching and the carbon fibre is exquisite. The seats are incredibly comfortable and when you find yourself on long drives you can activate the different massage modes.
Under the hood, the engineering is just as sensational as the cabin. The car borrows over the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 from the E63, but this one is much more powerful with 612bhp and 900Nm of torque. That is enough power for this two-tonne car to race from 0 to 100km/h in 4 seconds. The left hand-drive version of this car is AWD and can do the same sprint in 3.5 seconds. Power is only delivered to the rear wheels in our test car. Still though, this is enough power for this luxury GT.
The car gets multiple driving modes that can alter the driving dynamics. I kept it in Comfort while on the highway and it goes without saying that the car literally glides down the open road. The ride quality can’t get much better and the engine delivers everything you want, when you want it. It can also shut off a few cylinders when not required, to save fuel. If you feel like taking it easy, the car feels relaxed and very comfortable to drive, and then, if you want to make things a little more interesting, it can certainly spice things up with just the press of a button.
The S-Class is one of the best cars in the world and the S63 is no different in the way that it drives like an everyday car when you want it to. Then, when you switch it into Sport mode or Race mode, the exhaust becomes much louder, the throttle response becomes instant, the transmission is now telepathic, and the steering much more direct. The air-suspension stiffens up and the car lowers down – literally – and you are ready to take on any exotic supercar. The AMG attributes are unleashed and the S63 wants you to go fast.
The car doesn’t feel heavy at all and the acceleration causes whiplash. The steering is incredible and the car feels very well planted. The traction control is really good and saved me a few times because every time you roll on the throttle the rear tyres spin out of control. Race mode is when the car doesn’t monitor your traction and you are left to fend for yourself. I had some very close calls trying to throw the S63 into some tight corners at ridiculous speeds. Fear finally set in and I switched back to Sport mode. It’s incredible that this car can do the stuff that it does. If I were on a proper race track with a lot more run-off area I would have been drifting around bends and screaming out loud. That’s the beauty of this car. It can make you feel relaxed and comfortable and then, it can spike up your adrenaline in just one instant sending your brain into ‘hold on for dear life’ mode.
However, after getting used to the incredible power, slowly, I began to realize that this car was indeed more, grand tourer than sports car. The S63 steering is light no matter what mode you are in. The car also has way too many tech features that prevent much feedback from the tyres or the chassis. The seats also have some sort of mechanism that provide support when you are turning at high speeds. The car doesn’t communicate its limits clearly enough for you to drive it hard and have fun. Instead, I was unwary of how it would behave and some of the driver assistance systems such as Mercedes’ Active Curve Tilting system are always running.
Yes, you can have lots of fun with it at the track because it’s easy to steer and the power is enough to blast you into another dimension but, it’s no proper sports car like the AMG GT-R. But, again, this isn’t a bad thing. The S-Class is all about luxury and enjoyment and the S63 clearly offers the best of both worlds.
What’s better than the S63?
Obviously, this car isn’t cheap but, with a price tag of Rs 2.5 crores it’s half the price of the Bentley Continental GT. The Bentley might have a much more striking cabin and exterior design, but in terms of overall performance and agility for a heavy coupe, the S63 is more fun. If you want something a little more exotic and fun to drive in the same GT category you could opt for the Porsche Panamera, which is cheaper but, also less powerful.
Still though, at that price point and with that much more power and enjoyable performance, the S63 is an exclusive machine that is still better than the rest in many aspects, and it’s quite practical as well. It certainly doesn’t perform like a proper sports car, but it can keep up with one for sure.