Luxury & speed make for good bedfellows. The Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe is the epitome of this philosophy.
Let’s say that you invented something a long time ago. As time went by, a lot of competitors began to crop up. But you remained at the forefront by improving your own product and bettering it with each generation to stay ahead of the competition. Would you, then, say that you’re the best at what you do? Well, you’d think so, wouldn’t you?
Mercedes-Benz is the perfect example of such a scenario. They’ve have been producing some of the best cars on the planet, and their roots (literally) date back to the invention of the automobile itself. Today, the S-Class is widely considered by many to be one of the best cars in the world. Why? The question should be – why not? After all, it’s got everything – performance, comfort, luxury, reliability and class-leading features. There is, however, a derivative of the S Class that’s aimed towards, let’s say, enthusiastic customers. You guessed right – it’s the Mercedes-AMG S63 coupe!
Where the S-Class is the epitome of the luxury saloon, the S63 coupe from the performance division of the three-pointed star is a bit more brash and in-your-face – although it is cloaked in a similar veneer of luxury and elegance. It’s for someone who likes exotic cars, but without that brazenly sharp design. The S63 is a luxury sports car that you can drive every day as a normal car, but it also looks the part amidst those flashy exotics.
The 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. So, it now comes with the customary ‘Pan-Americana’ style grille, with new air intakes up front and a rear diffuser, along with a quad exhaust, at the rear. It also gets 20-inch rims as standard. The silhouette of the car is that of a grand tourer. Although its appearance is not overly exuberant, it still has a strong and bold stance on the road, and when you look at the AMG badge, you know that it means business.
Luxury & power
It’s an AMG 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 screens, and everything is drowned in Nappa leather. The detailing, like the stitching and the carbon fibre trim, is exquisite. The seats are incredibly comfortable, and for those long drives it also has different massage modes.
Under the hood, the engineering is just as sensational as it is in the cabin. The car borrows the 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 from the E63, but this one is much more powerful, with 612bhp and 900Nm of torque. That’s 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. In our test car, power was only delivered to the rear wheels. Still, it’s enough power for this luxury GT.
The car gets multiple driving modes that can alter the driving dynamics. During my drive, I kept it in Comfort while on the highway, and it goes without saying that the car literally glided over 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 want to take things a little easy, the car becomes completely relaxed and very comfortable to drive. And when 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. When you want, it can drive like an everyday car. But once you switch to Sport mode or Race mode, everything changes – the exhaust becomes much louder, the throttle response becomes instant, the transmission telepathic and the steering much more direct. The air-suspension stiffens up and the car lowers down, literally. The AMG attributes are unleashed, and the S63 urges you to go fast.
The car doesn’t feel heavy at all, and the acceleration literally causes whiplash. The steering is incredible, and the car feels planted. The traction control is really good and saved me a few times – every time you roll on the throttle with any level of eagerness, the rear tyres spin out of control.
Race mode is when the electronics in the car don’t intervene immediately and it leaves you to your devices. I had a few close calls trying to throw the S63 into some tight corners at ridiculous speeds. Fear finally set in – fortunately – and I switched back to Sport mode.
It’s incredible that this car can do stuff that it does. If I were on a proper race track with a lot more run-off area, I’d have been drifting around bends and screaming out loud. That’s the beauty of this car. It can make you feel relaxed and comfortable, but it can also spike your adrenaline in just an instant, sending your brain into hold-on-for-your-dear-life mode.
However, after getting used to the incredible power, slowly, I began to realise that this car was indeed more of a grand tourer than a sports car. The S63’s steering is light, no matter what mode you’re in. The car also has way too many tech features that prevent proper feedback from the tyres or the chassis. As a result, the car doesn’t communicate its limits clearly enough for you to drive it hard and have fun. And, of course, the driver assistance systems are always running.
Yes, you can have lots of fun with it on the track because it’s easy to steer and the power is enough to blast you into another dimension. But, honestly, it’s not a proper sports car. 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, at `2.5 crores, it’s almost 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 the S63 is more fun. If you want something a little more exotic and fun to drive in the GT category, you could opt for the Porsche Panamera, which is cheaper but also less powerful.
Still, at that price point and with such power and enjoyable performance, the S63 is an exclusive machine that’s 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!
- Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe
Engine: 3,982cc / V8 / Twin-Turbo
Transmission: 9-Speed AT / Rear-Wheel Drive
Power: 612bhp @ 5,500-6,000rpm
Torque: 900Nm @ 2,750-4,500
Price: ₹ 2.5 Crore (Ex-Showroom)
X-Factor: More comfortable & practical than an exotic supercar & just as much fun.