by Jared Rosenholtz
Luxury sports coupes don't come much more brutish or stylishly decadent than the AMG S63. With a face-melting 603 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, shattering the sound barrier has never been more comfortable. Fitted with a nine-speed MCT automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive, this monster of a coupe is geared for eating up the miles with ease, much like its similarly opulent and excessively powerful rivals, the Rolls-Royce Wraith and Bentley Continental GT. Where those two have a greater focus on supreme luxury, the S63 stands apart as an Autobahn assault weapon and a relative bargain, starting at $169,450. Of course, there are numerous options available, and keeping such a magnificent car to base spec is all but impossible.
The AMG S63 was refreshed and updated for the 2018 year model, offering new OLED taillights and more power along with an improved gearbox. The 2019 year model has not been subject to any significant updates.
|AMG S63 4MATIC Coupe||
4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
The S63 is a rather magnificently designed beast, featuring gorgeous OLED taillights and LED headlights. Optional Swarovski crystal accents can be added to further bejewel the front lighting units, while a front bumper apparently fashioned after the wing of a jet adds aggression. The front grille and its vertical slats are reminiscent of those found on the AMG GTR, while 20-inch wheels, quad-tipped exhaust pipes, and subtle vents in the rear bumper add menace to those left in the S63's wake. Carbon can be optioned to swap out much of the gloss black, while the chrome accents can also be darkened with shiny black paint.
A coupe of this size is unsurprisingly hefty on the scales, weighing 4,700 lbs. Other dimensional info confirms the impression of bulk, with the length measuring 198.9 inches and the wheelbase coming to 115.9 inches. Height is 56.2 inches, while the maximum width is 83 inches on the dot.
One engine and drivetrain configuration is available on the S63, namely a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that is more powerful than the older and bigger 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 previously fitted to this coupe in the 2017 model. The current powerplant is mated to a nine-speed MCT automatic gearbox that sends 603 hp and 664 lb-ft to all four wheels when necessary, and only the rear wheels when possible. This ensures phenomenal standing-start acceleration and helps add to available grip levels in the corners too. Thanks to the intelligence of the automatic gearbox, as well as the breadth of torque across the rev range, acceleration in any gear is effortless, and in Comfort mode, gear changes are almost imperceptible. With an adaptive exhaust system, the massive coupe can also be made to give off pops and bangs on the overrun by simply switching to Sport+.
Thanks to the adaptive suspension that lowers at speed, the S63 is fairly well-planted, with the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive allowing the car to find implausible grip in medium-paced corners. However, if you push just a little harder, the S63 reminds you of its massive weight by understeering. The steering is decent in terms of feel, but the brakes are another reminder of this car's bulk, as they stop the car a little more slowly than we'd like for something capable of sub-4-second 0-60 mph sprints. However, the luxo-barge makes up for this by being exceptionally comfortable, soaking up imperfections and undulations with ease in Sport mode. It's no club racer, but it will still excite and cosset in equal measure. However, avoid Sport+ if you like the current placement of your teeth and stay away from the wallowing Comfort mode if you'd like to keep your lunch.
The 4.0-liter V8 is relatively good in terms of fuel economy, returning an official rating of 17/27/20 mpg on EPA's city/highway/combined cycles. Coupled with a 24.6-gallon gas tank, you can reasonably expect around 492 miles between fill-ups. By comparison, the Rolls-Royce Wraith only scores 12/18/14mpg on the EPA's cycles, although that is a far heavier and more comfort-focused vehicle. For greater efficiency, the S63's V8 also boasts cylinder-deactivation technology, allowing it to run on four cylinders when in Comfort, depending on velocity and throttle input percentage.
With four seats and pillarless doors, the S63 coupe feels roomy - and it is. Even rear occupants are comfortably accommodated, although the sloping roofline will hinder ultimate comfort if your height hovers around the six-foot mark. You could fit a fifth individual in the back, but this would be stifling. Getting in and out is a breeze, too, but with standard heated and ventilated front seats that feature a massage function, you may want to stay in the cockpit. Also standard is a head-up display to hold your focus on the road. Options include heated rear seats, front armrests, and steering wheel.
The S63 has an impressively voluminous trunk, with 14.1 cubic feet of space. This allows one to carry standard-sized suitcases for each of the occupants, making this a perfect all-round cruiser for those trips across state.
Thanks to a pair of cup holders in the front and a pair in the back, as well as an impressive center storage unit between the two rear seats, complaints from passengers are unlikely. Up front, storage is similarly capacious, with numerous bins and concealed compartments to hide phones, wallets, keys, and more.
If you like choice tech, you've come to the right place. A 12.3-inch digital driver information screen, a 360-degree HD camera, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross-traffic alert, and a drowsy driver warning system are all standard, as are keyless entry and keyless start. A panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, launch control, adaptive suspension, and 12-way heated and ventilated massage seats are also included. To keep excessively harmful rays out of the cabin, Magic Sky Control can be added to the roof, darkening the glass and reducing glare. Other options include a night-vision camera, adaptive cruise control, carbon-ceramic brakes, and Swarovski crystal accents in the headlights' LED running apertures. You can even option a refrigerator box for the rear cabin. Automatic emergency braking with evasive steering assist can also be optioned for greater peace of mind.
The infotainment system's functions can be viewed via the driver's 12.3-inch information screen or via an identical central screen alongside it. Access to the system comes courtesy of a COMAND touchpad controller and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as SiriusXM satellite radio. Bluetooth, dual USB, and SD functionality are included along with navigation. A 10GB hard drive can also play your tunes through the standard Burmester 13-speaker system, or the available 26-speaker setup. Voice control and HD Radio also feature, the former of which is activated by uttering the phrase "Hey Mercedes". Wireless charging and Near-Field Communication technology further enhance the S63's multimedia chops.
The S63 coupe has an impressive score of 81 out of 100 on J.D. Power's reliability index. However, the vehicle has been subject to three recalls spanning November 2018 to July 2019. The first one was a recall for seat belts that were incorrectly detected as unfastened, meaning that the tensioners may not activate. Another recall was for the active driving system which would not detect if a driver's hands had left the wheel. The final and most recent recall was for the brake assist feature, which would not automatically apply the brakes.
A four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty applies to all new Mercedes vehicles. This warranty period also covers corrosion and drivetrain damage and offers roadside assistance.
The S63 has not been rated by either the IIHS nor the NHTSA. However, numerous safety features are included as standard: Auto high-beams, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, drowsy driver warning, and 10 airbags are all standard. Dual front, dual side, and overhead airbags, as well as frontal knee airbags, are all included. Optional safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, a night-vision camera, as well as Pre-Safe Plus. The latter system can prepare the vehicle for a crash by pre-tensioning the seatbelts, closing the windows, and more, to protect occupants best.
If you want ultimate luxury, a Rolls-Royce Wraith is arguably more opulent, although the S63 is competitive against even this. But, as a vehicle that can cross continents effortlessly, embarrass many supercars, and swathe occupants in impeccable luxury, the S63 is simply phenomenal. The interior is flawless, the standard features are plentiful, the ride is magnificent, and the looks, well, they're subjective - but this may well be one of the best-looking S-Class coupes of the last 30 years. With a multitude of lavish options and exciting gadgets available, the S63 is quite simply majestic and you'll be hard-pressed to find something, even at a higher price range, that will come with such an impressive array of ways to make your drive feel special. With a glorious engine, a roomy interior, and lots of tech to make your drive as pleasurable, as exciting, and as carefree as possible, the S63 is more than worthy of the title that we at CarBuzz have bestowed upon it: Best Sports Coupe. Period.
The S63 coupe is a standalone model, as the S65 is reviewed separately. In base form, the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8-engined super-coupe costs $169,450 before Merc's obligatory $995 destination and handling fee. "Fully loaded" is a term that many would use to describe this "base" model, but with a long options list, the price can still climb much higher. We managed to configure our virtual S63 with all the toys and lots of carbon fiber, plus carbon-ceramic brakes and the most OTT white leather available to bring it to a final price, before taxes and fees, of $219,970.
With only one trim level available, and an excellent base to start from at that, the choice comes down to how many extra features you want, and, of course, how deep your pockets are. We'd have ours in no-cost Lunar Blue complemented with Black Poplar Wood interior trim. The standard black Nappa leather is also gorgeous enough, and unless the rear seats are regularly occupied, we'd avoid adding heating to those or the steering wheel. Instead, we'd have the AMG Nappa/faux-suede Performance steering wheel for 500 bucks and put the extra cash towards a set of multi-spoke wheels at $1,700. Magic Sky Control is all but a must at $2,500, but forgo the upgraded sound system - the standard Burmester setup is great as is. Rather, tick the box for the Driver Assistance package ($2,250) to add adaptive cruise, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and some semi-autonomous driving features. Upgraded brakes would not go amiss either, as well as the night-vision camera. All in, this spec comes in at $178,660. Compare that to the cost of a hyper-luxurious coupe from the British Empire, and this Merc is great value.
Despite a much larger 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine, the Rolls-Royce Wraith is not as performance-focused as the Merc S63. Although the S63 will get outrun in the corners by many smaller cars, it still has a bit of racing pedigree that shows in the way it delivers its phenomenal power. The Wraith, on the other hand, is certainly sportier than some of its other Rolls stablemates, but power delivery is far less "in your face" and it accelerates from 0-60mph almost a second slower than the all-wheel-drive Merc. The Wraith also borders on 5,000 lbs in bulk, which is an obvious compromise in terms of dynamic ability. Naturally, the Wraith is even more luxurious than the S63, offering deep-pile carpets and a suspension setup that completely irons out the road ahead. However, almost no one is going to get into the S63 and find it spartan compared to the Wraith. Even bordering on obscenity with the options on the Merc, it wouldn't crack $220,000 - the Rolls starts at $327,000. As a symbol, the Rolls is better for showing off and being the ultimate in luxury bragging rights, but the Merc does everything else better. We want one.
With literally hundreds of millions of color and interior combinations, the Continental GT is the default choice if you want, uh, choice. Like its British counterpart the Rolls, the Bentley uses a 12-cylinder engine, albeit in W12 configuration. It is also rear-wheel-drive; and since its complete overhaul, the Continental has become a competent driver's car, one worthy of Bentley's early racing heritage and pedigree. For this reason, it can be more fun to drive and more adept at taking turns than the Merc. However, the engine's tone is rather muted and subdued compared to the roar of the AMG unit. This makes the S63's acceleration exploits more exciting and intoxicating. Although price is a secondary concern at this end of the market, the Bentley is expensive, starting at $200,00 in base form, whereas our perfect Merc S63 comes in at less than $180k. We'd rather have the Mercedes with its more aggressive and less-surprised face and put the extra money into some new Louis Vuitton suitcases for the next trip to Paris.