The AMG S-Class is more powerful than ever before.
After the seventh-generation S-Class debuted for the 2021 model year, we've been patiently waiting for Mercedes to reveal the AMG variant. The time has finally come, and we can now say a warm hello to the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance: an ultra-luxury limousine with nearly 800 horsepower. This new S63 lives within AMG's new electrified E Performance sub-brand, which already includes the 671-hp C63 S E Performance and 831-hp GT63 S E Performance.
Power in this flagship S-Class comes from a familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 603 hp and 664 lb-ft on its own. A permanently excited synchronous motor on the rear axle contributes 188 hp and 236 lb-ft, culminating in a combined 791 hp and... wait for it... 1,055 lb-ft of torque! Mercedes says this is the most powerful S-Class it has ever built.
Power from the engine is routed to an AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system through a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the rear-mounted electric motor gets an electrically shifted two-speed transmission (like a Porsche Taycan). Mercedes says the compact electric drive unit (EDU) allows the S63 to maximize torque from the engine and electric motor across the entire RPM range.
The S63 E Performance can jolt to 60 mph in only 3.2 seconds, a 0.3-second improvement over the outgoing non-hybrid model. Keep the throttle planted and the car will reach an electronically limited top speed of 180 mph. Power for the electric motor comes from a 13.1 kWh high-performance battery (HPB) with new directly cooled cells. The car can be driven in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 87 mph, but the estimated range is still TBD. Mercedes says it focused on best-in-class performance rather than the highest possible range.
As you'd expect of a new AMG car, the drive modes require a Ph.D. to understand. There are seven in total, including, Electric, Comfort, Battery Hold, Sport, Sport+, Slippery, and Individual. Those don't count the brake regeneration settings (which draw energy to the battery) that can be configured with four different levels ranging from zero to three. Drivers can always customize various elements of the car, such as the suspension, independently of the pre-configured drive modes.
This may be an AMG, but it's still an S-Class. The car rides on AMG Ride Control+ air suspension with automatic level control. That cushy suspension is paired with active roll stabilization powered by the car's 48-volt hybrid system. As with the standard S-Class, rear axle steering makes the S63 more nimble at low speeds and more stable on the move.
The S-Class starts off with a handsome, inoffensive design, and then the AMG department adds the more aggressive bits. This is the first S-Class to receive the AMG grille with vertical louvers, which replaces the outgoing model's hood-mounted three-pointed star. Below the grille, the S63 E Performance gets a more distinctive front fascia with a jet-win design.
From the side profile, customers can spec up to 21-inch AMG forged wheels with composite brakes behind them (six-piston fronts and single floating calipers in the rear). AMG-specific side panels and a rear diffuser complete the look. As a special touch, the "S63 badge" has red accents to designate it as an E Performance model.
As for the interior, the S63 combines the familiar S-Class opulence with the trademark AMG flair. There are several exclusive cabin colors and Nappa leathers to choose from, each with an embossed AMG emblem in the headrests. S-Class owners look out at a familiar MBUX infotainment system with new hybrid-specific displays. The AMG Performance steering wheel now features a two-spoke design with buttons on the upper portion to control the regen braking.
Pricing has not been announced yet, but we assume the 2023 S63 E Performance will cost more than the outgoing S63 Sedan, which started at $152,595. Expect US deliveries to begin sometime late next year.