2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe
Type: ultra-luxury performance coupe
Engine: 5.5-litre V-8, turbo
Output (horsepower/torque): 585/665 lb-ft
Base price: $175,000 (estimated)
Transmission/drive: Seven-speed automatic/all-wheel drive
Drive: all-wheel drive
Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 10.1 litres combined (European cycle), using premium fuel
Alternatives: Rolls-Royce Wraith, Bentley Continental GT, Aston Martin DB9
The only things this beast of a luxury coupe can’t do are shine your shoes, clean your pool, sweep your tennis court and book a corner table at Hawksworth, arguably Vancouver’s best and certainly its trendiest downtown restaurant – where you’ll find other Mercedes-Benz S-Class owners sipping cosmos and noshing on seared Japanese squid.
And at an expected $175,000-$200,000 or so – Merc will announce final pricing this fall – the 2015 S63 AMG is a spectacular value. We’re talking about a two-door pavement-eater with a 585-horsepower turbo V-8. If you’re willing to risk your retinas in a drag start, you can do 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, but once you’re moving, the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
It gets better. The car holds corners like a baby-hugging mama. It’s quiet, perhaps the quietest car in the world. The bi-turbo V-8 gurgles and grumbles joyously. And inside, a massive colour-display screen can do three dimensions for the navigation.
All-wheel drive? Tick that box, standard in Canada. Magic (panorama) sunroof? Tick. Seven-speed sports transmission, blipping and shifting with smoothness and precision? Tick. Magic Body Control? Arghh. Not.
Only rear-drive coupes get an engineering plaything that tells the car’s suspension to lean into bends like a motorcycle. And that means Canadians don’t get Road Surface Scan, either, which uses a stereo camera to read road surfaces and adjust damper settings to fit. When the 65 AMG Coupe arrives in rear drive, we’ll finally get the Magic. Meantime, AWD Coupes get Airmatic damping.
Regardless, this is a geek’s dream. Even the seats can be adjusted in a million ways, topped off with a massage function. Take 20 minutes to set things right.
The design is bold and from the front it offers a menacing stance. From the rear, it looks like the designers lost interest, however.
As for value, you can spend north of $400,000 and get a Rolls-Royce Wraith or spend nearly a quarter-million on a Bentley Continental GT Coupe or an Aston Martin DB9. Or you can do the S63 AMG and use the leftover cash to buy nice E-Class sedan for your trusty valet.
The writer was a guest of the auto maker
Looks Most of the design is a delicious blend of smooth-flowing shapes and curves, with the imposing nose the cherry on the cake. But the back end? Looks like the designers lost interest.
Interior: Plus – Of course it’s sumptuous, but quite tasteful, also. The big central display screen is in living colour with 3-D. Yet all the car’s functions essentially are channelled through the central screen, which means you can’t adjust the seats and punch up a radio preset with rapid-fire simplicity.
Performance: How is it possible for a coupe with retina-popping acceleration to be so comfortable and quiet? You can go fast, carve apexes yet not suffer for it with a hard, punishing suspension.
Safety: “We have done everything to make the S-Class the safest car of its kind,” says program director Thomas Hellmuth.
Cargo: If you own this car, you have people to handle the luggage.
Infotainment: The first car company to come up with a system that allows for myriad dial-up functions without running it all through a single display should get the Nobel Prize.
The Verdict 9.0. Mercedes has engineered a delightful high-performance coupe, one capable yet comfortable.
You’ll like this car if: You want a spectacular luxury performance coupe that matches and even exceeds the competition at a lower price.
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