Mercedes unwrapped a mid-cycle refresh of its S-Class sedan flagship a few weeks ago. Now it's the turn for the sedan's sybaritic two-door siblings, the Coupe and Cabriolet.
(Not to be outdone, though, the sedan itself is seeking attention with a newly enhanced plug-in hybrid version, the S560e, with increased electric range and a smaller battery which allows for a larger trunk).
On the two-doors there are of course the obligatory redrawn front and rear fascias (including innovative OLED tail-lamps) but the refresh goes much further than that.
Interior enhancements include a new-generation steering wheel with more controls, the latest widescreen continuous-glass instrument panel, 64-colour premium ambient lighting, updated telematics and smartphone integration and new optional comfort control system.
The latter allows drivers to tailor their preferred combination of settings for the climate control (including fragrancing), seats (heater, ventilation, massage), the HVAC and lighting and musical atmospheres. Up to six programs are available, with labels such as freshness, warmth, vitality and joy.
If that's your bag, you'll no doubt also appreciate the 2018's new Intelligent Drive capabilities with the newest generation of driving-assistance systems.
The feature that gets our attention is that the 603-horsepower AMG S63 versions of the Coupe and Cabriolet can now be made to behave like total hooligans as per the stunning AMG E63. Their new nine-speed AMG Speedshift automatic (up from seven-speed) has a race start mode that delivers 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds. That's significantly quicker than the even more potent (621 hp) V-12 Biturbo AMG S65 (4.1 sec), thanks to the S63's standard all-wheel drive.
Moreover, the S63's AWD is now the AMG 4MATIC+ version, with fully variable torque split up to 100-per cent RWD (though Mercedes doesn't mention an actual driver-selectable Drift Mode as on the insane E63).
The S63's 26-hp power boost, incidentally, is achieved despite a displacement reduction to 4.0 litres from 5.5 litres (torque is unchanged at 664 lb-ft.). The regular S560 also downsizes to 4.0 litres (from 4.7 on last year's S550 – go figure) while getting a 14-hp bump to 463; it continues with the regular versions of the 9-speed automatic and 4MATIC AWD.
All versions of the two-doors – S560, AMG S63 and AMG S65 – are due in Canada next spring.
The writer was a guest of the auto maker. Content was not subject to approval.