Mercedes-Benz has dropped the veil on the 2014 S63 AMG 4Matic super sedan, just a day after teasing the beastie in a video clip, and a few months ahead of the car's official coming out party at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Keen readers will immediately take note of that "4Matic" designation suffixed to the S63's proper name – indeed this ultra-fast S-Class will join the E63 AMG in welcoming all-wheel-drive performance to its already impressive resume (and for the very first time in many markets, though US-spec cars have had 4Matic for a little while now).

The 0-60 mph sprint is pegged at 3.9 seconds, and the top speed is electronically limited at 186 mph.

Of course, the combination of the AMG-tuned version of 4Matic, and the S63's herculean, hand-built 5.5-liter V8 engine is likely to be fairly spectacular. The mill is said to put out some 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque ­– increased from the 536 hp and 590 lb-ft of the current model – thanks to direct injection, twin turbochargers, an air-to-water intercooler and loads more advanced engine technology. Impressively, Mercedes is also claiming greater fuel efficiency for the new S63, though there are no mile-per-gallon numbers yet available. We'd expect to see those sometime after the debut and before the car goes on sale in the US in November of this year.

The S63 has also shed some 220 pounds compared with its predecessor, by way of aluminum construction (body panels, roof and front end), light-alloy wheels, a lithium-ion battery and a "weight-optimized AMG high-performance two-piece brake system." The weight savings will no doubt net superior handling for a sedan this large, but its immediate effect is on the impressive spec sheet; 0-60 mile per hour sprint time is pegged at 3.9 seconds, and the top speed is electronically limited at 186 mph. For reference, that'll make the big Benz just a hair faster to 60 than a Porsche 911 Carrera S, and with a slightly better top end.

In the S63 application 4Matic will send some 67 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels.

Shifting the power from the mighty motor will be the responsibility of Mercedes' seven-speed Speedshift automatic transmission. In typical fashion, the trans will offer three modes of operation – Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual – while also using the Eco Stop/Start system to shut down the engine while the car is standing still. For the sake of comfort (and one's tires), "C" mode also directs the S63 to start off smoothly in second gear.

The Mercedes transmission also cleverly incorporates the transfer case for the 4Matic system, taking up less space in the process. In the S63 application, 4Matic will send some 67 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels as standard, offering a rear-drive feel most of the time, while still providing excellent grip in low-traction driving conditions. The AWD system also incorporates Mercedes' Curve Dynamic Assist system, which works with the ESP to brake the inside rear wheel in a hard cornering situation, allowing for higher levels of maneuverability. We can't wait to try it.

Visually, the S63 is subtly lower and meaner looking that its newly debuted S-Class base. A revised grille and front end with larger air intakes, gloss-black accent pieces around the front, back and sides of the car, two sets of twin tail pipes and AMG specific wheels all speak to the menace lurking under the hood. Inside, AMG sport seats with embossed logos, carbon fiber and metal trim and a hefty AMG steering wheel all call out the sporting intentions.

There's a lot more to read, if detail is what you crave, in the official 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic press release, below. Before you dive in, however, we encourage you to get familiar with the car in the large official gallery of images.


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The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC

Driving performance in the luxury segment

MONTVALE, NJ – Mercedes-AMG is unleashing the all-new 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC. The most powerful high-performance sedan in the luxury segment sets new standards in terms of driving dynamics, lightweight construction and efficiency. The AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine – the most powerful member of the M157 engine family, with an output of 577 hp and torque of 664 lb-ft – delivers effortlessly superior performance. Thanks to systematic lightweight construction based on the "AMG Lightweight Performance" philosophy, the 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC is up to 220 pounds lighter than its predecessor. A new standard feature on the 2014 model is the performance- oriented AMG all-wheel-drive 4MATIC system. This not only enhances traction but represents a new dimension in driving dynamics in its segment. The design, equipment and appointments of the 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC meets the highest standards in terms of high-class appeal, quality and perfection, and will be available in U.S. showrooms in November 2013.

Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "Following the successful launch of the A45 AMG and the CLA45 AMG, the new S63 AMG 4MATIC highlights our expertise in the automotive high-end segment. Lightweight construction and absolute performance are among the key strengths of the new flagship model from Mercedes-AMG. The new S63 AMG 4MATIC likewise leads the way when it comes to perfection, high-class appeal and quality. We are also offering the S63 AMG 4MATIC with the performance-oriented AMG all-wheel drive system 4MATIC for the first time to target new markets: the S63 AMG 4MATIC is just the ticket for customers who attach importance to four-wheel drive due to weather conditions."

Tobias Moers, Head of Overall Vehicle Development and Board Member of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "We have unquestionably achieved our aim of making the new S63 AMG 4MATIC more powerful, lightweight and efficient than its predecessor. In terms of driving dynamics as well, the S63 AMG 4MATIC has
Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart/Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand
made giant leaps forward – not least thanks to the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive."

AMG Lightweight Performance: up to 220 pounds lighter than before

Systematic implementation of the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy reduces the weight of the S63 AMG 4MATIC by up to 220 pounds compared to the predecessor model. This weight saving was achieved largely thanks to the use of AMG forged light-alloy wheels, a lightweight lithium-ion battery and a weight-optimized AMG high-performance two-piece brake system. Furthermore, the entire outer skin of the S-Class, including the roof and the front end of the body, is made of aluminum. Installing a spare wheel recess made of carbon fiber, a material used in Formula 1, reduces the weight by a further 9 pounds. The S63 AMG 4MATIC also leads the way when it comes to power-to-weight ratio, boasting a figure of 7.9 lbs/hp, resulting in effortlessly superior performance. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 3.9 seconds and the top speed is 186 mph (electronically limited).

In terms of maximum output and fuel consumption, the AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine remains the most efficient series-produced V8 engine of all. With an output of 577 hp and a torque of 664 lb-ft, the AMG eight-cylinder motor from the M157 engine family outperforms all comparable engines. The fuel consumption of the new S63 AMG 4MATIC is lower than its predecessor, even though the engine output has been increased by 49 hp.

Technical highlights of the AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine:

Direct gasoline injection with piezo injectors
Twin turbocharging
All-aluminum crankcase
Four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment
Air-to-water intercooler
Efficient cooling of engine oil, engine water and transmission oil
Lightweight composite oil pan
Alternator management
ECO Start/Stop function

AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flaps

The AMG sports exhaust system in the S63 AMG 4MATIC has automatic logic- controlled exhaust flaps in both rear silencers. When the transmission is in "C" (Controlled Efficiency) mode, the flaps remain closed in most situations, in which case the eight-cylinder biturbo engine's sound is more understated – perfect for long trips and a comfortable ride in the rear. In "S" (Sport) and
"M" (Manual) modes, the exhaust flaps open earlier and quicker, especially if the driver prefers an agressive driving style. The result is an even fuller, emotional, hallmark AMG engine sound.

Engine production at AMG

Like all AMG engines, the eight-cylinder biturbo engine for the 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC is assembled by hand at AMG, observing the highest levels of craftsmanship. Highly qualified engine builders assemble the M 157 in Affalterbach according to the "one man, one engine" philosophy. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative precision and production quality, the AMG engine badge bearing the engine builder's signature also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz's high-performance brand.
Lithium-ion battery reduces weight by over 44 pounds

Following the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, the S63 AMG 4MATIC is the second AMG high-performance model to replace the conventional starter battery with a lithium-ion battery. The new technology offers numerous advantages over a conventional battery concept: with a capacity of 78 Ah, the lithium-ion battery replaces both the starter battery and the backup battery – resulting in a weight saving of over 44 pounds. The high-performance battery is relatively resilient in cold temperatures and has compact dimensions. The S63 AMG 4MATIC is the world's first volume-produced vehicle with this type of battery concept.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission

Maximum individuality and custom-tailored dynamics are the strengths of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. The three transmission modes – "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport) and "M" (Manual) – provide each driver with a personal set-up. In comfort-oriented "C" mode the ECO Start/Stop function is active and shuts off the eight-cylinder engine when the car is at a standstill. In addition, the driver experiences smooth transmission characteristics with comfort-oriented gearshifts. In "C" mode the car generally starts in second gear, for ensured comfort and efficiency.

In the "S" and "M" transmission modes the engine and transmission are significantly more agile and the ECO Start/Stop function is deactivated. A brief and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection under open throttle results in even faster and acoustically more emotional gearshifts.

Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive

The standard performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive distributes the engine torque so that 33 percent goes to the front axle and 67 percent is sent to the rear axle. The rear-biased power distribution provides for the signature AMG high-performance driving dynamics and enjoyment as well as boosting acceleration from a standing start. The all-wheel drive likewise enhances driving safety on wet or wintry road surfaces (winter tires are required for winter conditions). Optimum traction is provided by a multi-disc clutch with a locking effect of 37 lb-ft, which exploits the maximum friction connection potential of all four wheels.

The technical basis for the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system is provided by a transfer case for the additional power take-off to the driven front axle. This transfer case is integrated compactly into the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission and requires no additional installation space. The torque is transmitted from the power take-off via a propeller shaft to the front axle. Power transmission from the front axle differential to the front-left drive shaft is effected via an intermediate shaft which passes through an encapsulated shaft duct in the engine oil pan. The compact and weight-optimized design results in a comparatively low level of additional weight for the all-wheel drive system of only 154 pounds, which also helps to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions.

The 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC is fitted with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist as standard. A targeted brief brake intervention on the inside rear wheel results in defined cornering of the vehicle and ensures greater agility when taking corners at high speed. The vectoring of torque helps reduce understeer when turning into corners.

AIRMATIC Suspension

The 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC is fitted with AMG ADAPTIVE sports suspension. The full air suspension system AIRMATIC is equipped with the Adaptive Damping System ADS PLUS. One new feature is the continuous damping adjustment, which can be controlled independently in the compression stage and rebound stage. It allows better adaptation to the driving and road-surface conditions. "Comfort" and "Sport" suspension modes can be selected at the push of a button. Specific front axle kinematics – including higher camber, a larger anti-roll bar and a stiffer subframe carrier on the rear axle – have been developed exclusively for the S63 AMG 4MATIC. These measures optimize the vehicle's agility when driving dynamically. With the redesigned front axle and the special all-wheel-drive set-up, the S63 AMG 4MATIC represents a new dimension in its segment when it comes to driving dynamics.
Electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with a variable steering ratio is the perfect complement as it greatly enhances vehicle handling and agility whilst maintaining driving safety at high speeds. In "Comfort" suspension mode, the AMG speed-sensitive sports steering enhances comfort by providing more steering assistance. If the "Sport" suspension setting is selected, on the other hand, the driver feels stiff steering assistance – which tends to result in better road feel. The pre-programmed curves for power assistance enhance feedback and steering precision.

AMG light-alloy wheels based on systematic lightweight construction

The S63 AMG 4MATIC is available with AMG forged light-alloy wheels. This design reduces weight while increasing strength and lowers the unsprung masses, resulting in advantages in terms of handling and spring/damper element response. In the standard specification, the S63 AMG 4MATIC is fitted with AMG light-alloy wheels – size 8.5x19 at the front and 9.5x19 at the rear with 255/45 R 19 and 285/40 R 19 tires respectively.

Optional extras include AMG forged light-alloy wheels, with size 8.5x20 at the front and 9.5x20 at the rear paired with 255/40 R 20 and 285/35 R 20 tires respectively. The AMG light-alloy wheels feature a high-quality, removeable and fully integrated wheel bolt cover made of forged metal. Its shape is reminiscent of a center lock as seen in motorsport.

AMG ceramic high-performance two-piece brake system as an option for the first time

Extremely short stopping distances and immediate deceleration are a given for any AMG high-performance car. And the new S63 AMG 4MATIC is no exception as it is equipped with a weight-optimized, fade-resistant AMG high- performance two-piece brake system. An AMG ceramic high-performance two- piece brake system is available as an option for the first time. The more than 20 percent lighter design ensures lower unsprung masses as well as enhanced driving dynamics, agility and ride comfort. In addition to this, the system has a longer service life, is more resistant to corrosion and displays higher thermal stability. The AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system has front brake discs with a diameter of 16.5 inches and is recognizable by the "AMG Carbon Ceramic" logo on the bronze painted brake calipers.

Design: Confidence and exclusivity fused with sensuous forms

Powerful and exclusive, dramatic and prestigious – the new S63 AMG 4MATIC also makes a visual impression. The high-performance sedan's design is defined by the impressive blend of hallmark Mercedes sensual forms, classic architecture and a sleek silhouette with classic AMG design features. A large, upright and distinctly three-dimensional radiator grille underlines the special status of the S-Class – with an exciting contrast provided by the front apron with three large air dams. The front apron with the grille painted in high-gloss black displays the stylized "A" that is a hallmark of AMG vehicles and emphasizes the exclusivity and power of the S63 AMG 4MATIC. Flics in high- gloss black on the side air intakes optimize the flow of air to the cooling modules – a design that is a familiar sight in motorsport. The three- dimensional front splitter in silver shadow reduces lift.

Side sill panels with three-dimensional inserts in silver shadow make the vehicle appear closer to the road and create an aggressive flow along the side with the brand's hallmark "Dropping Line". Large light-alloy wheels are another trademark AMG feature: they afford a clear view of the AMG high- performance brake system. "V8 BITURBO" lettering in new, contemporary typography on the front fenders identifies the top-of-the-range eight-cylinder model. This new lettering also appears in the "S63 AMG" model designation on the trunk lid. The design is drawn to a powerful conclusion by the black diffuser insert with trim in silver shadow and the two chromed twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with internal dynamic exhaust flaps.

Interior: eye-catching appointments, design and quality

Like the exterior design, the S63 AMG 4MATIC interior is a sophisticated combination of the athletic atmosphere of a true AMG automobile with classic Mercedes values such as improved interior dimensions, new control logic,new ergonomic touches, ease of use, safety, appeal and aesthetics. The newly developed AMG sports seats with electric adjustment, Memory function and seat heating offer the driver and front passenger more lateral support. Fine nappa leather in AMG V8 design with lavish perforations and AMG badges in the front and rear seat backrests create an exquisite and luxurious atmosphere on board. Special touches include the embossed emblem on the armrest of the front center console and the high-quality analog clock in IWC design, which for the first time features three-dimensional, milled metal hands and metal appliqués on the dial.

The AMG sports steering wheel with its distinctively contoured rim, perforated leather in the grip area and aluminum shift paddles allows perfect vehicle control. Another feature displaying the hallmark AMG look is the high- resolution TFT color display as an AMG instrument cluster with two animated round dials: in addition to the AMG-specific lettering and the needles in red/silver, further distinctive design features include the AMG logo in the speedometer with 200 mph scale (left) and the "V8 BITURBO" lettering in the rev counter.

Selecting "Warm up" in the AMG main menu brings up two round dials indicating the engine oil and transmission oil temperatures. Vehicle configuration, for example activation of a certain transmission and suspension mode, is manipulated through the AMG main menu "Setup" by means of buttons on the center console. An S63 AMG 4MATIC pictogram on the TFT display between the speedo and rev counter gives the driver visual feedback. The upper section of the display contains a permanent gear indicator and, when manual transmission mode "M" is selected, also an upshift recommendation. At the lower edge, the activated transmission mode, the ESP® mode and the suspension set-up are displayed.

Intelligent Drive: new standards in safety

The S63 AMG 4MATIC likewise sets new standards in active and passive safety: what began with PRE-SAFE® ten years ago and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS is now leading to a new dimension in driving. Comfort and safety have blended into one. Mercedes-Benz calls this "Intelligent Drive." New systems make the new S-Class even more comfortable and safe:

Driver Assistance Package
Night View Assist Plus

World premiere in September 2013

The all-new 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC celebrates its world premiere in September 2013 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show; the U.S. market launch will be in November 2013.