2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
One Man's Goldilocks Is Another Man's Overkill
EngineTwin-Turbo 5.5L V8
Power577 HP / 664 LB-FT
0-60 Time3.9 Seconds
Top Speed186 MPH (limited)
Curb Weight4,678 LBS
MPG15 City / 23 HWY (est)
Warranty48 months / 50,000 miles
We'll get into the nitty gritty details in just a moment, but here's the most immediate takeaway we had in our minds as we walked away from this super coupe: The S63 AMG is excellent, but so is the slightly more mundane S550 Coupe on which it is based, and which is priced some $41,000 less expensive than its more powerful sibling. Chew on those figures while we examine what differentiates the two S-Class Coupes.
- As expected, the single greatest highlight of the 2015 S63 Coupe is its engine. As a powerplant, it's a gem. As a hand-built engineering exercise, its 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque are just as impressive in real life as they sound when recited from stat sheets. Not that the old CL63 AMG was lacking in power, but the new S63 AMG Coupe boasts 41 more horses and 74 more lb-ft than the outgoing engine.
- The run to 60 miles per hour takes a scant 3.9 seconds, according to M-B, aided in no small part by the car's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and other assorted electronic brains deciding where, exactly, all those ponies should be sent. The rear-biased system is tuned to send two-thirds of the engine's power to the rear wheels in a bid to make the car feel more like what performance-minded drivers expect.
- Top speed is electronically limited to 186 miles per hour, which is plenty fast enough, even in the days of 200-plus-mph sedans from M-B's former corporate cousin Dodge. We didn't get anywhere near the car's maximum velocity, but our brief trips into triple-digit territory were quiet, comfortable and completely free of drama.
- The seven-speed automatic gearbox responds quickly to requests of your right foot, but the steering wheel-mounted paddles don't change gears as quickly as we'd like when in Manual mode. Controlled Efficiency (which we'd call Comfort) maximizes efficiency, keeping the transmission in higher gears and shifting earlier than when in Sport mode, and we didn't find much fault with the computer's shifting algorithms in either setting. There's no torque converter as would normally be found in an automatic transmission, and low-speed driving can cause some odd sensations, but we didn't find it objectionable.
- Suspension tuning is revised from that of the S550 Coupe, with different geometry at the front and a stiffer rear subframe, and it's all propped up with air springs that provide a comfortably firm and well-damped ride, particularly when left in Comfort. Steering feel and feedback is good as well, as is the case with the S550, delivering a solid connection from the surface of the road to the driver's hands.
- Mercedes claims to have removed 128 pounds from its big coupe in AMG guise. This is achieved through aluminum bodywork, a lithium-ion battery replacing lead-acid, lightweight alloy wheels and composite brake discs. At 4,678 pounds, the S63 AMG Coupe is no bantamweight, but any weight reduction is a welcome one.
- Regardless of how well it drives – and it drives very well indeed – the latest S-Class Coupe, in any iteration, is a true automotive sculpture. From its classic long-hood, short-deck proportions to the flowing, carved-out lines that connect them, the S63 AMG Coupe is a beautiful car. We're not convinced that the extra exterior jewelry of the Edition 1, as seen in our image gallery above, makes the car prettier – Swarovski-bejeweled headlamps notwithstanding – but we have absolutely zero complaints about the Designo leather in a beautiful shade of red covering what we think are the most comfortable seats in the automotive kingdom.
- We're not in love with the massive LCD dashboard display, which deftly displays any and all pertinent information in a fine manner but lacks the visual flair of proper gauges, but the rest of the interior is beautifully crafted, comfortable and quiet. In fact, M-B claims the 2015 S-Class Coupe is the quietest car it has ever screwed, welded and riveted together.
- Quiet is great, but those looking for a bit more noise from the engine will find it in Sport or Manual transmission modes, in which baffles in the exhaust open up for your aural enjoyment.
We're sure the S63 AMG Coupe will be the perfect choice for many would-be Goldilocks buyers. Were push to come to shove, though, we'd be just as happy to park an S550 Coupe in our imaginary driveway, loaded up with a whole slew of options, just the way we want it, and still have paid less than the base S63 AMG Coupe, which starts at $160,900.
If money truly were no object – and for many buyers of the S-Class Coupe that will surely be the case – there is a top-shelf S65 AMG Coupe on the way, carrying along with it a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine with 621 hp and 738 lb-ft, that will cost $230,900. If you're looking for the ultimate S-Class Coupe, that'd be the one to get. All things considered, though, we're sure nobody who parks an S63 AMG Coupe in their driveway is going to be disappointed.
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