After accidentally leaking a preview on its home-market configuration website last week, Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled its revised flagship luxo-muscle sedans, the S63 AMG and S65 AMG, at the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show today. Both are treated to the same updates given to the entire S-Class range, but these two big beasts pack one seriously mean punch.
Engines carry over largely unchanged from the outgoing models, which is good news because they're some of the most powerful units on the market. The S63 packs AMG's 6.2-liter V8 offering up 525 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, while the top-of-the-line, have-to-have-the-best S65 AMG (above) features an enormous 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 pumping out 612 horsepower and a gravity-altering 738 lb-ft of torque. That's a lot of power, but at nearly $200k, the $130k S63 seems like a relative bargain, especially when you consider that the bi-turbo V12 model only gains 0.2 seconds off the V8's 0-60 time.
Although the engines are ostensibly the same, they've been tweaked to improve fuel consumption and carbon emissions by about 3%. They're also both mated to a new Torque Vectoring system that brakes the inside rear wheel in a corner to assist handling, plus a crosswind compensation system. Visually the AMG sedans get a new chromed-up angular grille, LED daytime running lights in the air intakes, full LED tail-lights incorporating 52 LEDs apiece, and a redesigned rear bumper with an integrated diffuser, plus all the requisite special badging and wheels. The interior has also been upgraded with bells and whistles, all of which you can read in the press release after the jump and view in the galleries below.
[Source: Mercedes-Benz, Autoblog Chinese]
Contributing to the even more exceptional status of the models is the new, more pronounced arrow-shaped radiator grille, featuring twin chrome-plated louvres in the case of the S 65 AMG. The new front apron incorporates striking, AMG-specific LED daytime driving lights and two transverse air outlets on each side. Further striking features include the "6.3 AMG" or "V12 Biturbo" lettering on the front wings and redesigned exterior mirrors.
Side sill panels emphasize the elegant line of the front apron through to the rear of the vehicle, where the new rear apron features yet another highlight: the centre section of the diffuser insert is now painted in the same colour as the vehicle body. New rear lamps with 52 LED's in the form of a double "C" also give the S?Class an unmistakable appearance from behind. A distinctive element of both models comes in the guise of the sports exhaust with two chromed twin tailpipes, featuring a V12 design in the case of the S 65 AMG. Visual aspects which distinguish the V8 from the V12 model also include the attractive AMG light alloy wheels: the S 63 AMGhas 19-inch multi-spoke wheels painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish and fitted with 255/40 (front) and 275/40 (rear) tyres. The S 65 AMG, on the other hand, comes with 20-inch forged wheels painted in titanium grey with a mirror finish and fitted with 255/35 (front) and 275/35 (rear) tyres.
Crosswind stabilisation, Torque Vectoring Brake and Direct-Steer system
The AMGsports suspension based on Active Body Control (ABC) provides crosswind stabilisation as standard equipment for the first time: thanks to this function, influences caused by crosswinds are compensated for, or - in the case of strong gusts - reduced to a minimum. ABC compensates against the effect of crosswinds by adjusting the wheel load distribution within milliseconds, using the yaw-rate and lateral acceleration sensors of the ESP®Electronic Stability Program.
Also making up the standard equipment is the new Torque Vectoring Brake: when cornering, brief direct application of the brakes has an effect on the vehicle's inner rear wheel so that the saloon corners precisely and under control at all times. The Torque Vectoring Brake is an additional feature of the ESP® Electronic Stability Program and not only improves responsiveness but also active handling safety, which is particularly noticeable in critical conditions. The driving experience is further heightened thanks to the Direct-Steer system: with its variable ratio depending on steering angle, it helps to ensure a more direct response when cornering, and therefore more responsive handling - in brief: enhanced driving pleasure at the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG S-Class.
Based on the ADAPTIVE BRAKE system, the high-performance braking system continues to provide optimum creep strength, deceleration and sensitivity. The front axle features a double floating brake calliper. This exclusive technology combines the advantages of a sliding-calliper disc brake - reduced heat transfer to the brake fluid and clear advantages in terms of comfort thanks to the brake lining guide mechanism - with the efficiency of an extra large fixed calliper brake.
Extensive range of standard equipment with exclusive flair
The interior appointments are every bit as exclusive as the high-tech package: as soon as its door is opened, the S 65 AMG welcomes the driver with large, animated "AMGV12 BITURBO" lettering in the instrument cluster's central display. The main menu provides the driver with information about engine oil temperature, current gear range, battery voltage, and the RACETIMER, which displays lap times when on the race track. In the case of the S 63 AMG, the extensive range of standard equipment includes not only PASSION leather appointments, with natural leather in the seat side bolsters, but also front sports seats with climate control, massage, multicontour and driving dynamics control functions. The Exclusive PASSION leather upholstery in the S 65 AMG, meanwhile, with its AMG V12 diamond pattern design, exudes an air of even greater refinement. Ample use of burr walnut trim elements and the AMG-specific analogue clock, featuring an IWC design, are a given in both models. Both the SPEEDSHIFT 7G?TRONIC of the S 63 AMG, as well as the five-speed automatic SPEEDSHIFT transmission of the S 65 AMG, are fitted with DIRECT SELECT gearshift. Gear changes are carried out by means of aluminium shift paddles on the new AMG sports steering wheel.
New standards in active and passive safety
In addition, both of the top-of-the-line models set new standards when it comes to active and passive safety through a combination of innovative camera and radar-based driver assistance systems. These include the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and the PRE-SAFE®Brakes, which are linked to the proximity regulating radar and intervene independently in the event of an impending accident to act like an invisible crumple zone. The Night View Assist with infrared camera also features a novel pedestrian detection system. The pictures from the windscreen camera are also used by the new Speed Limit Assist, available as an option. The Brake Assist PLUS and DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control support the driver in the event of emergency braking. The PRE-SAFE® positioning function and NECK-PRO luxury head restraints are now also included as standard.
New infotainment systems, including COMAND APSwith new SPLITVIEW display, which shows different images for driver and front passenger simultaneously, enhance occupant comfort even further.
Exclusive optional extras are also available from the AMGPERFORMANCE STUDIO:
AMG20-inch double-spoke forged wheels, painted in titanium grey with a mirror finish and fitted with 255/35 R 20 front and 275/30 R 20 rear tyres
AMGtrim elements in carbon/piano lacquer