What, again? We know, we know...it seems like Mercedes has been unveiling its flagship sedan for eons already. The updated S-Class first appeared back in April, then the pair of AMG versions leaked out on the web before they were given their official debut at the Shanghai Motor Show. But for some reason unbeknownst to us, Benz is only now revealing the full details behind the facelifted S63 and S65 AMG muscle-sedans.
First, the essentials: the S63 is motivated by an AMG-tuned 6.2-liter V8 producing a whopping 525 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, and in case that ain't enough, the Mercedes tuning department also offers the twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 pumping out a mind-boggling 612 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque.
To keep all that power in check, the big AMG sedans feature adaptive braking, torque vectoring, active steering and braking, as well as a crosswind stabilizing system. Carrying the same visual updates as the rest of the refreshed S-Class range, the AMG models are further distinguished by LED lights, a full aero kit with integrated diffuser, and 19- or 20-inch titanium-finish alloys.
With sales beginning Stateside in September, U.S. pricing has yet to be revealed, however European pricing places a short-wheelbase S63 at €115,700 ($160k) with a €6k premium for the long-wheelbase version and the full-fat S65 AMG bi-turbo commanding a hearty €185,900 ($257k). Full details are available in the press release after the jump and photos in the high-res image galleries below.
2010 MERCEDES-BENZ S63 AMG AND S65 AMG
Affalterbach – The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and S65 AMG, the powerful top-of-the-line S-Class models, are now even more appealing: thanks to a series of subtle yet extremely effective fine-tuning measures, the two performance sedans are even more striking and desirable than ever before. The updated technology is aimed at ensuring a more dynamic driving experience as well as optimum active and passive safety. The 2010 S63 AMG and S65 AMG will be on-sale in the U.S. this September.
Exclusivity and dynamism, effortless superiority and high tech – both of the top-of-the-line S-Class models from Mercedes-AMG embody all of these characteristics. Since its market launch some three years ago, the S-Class made by AMG has won the hearts of more than 8,000 customers around the world – turning it into the undis-puted market leader in the small yet highly exclusive high-performance luxury sedan segment.
Volker Mornhinweg, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "Our discerning clientele appreciate the synthesis of uncompromising performance and dynamic, exclusive equipment, a unique proposition in this market segment. We have raised the bar further in terms of driving dynamics, safety and passenger comfort with the extensively updated new series of the S63 AMG and S65 AMG."
Naturally aspirated V8 engine and biturbo V12 engine: high tech from the world of motorsports for unrivalled performance
Powerful eight and twelve-cylinder engines are a traditional strength of AMG – and the S63 AMG and the S65 AMG are no exception. The S63 AMG is powered by a high-revving V8 naturally aspirated engine developing 518 hp, the S65 AMG is equipped with a biturbo V12 engine that delivers 604 hp.
Developing a peak output of 518 hp at 6,800 rpm and maximum torque of 465 lb-ft at 5200 rpm, the S63 AMG ranks among the most powerful series-production sedans with an eight-cylinder engine. These impressive figures translate into a high level of driving pleasure and exceptional performance. The S63 AMG accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds before going on to a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The V8 naturally aspirated engine offers an exhilarating mix of high power from low engine speeds, instantaneous responsiveness and pronounced high-revving flexibility – up to a maximum engine speed of 7200 rpm.
AMG 6.2-liter V8 engine: technology transfer from the world of motorsports
The technical basis for the dynamic DNA comes courtesy of the thoroughbred mo-torsports technology of the AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine. This includes the lightweight, extra-rigid aluminum bedplate crankcase with closed-deck technology and the twin-wire-arc-sprayed coating on the cylinder walls used exclusively by AMG. The stream-lined design of the intake and exhaust ducts together with the magnesium variable intake manifold featuring two parallel-action internal throttle flaps results in superla-tive cylinder charging and high power output.
The 32 valves in the cylinder heads are operated by bucket tappets for a rigid valve train and high engine speeds. Continuous adjustment of the camshafts on the intake and exhaust sides ensures an optimal supply of fuel/air mixture to the eight combus-tion chambers.
Electronically controlled fuel pump for outstanding agility
Outstanding agility and instantaneous responsiveness are the undoubted strengths of the AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine, thanks in no small part to the electronically controlled fuel pump. It operates with an on-demand system pressure of 3.8 to 5.0 bar (55 to 72.5 psi). According to power requirements and external temperature, fuel pressure is adjusted and regulated almost instantly. The engine management system translates the command from the accelerator within milliseconds into the corresponding fuel pressure setting. Such control ensures rapid vehicle response and a sporty thrust across all load ranges and at all engine speeds.
In the interests of optimal reliability, the S63 AMG has a particularly efficient water cooling system and large engine and transmission oil coolers. Located behind the openings in the AMG front apron, these coolers ensure non-critical operating tem-peratures at all times – even under the extreme stress of the racetrack. The AMG sports exhaust system with dual oval twin chromed tailpipes delivers the telltale eight-cylinder vocals.
S65 AMG: exclusive effortless superiority
A twelve-cylinder engine has always been the pinnacle of the engine builders' craft. The V12 powerpack on the S65 AMG is regarded by engine experts as a prime example of this rare art: thanks to its displacement of 5980 cc, twin turbochargers and powerful air/water intercooler, the AMG V12 delivers maximum power of 604 hp between 4800 and 5100 rpm and maximum torque of 738 lb-ft. The torque has been reduced from 885 to 738 lb-ft out of consideration for the drivetrain and is available between 2000 and 4000 rpm. At a mere 1000 rpm, the AMG 6.0-litre biturbo V12 engine delivers 420 lb-ft of torque to the crankshaft, while 553 lb-ft are on tap at 1500 rpm. The performance figures are impressive testimony to the phenomenal power harnessed by the AMG twelve-cylinder unit: the S65 AMG accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds; the top speed is 186 mph (electronically limited).
The S65 AMG leaves no doubt about the effortless superiority of the 12-cylinder en-gine, mile after mile: the powerful, effortless acceleration in the highest engine speed range is another strength of the AMG 12-cylinder unit along with its relaxed cruising at low engine speeds. Just as impressive as the phenomenal flexibility is the smooth and refined running characteristics which guarantee the high level of touring comfort tradi-tionally associated with Mercedes.
Like its stablemate the S63 AMG, fuel consumption on the new S65 AMG have been re-duced thanks to optimization of the engine and transmission setup as well as im-provements to the aerodynamics – all without compromising performance.
Know-how from the world of motorsports also with the AMG biturbo V12 engine
The AMG 6.0-litre biturbo V12 engine also leverages the vast know-how amassed by Mercedes-AMG from the world of motorsports. The V12 engine has a precision-balanced crankshaft made out of high-strength materials, forged pistons made out of special material which is extremely resistant to temperature and pressure, a more ef-fective oil-spray cooling system with a separate individual nozzle for each piston plus larger piston pins. The main and big-end bearings are also made out of improved mate-rials to compensate for temperature and pressure peaks more effectively.
The charge cycle in the cylinder heads benefits from optimized combustion chambers and longer opening times of the intake camshafts. A modified oil pump ensures that all lubrication points are supplied with oil - even in highly demanding conditions. An engine oil cooler is integrated into the AMG front apron, with an additional engine coolant radiator located in the wheel arch.
Air/water intercooler for optimum engine efficiency
A typical feature of the AMG biturbo V12 engine is the sophisticated air/water inter-cooler. A large cooler at the front of the vehicle effectively cools down the intake air – which has been compressed by the turbochargers – before it enters the combustion chambers. The water-cooled low-temperature cooler results in a 25 percent reduction in intake temperature at full throttle and guarantees high power and torque output under all operating conditions and regardless of the outside temperature. The housings of the compressor and turbine in both turbochargers as well as the turbine and compressor wheels have been enlarged, resulting in a maximum charge pressure of 22 psi.
The electronically controlled AMG-specific fuel pump operates with a variable system pressure of between 3.8 to 5.0 bar (55 to 72.5 psi). According to power requirements and external temperature, fuel pressure is variably controlled almost instantly. The en-gine management system translates the command from the accelerator within milli-seconds, delivering an extremely fast response from the engine in all load situations. The sports exhaust system with two sets of twin chromed tailpipes in the V12 design provides the telltale AMG twelve-cylinder vocals on the new S65 AMG.
Engine production at Mercedes-AMG: tradition of hand-built excellence
Traditionally all engines are built by hand at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach – just like the AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine in the S63 AMG and the AMG 6.0-litre biturbo V12 engine in the S65 AMG. In the state-of-the-art AMG engine workshops, which were opened in 2002, a highly qualified engineer assembles each engine according to the company's philosophy of "one man, one engine" in compliance with the most stringent quality standards. The engineer's signature on the AMG engine plate is testimony to the high-est standards of workmanship. It takes around three hours to produce the V8 engine; the V12 unit normally takes somewhere in the region of six-and-a-half hours.
Transmission and power transfer: tailor-made solutions
To match the wide engine speed range of the AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine, the S63 AMG teams up with the 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmission, while the high-torque S65 AMG is paired with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT 5-speed automatic transmission. The driver can nudge the DIRECT SELECT shift lever on the steering column to select the transmission settings "P", "N", "R" and "D". In typical AMG style, individual gears can be shifted using the AMG shift paddles on the steering wheel, rather like in a Formula 1 car.
Three different drive modes are available in the two AMG saloons: these shift modes - "C" (Comfort), "S" (Sport) and "M" (Manual) are selected using a switch in the centre console and differ in terms of their gearshift characteristics and speed. In the manual "M" mode the transmission remains in the selected gear, enabling the driver to ideally harness the immense pulling power. Automatic downshift under full throttle or during kickdown is similarly prevented as is an upshift when reaching the engine speed limit. This allows performance-minded drivers to make even better use of the immense power at their disposal. The AMG instrument cluster displays the currently engaged gear and recommended upshifts in "M" mode.
In line with the exceptional 738 lb-ft of torque, the S65 AMG comes with a systemati-cally reinforced drivetrain. In the automatic transmission this includes purpose-built clutch plates with a high-quality metallic coating and the modified shift and torque converter logic. Redesigned drive shafts, larger hub carriers as well as strengthened steel spring links supplement these measures.
New standard in driving dynamics thanks to Torque Vectoring Brake and Active Body Control with crosswind stabilization.
The AMG sports suspension and ADAPTIVE BRAKE high-performance braking sys-tem are every bit a match for the effortlessly superior drive units: the two top-of-the-line models, the 2010 S63 AMG and S65 AMG, raise the bar in terms of driving dy-namics thanks to new high-tech systems.
Torque Vectoring Brake optimizes driving dynamics and handling safety
A further improvement in driving dynamics as well as active handling safety comes courtesy of the new Torque Vectoring Brake. If the Electronic Stability Program ESP® detects the onset of understeer, short one-sided braking intervention on the vehicle's inside rear wheel generates a specific yawing moment around the vehicle's vertical axis within a fraction of a second. Consequently, the AMG S-Class handles precisely and remains under control at all times as well as also bolstering active handling safety by reducing the tendency to understeer. The Torque Vectoring Brake is stan-dard on the S63 AMG and S65 AMG.
Crosswind stabilization as new Active Body Control function
The AMG sports suspension now comes as standard with automatic crosswind stabi-lization based on Active Body Control (ABC). The ABC control electronics vary the wheel load distribution so that the effect of crosswinds is virtually compensated or reduced to a minimum. If the S-Class is affected by a crosswind, the ABC control unit utilizes the yaw rate, lateral acceleration, steering angle and speed sensors of the Electronic Stability Program ESP® to trigger diagonal wheel load distribution instantly – for instance on the left front and right rear wheel. The associated steering effect reduces the effect of the crosswind. Crosswind stabilization is activated at speeds above 50 mph while traveling in a straight line or on slight bends. The function is deactivated if the driver himself makes heavy, dramatic steering corrections.
The active suspension on the S63 AMG and S65 AMG all but entirely eliminates the body movements that occur when accelerating, cornering and braking. Bends are ne-gotiated with far less roll; the body roll caused by fast evasive maneuvering is effectively suppressed. Other notable features of Active Body Control are the variable roll moment distribution between the front and rear axles, which the system carries out automatically according to the speed. The computer uses various acceleration sensors to obtain information on the current driving situation and compares this data with those from the pressure sensors in the spring struts and the level sensors on the con-trol arms. The system then computes the control signals that the servo-hydraulic valves at the front and rear axle transform into precisely metered flows of oil.
The load adjustment system enables the current vehicle weight to be factored into the calculation processes for the active suspension. As such the S63 AMG and S65 AMG handle just as dynamically even when the car is fully loaded. Briefly pressing the Sport button next to the AMG instrument cluster changes the characteristics of the AMG sports suspension: the roll angle through fast corners is reduced further, the shock absorbers and springs also respond firmer to promote agility. At speeds of be-tween 40 and 60 mph, ABC automatically lowers the body by as much as 0.59 inches to reduce wind resistance. If more ground clearance is needed when driving on poor road surfaces, the driver can raise the level of the vehicle by 1.57 inches at a speed up to 19 mph by simply pressing a button.
AMG high-performance braking system based on ADAPTIVE BRAKE
Based on the ADAPTIVE BRAKE system, the AMG high-performance braking system continues to set the benchmark for stopping power, sensitivity and fade resistance. The front axle features a double floating brake caliper; this technology combines the advantages of a sliding-caliper 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 caliper brake. At the rear, braking is han-dled by a large sliding frame-type caliper. Internally ventilated, perforated two-piece brake discs at the front and rear with a diameter of 15.4 and 14.4 inches respectively ensure the shortest stopping distances, remarkable resistance to fading and out-standing sensitivity.
The hydraulic dual-circuit braking system is controlled electronically, permitting the inclusion of numerous driver assistance functions that improve safety and comfort – such as "priming" the braking system in critical situations: if the driver suddenly switches from the accelerator to the brake pedal before emergency braking, the Brakes Assist function of the ADAPTIVE BRAKE increases the pressure in the brake lines and applies the pads to the brake discs, so that they can grip instantly with full force when the brake pedal is pressed. In wet weather, the system injects regular, short brake impulses to ensure that the film of water on the brake discs is wiped off and the brakes can work as effectively as possible. This automatic brake-drying func-tion is always activated when the windshield wipers on the S-Class have been in operation for a certain time; the driver does not notice the finely metered braking im-pulses.
After the S-Class has been braked to a standstill, briefly pressing the brake pedal a little further is all that is required to activate the HOLD function. The car is then held by the brakes, even if the driver's foot comes off the brake pedal. In this way ADAP-TIVE BRAKE prevents the car from rolling forward inadvertently when stopped at traffic lights or stuck in stop-and-go traffic, and from rolling back when on a slope. The HOLD function is deactivated automatically when the car accelerates.
Eye-catching light-alloy wheels in 20-inch format
20-inch AMG five-spoke light-alloy wheels provide the contact between the road and the S63 AMG. Staggered-width 255/35 R 20 tires are fitted on 8.5-inch-wide wheels at the front, while 275/35 R 20 tires combine with 9.5-inch-wide wheels at the rear. The S65 AMG comes with 20-inch AMG five-twin-spoke forged wheels, painted in ti-tanium grey with a mirror finish, measuring 8.5 and 9.5 inches wide. 255/35 R 20 tires are fitted at the front, while 275/35 R 20 tires feature at the rear. This wheel and tire combination is also available to S63 AMG customers via the optional AMG Performance Package - which also raises the top speed of the sedan to 186 mph and adds glossy piano lacquer trim to the dashboard and carbon fiber around the center console.
Unique combination of active and passive safety provides consummate occupant protection
The high safety standard typical of the S-Class is further improved by a unique com-bination of new camera and radar-based driver assistance systems. Innovations such as Lane Keeping Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and Adaptive Highbeam Assist or the PRE-SAFE® Brake take occupant protection on board the S63 AMG and S65 AMG to a whole new level.
A combination of ultra-modern assistance and protection systems turns the AMG S-Class into an "intelligent" partner that can see, feel, respond reflexively and act inde-pendently in relation to a perceived danger and prevent accidents or mitigate their effects accordingly. For the first time cameras are also used that are able to look well ahead, monitor the car's surroundings and interpret typical critical situations. One example is the Adaptive Highbeam Assist. This system recognizes oncoming vehicles or leading vehicles with their lights on, and then controls the headlamps to ensure the best possible beam range without dazzling other drivers.
As a new feature, Night View Assist Plus with infrared camera is now equipped with a special pedestrian detection function: as soon as the system detects pedestrians on the road ahead, they are highlighted on the display to make them more readily no-ticeable.
Lane Keeping Assist is another system that "looks ahead" for even safer driving. The camera on the inside of the windshield is able to recognize clear lane markings by evaluating the contrasting images of the road surface and the markings. If the vehicle leaves its lane unintentionally, the driver is prompted by short vibrations of the steering wheel to correct the situation. Unlike conventional systems of this kind, the Mercedes system is able to evaluate the driver's activities as well, and can reliably ascertain whether the car is leaving its lane intentionally or not. There is therefore no warning if, for instance, the driver accelerates before overtaking or merging onto a highway, brakes heavily or enters a bend.
Drowsiness detection on the basis of more than 70 parameters
Thanks to an innovative technology the S-Class can even monitor the attention level of its driver, and provide a warning if drowsiness is detected. The ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system continuously monitors more than 70 different parameters. Once the system recognizes the steering behavior pattern that typically indicates the onset of drowsiness, a warning signal is sounded and "ATTENTION ASSIST. Time for a rest?" appears in the instrument cluster. ATTENTION ASSIST is fitted as standard equipment.
"Electronic crumple zone" for maximum occupant protection
Mercedes-Benz has also improved the long and medium-range radar used by the op-tional Brake Assist PLUS (BAS PLUS) and DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control. Mercedes-Benz also offers another radar-based system for the S-Class in the form of the PRE-SAFE® Brake. If the driver is distracted and fails to recognize the immediate danger of a rear-end collision, or the warning signals of an assistance system, this system can intervene and brake the vehicle independently. The S-Class makes use of the latest development stage of this safety system: if the driver fails to react even after automatic partial braking action, the PRE-SAFE® Brake activates the maximum braking pressure around 0.6 seconds before what is now recognized as an unavoid-able accident – an emergency braking action that can significantly mitigate the se-verity of the impact. The PRE-SAFE® Brakes therefore act much like an "electronic crumple zone".
Exclusive effortless superiority with style
Dynamic, exclusive, self-confident and effortlessly superior – the new S-Class AMG models embody these attributes even more after the precise fine-tuning. Exterior and interior styling as well as the extensive standard-equipment package meet even the most discerning requirements. The first-class workmanship makes for a consummate inviting atmosphere, while ensuring outstanding comfort on long journeys.
On the outside, the S63 AMG instantly makes a statement with its discreet yet con-sciously more distinctive styling. Restyled headlamps with standard-fit bi-xenon technology fit in perfectly with the striking, AMG-specific LED daytime driving lights. The LEDs are housed in the large restyled AMG front apron with its large cooling air intakes; the front apron also provides an extra sporty touch with its transverse air in-takes.
The AMG bodystyling also includes the aggressively shaped side sill panels which continue the line of the front apron through to the rear apron. At the rear, the eye is drawn to the AMG sports exhaust system with its two sets of chromed twin tailpipes, as well as to the diffuser-look rear apron painted in the vehicle color. New tail lights with 52 LEDs in the form of a double "C" also form an unmistakable light signature. From the side, the 20-inch AMG five-spoke wheels add another highlight. They not only fit snugly inside the flared fenders but also direct the eye to the large brake calipers of the AMG high-performance braking system. The "6.3 AMG" lettering on the front fender is unmistakable testimony to the dynamic characteristics of the per-formance saloon.
S65 AMG with subtle yet effective distinguishing features
The S65 AMG differs from the S63 AMG with its exclusive, even more expressive ra-diator grille with three twin chromed louvres, the LED daytime running lights, the "V12 Biturbo" lettering on the front fenders and with its 20-inch AMG twin-spoke forged wheels painted titanium grey with a mirror finish. At the rear, the S65 AMG is distinguished by its two sets of chromed twin tailpipes featuring V12 styling of the AMG sports exhaust system and, of course, the model designation on the trunk lid.
S65 AMG impressively greets the driver
As soon as the driver's door is opened, the driver is welcomed with the "AMG V12 BITURBO" start screen in the AMG instrument cluster – a clear invitation to start the 604 hp twelve-cylinder engine. Exquisite leather and select fine wood combine to provide the perfect feel-good atmosphere to guarantee consummate passenger com-fort on long journeys.
The S65 AMG features Exclusive leather as standard: leather appointments cover not only the lower and upper sections of the dashboard, the entire door trim, the seat side and seatback coverings but also the ruffled pockets and the parcel shelf. In addition, Alcantara adorns the roof liner and the A, B and C-pillars. The 12-way electrically adjustable AMG sports seats come with distinctive seat fluting and leather upholstery in the AMG V12 diamond pattern design, which also extends over the rear seats . The S65 AMG comes as standard with front active multicontour seats with massage and dynamic handling function and NECK-PRO head restraints and rear multicontour seats with massage function. All seats feature active ventilation and heating as well as the PRE-SAFE® positioning function.
Standard equipment on the S63 AMG includes 12-way electrically adjustable AMG sports seats with front active multicontour seats including massage and dynamic handling function, with seat heating and ventilation, PRE-SAFE® positioning function and NECK-PRO head restraints. The Premium leather upholstery boasts sporty, AMG-specific seat fluting and natural leather in the seat side bolsters.
AMG sports steering wheel with silver-colored aluminum shift paddles
Both AMG sedans come with an AMG sports steering wheel with silver-colored aluminum shift paddles, specially shaped grip area and perforated nappa leather around the steering wheel spokes. The multifunction buttons on the left and right enable the driver to select numerous settings and call up information, say in the AMG main menu: the activated transmission mode is displayed in the middle of the instrument cluster – the currently engaged gear and recommended upshifts are also shown in "M" mode.
The AMG main menu also provides the driver with information about engine oil tem-perature or the battery voltage, and the RACETIMER, which enables the driver to calculate lap times – on a private racing circuit, for instance. The RACETIMER records the time for the fastest lap, the average and maximum speeds and the lap distance. The AMG instrument cluster on the S63 AMG comes with a 200 mph speedometer scale; on the S65 AMG the speedometer goes up to 225 mph. One of the most eye-catching features in the interior of the S63 AMG and S65 AMG is the exclusive ana-logue clock with its "IWC Ingenieur" design in the centre console.