For those seeking a car at the intersection of bespoke luxury and staggering performance, it’s hard to go wrong with the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG. Combining 435kW of power, a sensational 900Nm of torque, and a $429,000 on-road price, Affalterbach’s super-saloon is, without doubt, one of the most impressive vehicles ever built.
Chasing Cars borrowed a Magnetite Black S63 for a few laps around Sydney’s Eastern Creek raceway. What we found was a physics-defying proposition: despite a mass of over two tonnes, the S63 is more than capable of sprinting from 0–100 km/h in just over four seconds. It’s surprisingly nimble through tight cornering, as well—the short wheelbase model measures in at 5.2 metres, but the whole vehicle shrinks around you the harder you push.
Motivated by AMG’s fabled M157 biturbo 5.5-litre V8, the S63’s shove is just rude. For a vehicle this big and heavy, it’s seriously rapid—but never in an uncomfortable or hustled sense. Speed is simply layered on ridiculously quickly, aided in no small part by the full 900Nm of torque, wholly available from 2250rpm.
Nor is the S63 ever raucous: the noise of the V8 is isolated from the cabin except when revved out in a spirited fashion. Most buyers will appreciate that—however, it’s a pleasure to use the S63 on track to allow the motor to really sing.
The plushness of the standard S-Class interior isn’t diluted by opting for an AMG version. In fact, the S63’s more unique interior, featuring high-grade metals in place of the woods found in an S500 we tested, is an even nicer place to be. Comfort in both front and back is, as expected, excellent. The seats are large, but rolling around isn’t a problem thanks to the active seat bolstering feature which ‘hugs’ you when cornering to keep you in place.
There’s any number of technologies to occupy your time with in the S63: limited autonomous driving functions are a fun tool for relaxed highway cruising; the Burmeister sound system is superlative; the twin 12-inch displays on the dash are crisp and not overly difficult to master. However, S-Class tradition remains in the form on the three-pointed star atop the bonnet, which sits like a target through the corners. There’s no grille-mounted Mercedes star available on the S-Class.
Mercedes-Benz likes to market the S-Class as the best car in the world, and it’s easy to see why they do: discounting the ultra-luxe options like the Bentley Mulsanne or the Rolls-Royce Ghost, it’s hard to imagine a more comfortable, supple vehicle to live with every day. Within the range, the S63 AMG is one of the clear picks—its characterful V8 is just lovely. Then again, the $212,000 S300 Bluetec Hybrid represents compelling value as the entry-level Sonderklasse, as it still packs almost all of the toys and comfort, if not the insane performance of the AMG.
Key specs (as tested)
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