When Mercedes works on a new generation for one of its models, you can rest assured that the AMG version to match will follow right behind it. As the new-generation S-Class made its world debut a few months ago, we all expected to see the AMG version dropped on the market too.
After many months of testing and a few teases, Mercedes released the first details on the new S63 AMG today. At first look, the new model seems better than ever: it gets a sweet AMG aerodynamic package, it is more powerful, it’s lighter and, for the first time, Mercedes will offer it with a 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.
The new S63 AMG will make its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and will be put on sale on the U.S. market in November.
Updated 07/17/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Updated 9/9/2013: Mercedes-Benz has just released the pricing details on the S63 AMG 4MATIC. It starts at $139,500.
Click past the jump to read more about the new Mercedes S63 AMG.
The S63 AMG takes the new S-Class to a sporty level with the usual AMG design features we have seen on all the recently announced models.
Up front, the model is distinguished by a large, three-dimensional radiator grille and a new front apron with three large air dams, both painted in high-gloss black. There is also a new, three-dimensional front splitter in silver shadow that reduces lift and larger side air intakes that ensure optimal cooling for the engine.
On the side, you will notice new sill panels with three-dimensional inserts in silver shadow that provide a more aggressive look and brings the vehicle closer to the road.
On the rear, there is a new black diffuser insert with trim in silver shadow and a new AMG exhaust system with two chrome twin tailpipes. The S63 AMG is further distinguished by "V8 Biturbo" logo placed on the front fenders and the trunk lid.
Just like with the exterior, the interior of the new S63 AMG is all about combining sportiness with a luxury feeling. When compared to the previous model, the new S63 AMG received improved dimensions, control logic, ergonomic touches, ease of use, safety, appeal and aesthetics.
The first thing you will notice are the newly developed AMG sports seats wrapped in fine Nappa leather in AMG V8 design with lavish perforations and AMG badges in the front and rear seat backrests. The seats are offered with electric adjustment, Memory function and heating function.
The list of new features also includes a three-dimensional high-quality analog clock in IWC design and a new AMG sports steering wheel with a distinctively contoured rim, perforated leather in the grip area and aluminum shift paddles. The model is also offered with standard high-resolution TFT color display with two animated round dials and AMG-specific lettering and a speedometer with a 200 mph scale.
Under the hood, Mercedes placed the usual AMG 5.5-liter V-8 biturbo engine, but it received some major improvements for the new generation. It now delivers a total of 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque - an increase of 49 horsepower over the previous generation.
For the first time, the new S63 AMG comes with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, which distributes 33 percent of the power to the front axle and 67 percent to the rear axle. This way the model delivers high-performance driving dynamics and incredible acceleration from a standing start.
The engine is mated to a seven-speed sports transmission with three driving modes: "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport) and "M" (Manual). In the "C" mode the ECO Start/Stop function is on and it shuts off the eight-cylinder engine when the car is at a standstill. In "S" and "M" modes, the S63 AMG’s exhaust flap open up, giving you a sweet growl, to go along with retarded timing for better response and more aggressive shifting.
Also, the new S63 AMG is the first model in its segment to offer a new lithium-ion battery - and the second Mercedes model after SLS AMG. This new battery makes the model about 44 pounds lighter than its predecessor and is relatively resilient in cold temperatures.
As a result, the new S63 AMG will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 186 mph (electronically limited).
|Output (horsepower @ RPM)||577 @ 5500|
|Max. torque (lb-ft @ RPM)||664 @ 2250 - 3750|
|0 to 60 mph||3.9 seconds|
|Top speed||186 mph (electronically limited)|
Suspension and Brakes
Next to delivering more power, the new S63 AMG is about 220 pounds lighter than the model it replaces. Mercedes pulled this off by adding new AMG forged light-alloy wheels, a lightweight lithium-ion battery and a weight-optimized, AMG high-performance two-piece brake system.
The S63 AMG comes with an AMG ADAPTIVE sports suspension equipped with Adaptive Damping System ADS PLUS. This new suspension offers two different modes: "Comfort" and "Sport". The first one offers more steering assistance and ensures an improved comfort. In Sport mode, the driver feels stiff steering assistance and will enjoy better road feel.
As standard, the new S63 AMG is offered with AMG forged light-alloy wheels, sized 8.5-by-19 inches on the front and 9.5-by-19 inches on the rear. As an option, customers can also get AMG forged light-alloy wheels sized 8.5-by-20 inches on the front and 9.5-by-20 inches on the rear.
An AMG high-performance two-piece brake system comes standard and an AMG ceramic high-performance two-piece brake system is available as an option for the first time. It includes front brake discs with a diameter of 16.5 inches and gets bronze-painted brake calipers.
On the U.S. market the new S63 AMG 4MATIC is available starting November 2013. Prices start at $139,500, which is a 4.5-percent price cut from the 2013 S63 AMG.
When compared to the standard S-Class, the future S63 AMG will add the usual AMG styling: bumpers with bigger air intakes; new side skirts and a new rear bumper; upgraded wheels; side skirts; and tinted indicators in the mirrors.
The model will also get a new sports exhaust system with quad tailpipes.
Up front, there are really no surprises on these leaked images. We see the AMG front apron that we all expected to see with larger air intake. Along the sides, we see the typical side skirts for some added aggressiveness.
Around back, the AMG additions continue with no real unexpected additions. We see a very slightly restyled rear bumper with a more aggressive rear diffuser and heat extractors on either side. Nothing too earth-shattering, but still enough to set it apart from the base S-Class.
Since the BMW 7 Series has no M version just yet, so the new S63 AMG can be considered an alternative to the Alpina B7 . The B7 delivers a total of 540 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, which helps it sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 to 4.4 seconds, depending on the version, and up to a top speed of 194 mph.
On the U.S. market the B7 is priced from $127,600.
Gallery BMW Alpina B7
The XF-R is another alternative for those customers interested in acquiring a luxury sports sedan and it just so happens to be one of our favorites.
The XF-R is powered comes with a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that delivers a total of 510 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 461 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and goes up to a top speed of 186 mph.
Gallery Jaguar XF-R
The S63 "AMG is clearly the shot in the arm that Benz needed to rejuvenate the stagnant S-Class. It offers new and innovative features for the segment, and thanks to its improved engine, it is one of the most powerful sports sedan on the market. We only wish Mercedes would have updated the looks a little more.
- More power!
- 4MATIC system for the first time and a price cut
- Quite fast
- Not as sexy as it should be
- Still a steep price even with the cut
Gallery Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC
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 performanceoriented 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 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 logiccontrolled 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.
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 highperformance two-piece brake system. An AMG ceramic high-performance twopiece 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 highgloss 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 threedimensional 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 highperformance 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 highresolution 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 (right).
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.