New powertrain, tweaked styling, same top-shelf ambiance

The S-Class is an old nameplate for Mercedes, dating all the way back to the ‘50s. Back then, Merc called it the Sonderklasse (“Special Class” in its native German), adopting the current “S-Class” badge in the early ‘70s. These days, you can get a variety of S-Class variants, but the quickest of the bunch tout the letters “AMG” on the trunk lid. Tuned by the automaker’s independent performance division, these titans of European motoring offer all the traditional comfort and luxury you’d expect, but add a dollop of furious DTM-themed performance on top, creating one serious slice of automobile as a result. Available in several different body styles, two-door variants include a coupe and a cabriolet, with either the twin-turbo V-8-powered S63 or the twin-turbo V-12-powerd S65 rounding out the powertrain options. Keeping things fresh, Merc just announced updates for the 2018 model year, including tweaked styling and a new V-8 for the S63, once again continuing the tradition established over six decades in the past.

However, this latest refresh brings with it a few questions, the most pressing of which pertains to the S63’s new engine. While the eight gets a displacement downgrade, power is up, challenging the twelve in terms of peak output and straight up trouncing the S65 in terms of acceleration numbers. Which begs the question – why get the S65 when the S63 is arguably the better buy? Read on to find out, plus learn about all the updates for 2018.

Continue to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65.

  • 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    612 @ 5500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    664 @ 2750
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7/10

Exterior

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
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Per industry refresh tradition, the new AMG S63 and S65 get a few tweaks to the exterior styling, with the biggest difference seen in the front end. Replacing the outgoing model’s bisected mesh intake cover is a series of chromed-out vertical slats, interrupted only by the requisite three-pointed Mercedes star. Merc calls it the Panamericana grille, giving a nod to the front end of such historically significant automobiles as the Carrera Panamericana-winning W194 300 SL.

Additionally, the new AMG two-door gets a revamped front splitter, which Merc says helps reduce overall front end lift. The side intakes also get a redesign with smaller, rounder shapes, as compared to the longer, slimmer intakes seen before. High-gloss black trim is used throughout.

As you can see, though, the look isn’t a major departure from what we’ve seen before:

2015 Mercedes S65 AMG Coupe
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2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: 2017 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe pictured on the left, 2018 Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe pictured on the right.

Moving to the profile, the S-Class gets updates to the side including revamped side skirts boasting 3D inlays and chrome detailing, plus side view mirrors with a ceramic mirror polishing. In the corners you’ll find a lightweight alloy wheels, with 19-inchers equipped as standard on the S63, and forged 20-inch rollers as standard on the S65. Go for the S65, and your wheels will boast a unique, 16-spoke design, with a variety of alternative designs on the table. Wheel width for the 20-inchers is staggered at 8.5 inches in front and 9.5 inches wide in the rear. There’s also a forged aluminum wheel bolt cover, another nod to Merc’s motorsport career.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
- image 729589
Merc calls it the Panamericana grille, giving a nod to the front end of such historically significant automobiles as the Carrera Panamericana-winning W194 300 SL.

In back, the rear was updated with a new apron and diffuser insert, plus an updated design for the twin tailpipes. The taillights now get an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) lighting element, enabling a unique, curved appearance thanks to thinner film. A total of 33 OLED’s are used per light (66 OLED’s total). The S-Class also gets a “Coming Home” feature, which will activate the various lighting elements when first unlocking the car.

Competing Style

2018 Bentley Continental GT
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2014 Rolls Royce Wraith High Resolution Exterior
- image 525856

Note: Bentley Continental GT pictured on the left, Rolls-Royce Wraith pictured on the right.

When it comes to large-and-in-charge European luxury at the top of the pyramid, Bentley is one name that seems to stand above the rest. In this segment, the Continental GT is the nameplate of choice, and as it just so happens, the British automaker has revealed an update that directly challenges the new AMG S-Class. Outside, look for styling reminiscent of the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, down to the shape of the grille and fascia. LED Matrix lighting illuminates the road ahead, while 21-inch wheels are standard. 22-inch wheels are available, while customers can also choose between 17 different exterior paint options.

Rolls-Rolls is another big name player in this space, with the iconic Wraith taking on the sporting two-door segment. Up front, the Roller’s squared-off features make it instantly recognizable, while the Spirit of Ecstasy takes the traditional spot on top of the hood. The fastback profile, plus-sized wheel fitment, and slick rear-hinged doors complete the look. Complementing the stylish lines is a two-tone paint scheme.

Interior

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Interior
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Step into the cabin of the new AMG S-Class, and you’ll find a sumptuous, luxury-laden interior space that’s positively dripping in high-end appointment. We think the layout looks great, while high-end materials like Nappa leather, black piano lacquer trim, and carbon fiber doodads pervade throughout. As you probably expect, there are Mercedes and AMG badges galore, including embossed logos added directly to the upholstery. There’s even an analog clock from IWC, with 3D milled metal hands and metal appliques.

More importantly, drivers will grip a three-spoke Performance-style steering wheel, with a flat bottom, wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and a leather cover. Options include black nappa leather and Dinamica microfiber. Providing the backside coddling are AMG power seats with a memory function and thick side bolsters, plus a seat heating function for those sitting in front.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Interior
- image 729597
Info like boost pressure, g forces, and tire temperature is offered through the AMG menu, because who wouldn’t want a swath of performance data in a six-figure luxury car?

On the infotainment front, the S-Class gets its own AMG display behind the steering wheel, with a 31.2 cm (12.28-inch) TFT widescreen display. This digital readout provides all the usual info to the diver, including stuff like engine rpm, road speed, and the like. Drivers get a variety of options for the display design, including “Classic,” “Sport,” and “Progressive.” More info is offered through the AMG menu, throwing in critical stuff like engine oil temp, transmission oil temp, lateral and longitudinal g forces, horsepower and torque levels, boost pressure, tire temps, and more. Because after all, who wouldn’t want a swath of performance data in a six-figure luxury car? Sure.

Competing Cabins

2018 Bentley Continental GT
- image 729851
2014 Rolls Royce Wraith High Resolution Interior
- image 495391

Note: Bentley Continental GT pictured on the left, Rolls-Royce Wraith pictured on the right.

One of the most enticing aspects of any Bentley is what you get inside the cabin, and although it’s got tons of performance, the Continental GT doesn’t skimp when it comes to interior appointment. Prominent on the dash is a new infotainment display, which gets a rotating design offering either a 12.3-inch digital readout, a trio of analog gauges, or a clean piece of wood trim. Speaking of trim, expect only the best materials on the market inside this coupe, with leather upholstery, diamond stitching, aluminum bits, and as many as 15 individual color schemes to choose from. 20-way seat adjustability, heating and cooling, and a massage function are included in the seats, while an optional 2,200-watt stereo can be had for extra outlay.

The cabin of the Rolls-Rolls Wraith is also a rather nice place to be, matching the competition in terms of elegance and high-end materials blow for blow. Standout features include the unique Starlight Headliner, which mounts roughly 1,340 fiber optic lamps into the roof, offering a view similar reminiscent of the night sky. An analog clock is mounted in the dash, while the “RR” logo is embroidered into the headrests. All the various toggles and switches are hewn from metal and look fantastic.

Drivetrain

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 729554

Arguably the biggest, most impactful update to the new Mercedes-AMG S-Class is what the S63 is packing under the hood. Both the coupe and cabriolet models come equipped with an AMG-built 4.0-liter V-8 stuffed by a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers. The new 4.0-liter replaces the outgoing 5.5-liter V-8 biturbo powerplant used in the previous model, once again mounting the turbochargers inside the “vee” of the V-8 in a “hot vee” design, sharpening throttle response and lowering the boost spool time as a result.

Although the displacement was decreased, the new 4.0-liter boasts more power than the old 5.5-liter – up to a max of 612 horses between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm, which is a 27-horse increase over the old 5.5-liter. Torque is rated at 900 Nm (664 pound-feet) between 2,750 and 4,500 rpm.

Although the displacement was decreased, the new 4.0-liter boasts more power than the old 5.5-liter, up to a max of 612 horses, a 27-horse increase over the old 5.5-liter

Although power is up, fuel consumption remains relatively conservative thanks to features like cylinder deactivation. Put it in the proper drive mode (“Comfort” mode will suffice, engaging between 1,000 and 3,250 rpm and noted in the instrument cluster), and the V-8 will cut out cylinders two, three, five, and eight, turning it into a gas sipping four-banger.

Mated to the new V-8 is a fresh AMG Speedshift nine-speed transmission and variable all-wheel drive 4Matic+ system. The 0-to-62 mph sprint is done in 3.5 seconds.

Mated to the new V-8 is a fresh AMG Speedshift nine-speed transmission and variable all-wheel drive 4Matic+ system. The nine-speed gearbox is a first for the S63, and arrives with a double clutching feature for faster downshifts, plus a wet clutch rather than a torque converter. There’s also launch control and a “Race Start” feature.

Left-hand drive variants get AWD as standard. With an electro-mechanical clutch between the front and rear axle and a fully variable torque split, the system promises a “seamless” transition between RWD and AWD. Meanwhile, right-hand drive S63 models are RWD only, but do get the same updated 4.0-liter engine and nine-speed transmission as left-hand drive variants.

Critically, the S63 does the 0-to-62 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h (155 mph) but can be bumped to 300 km/h (186 mph) with the optional AMG Driver’s package.

Above the S63 is the range-topping S65 Coupe and Cabriolet, which tosses the V-8 in favor of a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12. Peak output is rated at a slightly higher 630 horsepower between 4,800 and 5,400 rpm, while the torque curve is fatter at 1,000 Nm (738 pound-feet) between 2,300 and 4,300 rpm. Unlike the V-8, the twelve does without cylinder deactivation and routes power exclusively to the rear wheels. Handling the cog swaps is a seven-speed transmission, with Sport+ mode providing the quickest performance numbers. The sprint from 0 to 62 mph is done in 4.1 seconds, while top speed is once again limited at 250 km/h but can be bumped to 300 km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s package.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 729615
Above the S63 is the range-topping S65 Coupe and Cabriolet, which tosses the V-8 in favor of a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12. Peak output is rated at a slightly higher 630 horsepower, while the torque curve is fatter at 738 pound-feet.

Which brings us to the big question – why get the V-12? After all, the V-8 is only slightly less powerful, but boasts a much faster 0-to-62 mph time. The eight is also cleaner and more efficient. So what’s the point?

Well, if you’ve ever heard a V-12, the answer should be pretty obvious. Fire up that AMG-exclusive exhaust system and dip into the loud pedal, then ask yourself – is the soundtrack worth the extra outlay?

Speaking of sound, the AMG Performance exhaust system is standard, offering a controllable, infinitely adjustable flap that will modify the amount of sound you want to hear.

Fire up that AMG-exclusive exhaust system and dip into the loud pedal, then ask yourself – is the soundtrack worth the extra outlay?

Furthermore, if speed is what you’re after, you’ll enjoy the onboard Race Start program. Just press both pedals to the floor, then release the brake, and the computer figures it all out for you. Point and squirt.

Finally, it should be mentioned that fuel consumption ranges between 12 and 9.3 liters per 100 km, while combined CO2 emissions ranges between 279 and 211 grams per km (V-12 at the high end and V-8 at the low end, respectively).

Drivetrain Specifications

Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+ Mercedes-AMG S 65
Engine 4.0-litre V-8 with direct injection, biturbo forced induction and cylinder deactivation 6.0-litre V-12 with port injection and biturbo forced induction
Displacement 3,982 cc 5.980 cc
Output 612 HP @ 5,500-6,000 RPM 630 HP @ 4,800-5,400 RPM
Peak torque 664 LB-FT @ 2,750-4,500 RPM 738 LB-FT @ 2,300-4,300 RPM
Drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution (LHD only) Rear-wheel drive
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 7G
Fuel consumption combined 9.3 l/100 km 11.9 l/100 km
Combined CO2 emissions 211 g/km 279 g/km
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 3.5 seconds 4.1 seconds
Top speed 155 mph (186 mph with options) 155 mph (186 mph with options)

Competing Drivetrains

Speaking of 12-cylinder powerplants, the Bentley Continental GT has the goods to make the go, packing a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 under that rounded hood. Peak output is rated at 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, besting the previous model by a sizable 44 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque. Sending the power to the wheels is an eight-speed automatic gearbox. A high-performance AWD system puts the power to the pavement. Acceleration looks like 3.6 seconds to the 60 mph mark, while top speed tops out at 207 mph.

Meanwhile, the Rolls-Rolls Wraith also boasts a 12-cylinder powertrain, rocking as much as 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. All that oomph is routed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox sourced from world-renowned transmission producer ZF. Press your foot firmly into the luxurious carpet, and you’ll see 60 mph in roughly 4.4 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph, although, with the governor off, much more is possible.

2018 Bentley Continental GT Rolls Royce Wraith
Engine 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 6.6-liter turbocharged 12-cylinder
Capacity 6.0 liters 6.6 liters
Horsepower 626 HP @ 6,000 RPM 624 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 664 LB-FT @ 1,350-4,500 RPM 590 LB-FT
Transmission dual-clutch eight-speed automatic eight-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 3.6 seconds 4.4 seconds
Top Speed 207 mph 155 mph

Suspension And Chassis

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
- image 729553

To help it handle like a lithe little sports car and not a overweight shipping container, the AMG’d S-Class utilizes a variety of specialty equipment and settings, including more wheel camber, larger anti-roll bas, and a more rigid subframe mount, all of which promise more sportiness in the corners.

Of course, there’s plenty of technology on board to help the thing turn as well. Starting it off is a 3-stage ESP system, with settings including “On,” “Sport Handling Mode” (more yaw allowed), and “Off.” Further handling refinement can be had with the AMG Dynamic Select system, which offers settings like “Comfort, “Sport,” “Sport+,” and “Individual,” affecting changes to the engine, transmission, suspension steering, and, when equipped, the AWD system. Interestingly, the S63 also gets a “Race” setting, while the S65 gets something called “Curve.”

Put it in “Comfort,” and suspension gets soft, there’s less exhaust noise, cylinder deactivation mode is active (S63 only), and the Glide feature kicks in, disengaging the clutch and transmission between 60 km/h (37 mph) and 160 km/h (99 mph) to decrease parasitic loss, thus enhancing efficiency.

Sport and Sport+ modes sharpen the throttle, tighten the gearshift, and firms up the suspension. Race is pretty much self-explanatory.

Sport and Sport+ modes sharpen the throttle, tighten the gearshift, and firms up the suspension. Race is pretty much self-explanatory. The S65’s Curve mode is interesting though, and bears some clarification. Active between 15 km/h (9 mph) and 180 km/h (112 mph), Curve mode will adjust the suspension in such a way as to tilt the body of the car into a corner up to a maximum of 2.65 degrees, or as Merc describes, “similar to a motorcycle rider,” thus enhancing overall comfort. If the idea of a leaning car body sounds more nausea inducing than comfort enhancing, the system can be deactivated altogether.

Both the S63 and S65 get AMG Ride Control, utilizing adaptive dampers in the suspension and complementing the multiple drive modes with independent settings for rebound and compression. The driver can program the settings as desired, and there’s even a manual shift mode that leaves cog swap operation exclusively to the paddles, if desired.

Both the S63 and S65 get AMG Ride Control, utilizing adaptive dampers in the suspension and complementing the multiple drive modes with independent settings for rebound and compression.

The S65 also gets something Active Ride Control, which will scan the road ahead using an onboard camera and automatically adjust the settings to keep the ride appropriately comfortable, fine-tuning the settings to soak up any aberrations detected.

Ride height can be raised by as much as 40 mm (1.57 inches) to help the S-Class make it across bumps or steeply angled roads and driveways. At high speeds, the ride height is lowered by 15 mm (0.59 inches) for more stable handling.

The steering set-up is a speed-sensitive, electromechanical system with a variable ratio tuned by AMG. AMG also redid the brakes.

The steering set-up is a speed-sensitive, electromechanical system with a variable ratio tuned by AMG. AMG also redid the brakes, mounting 390 mm (15.4-inch) by 36 mm (1.4-inch) composite discs with 6-piston aluminum calipers in front, plus 360 mm (14.2-inch) by 24 mm (0.94-inch) discs and single-piston calipers in the rear. Options include AMG Carbon Ceramic discs, plus the requisite AMG branding on the calipers.

Finally, overall weight is cut thanks to the inclusion of a lithium-ion starter battery, lightweight alloy wheels, and those composite brakes as well.

Competing Suspension And Chassis

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 728821
2014 Rolls Royce Wraith
- image 729852

Note: Bentley Continental GT pictured on the left, Rolls-Royce Wraith pictured on the right.

Bentley updated the Continental GT this time around with a new adaptive chassis set-up called the intelligent Dynamic Ride System. Like the Merc, the Bentley’s system was designed to adjust the suspension settings to more adequately soak up aberrant road features, this time using electronic actuators on the anti-roll bars to neutralize unwanted body roll. The Bentley also utilizes an air suspension system that complements the Dynamic Ride System with three-chamber air springs, enhancing overall comfort when you want it, and sharpening the handling when you don’t.

Meanwhile, the Rolls-Rolls Wraith was recently retuned to offer lighter steering and better control in the corners. Indeed, one of the Roller’s greatest strength is it’s supple ride quality, but it still has some pretty healthy sporting chops as well thanks to the multilink suspension front and back, air springs, electronic dampers, and adaptive anti-roll bars.

Prices

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
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Customers with have lots of options on the table when it comes time to customize their S-Class. A variety of packages for both aesthetic upgrades and additional equipment are offered, including the Night package, alternative wheel designs, and the Carbon package. There’s even an AMG Track Pack for enhanced motorsport agility, throwing in data collection to help you clip off a few tenths at the track day. You know, because an enormous luxury coupe or cabriolet really is the ideal track car. Once more around the hairpin, Jeeves, and this time with gusto.

At launch, Merc is offering the exclusive Yellow Night Edition for the S63 Coupe, with availability presented for six months after the initial launch. Painted in either selenite grey magno or night black magno, the special edition gets a yellow trim strip on the side view mirrors, seven-spoke wheels finished in black with a polished lip, yellow calipers on standard ceramic brake discs, a larger front splitter, a high-gloss black spoiler, and AMG racing stripes. The yellow theme continues inside with the AMG sports seats, AMG Performance steering wheel, dash, beltline, door panels, armrests, center console, and floor mats, plus there’s unique badging inside as well.

For now, MSRP for the S63 starts at $164,750 for the Coupe and $176,400 for the Cabriolet. Step up to the S65, and you’re looking at $236,250 for the Coupe and $247,900 for the Cabriolet.

Mercedes has yet to announce official pricing numbers, but we’re not expecting too many changes in that respect. For now, MSRP for the S63 starts at $164,750 for the Coupe and $176,400 for the Cabriolet. Step up to the S65, and you’re looking at $236,250 for the Coupe and $247,900 for the Cabriolet.

Look for the car to make its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

Competing Prices

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 728805
2014 Rolls Royce Wraith Exterior
- image 495405

Note: Bentley Continental GT pictured on the left, Rolls-Royce Wraith pictured on the right.

The Bentley Continental GT starts at $198,500, while the Rolls-Rolls Wraith starts at $315,700.

Read the full review for the 2018 Bentley Continental GT.

Read the full review for the Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Other Options

Audi RS7

2015 - 2016 Audi RS7 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 554395
2015 - 2016 Audi RS7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 554396

It might have four doors, but don’t be fooled – this is still one heavy dose of German performance. Making the go is a 4.0-liter V-8 force-fed by two turbochargers, blessing this Four Ring sedan with 560 horsepower, 516 pound-feet of torque and a 0-to-62 mph time of 3.9 seconds. Opt into the Dynamics Package and you’ll see as much as 190 mph at the top end. Paired with faultless German refinement in the interior and an MSRP of just $104,900, and this is definitely a worthwhile alternative to the Merc for more budget-strapped individuals.

Read the full review on the Audi RS7.

BMW M6 Series Gran Coupe

2014 BMW M6 GranCoupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 485924
2014 BMW M6 GranCoupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 485919

Like the Mercedes AMG division, Bimmer’s M division has a few trick up its sleeves. If it’s two-door performance with tons of interior space that you’re after, then the M6 Gran Coupe has the goods. The party piece is a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 producing as much as 560 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 0-to-60 mph sprint is completed in just 4.1 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph. Inside, standout features include a heads-up display, rear-view camera, high-beam assist, lane-change assist, parking assist, and more.

Read the full review on the BMW M6 Series Gran Coupe.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
- image 729610

The S63 and S65 are impressive machines, no doubt about it. This is the segment where Mercedes refinement really shines, offering passengers the chance to sit in the ultimate comfort and luxury. At the same time, the AMG badges mean this thing can unleash a furious blast of motorsport-themed speed and performance when asked, making for one enticing package.

But all those pros don’t come without their own set of cons. The V-12, for example, seems particularly pointless. Yes, the soundtrack is impressive, but are you really gonna pay more than $70 grand extra just for those four additional cylinders, even when the V-8 is nearly as powerful, more efficient, less polluting, and most importantly, much faster?

Of course you will. Because in this segment, $70,000 is a pittance.

Are you really gonna pay $70 grand extra just for those four additional cylinders, even when the V-8 is nearly as powerful, more efficient, less polluting, and most importantly, much faster? Of course you will.

Of course you will. Because in this segment, $70,000 is a pittance, and V-12’s are tasteful.

And that’s the philosophy of a car like this. You can’t really measure it in terms of money – well, okay, you could, but that would be unbecoming of the patrons Mercedes is shooting for. You peasant.

Regardless – this is premium motoring, with nothing but the best on tap, and that’s just how it is.

  • Leave it
    • * Still very expensive
    • * V-8 is faster, more efficient, less polluting, less expensive – what’s the point of the V-12?
    • * What’s the point of track day gear in a car like this?

References

2018 Mercedes S-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 713883

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes S-Class.

2018 Mercedes S-Class Coupe

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 729462

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes S-Class Coupe.

2018 Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet

2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
- image 729452

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet.

Press release

Mercedes-AMG is updating its S-Class Coupés and Cabriolets with a host of technical and visual highlights. The new-design front end is dominated by the Panamericana radiator grille, which now gives the two-door, luxury-class Performance vehicles an even more independent look. In the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet (combined fuel consumption: 9.3 and 10.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 211 and 229 g/km) the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with twin-scroll turbochargers and cylinder deactivation (Coupé) supersedes the previous 5.5-litre V8 biturbo. Despite the smaller displacement, the new engine puts out 450 kW (612 hp) and thus exactly 20 kW (27 hp) more than the preceding model. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission is also new to the Coupé and Cabriolet, as is the fully variable all-wheel drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
- image 729550

At the same time with the new eight-cylinder Coupé and Cabriolet, the top-of-the-range twelve-cylinder S 65 Coupé and S 65 Cabriolet (combined fuel consumption: 11.9 and 12.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 279 and 272 g/km) are being given a visual update with the Panamericana radiator grille. The AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine retains its output of 463 kW (630 hp) and delivers a maximum torque of 1000 Newton metres.

"Having already undertaken major development work on our S-Class Saloon to further enhance driving performance and individuality, we are now making the same changes to the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet. The extensive modifications are designed to strengthen our leading position in this dream car segment in terms of driving dynamics, performance, equipment and comfort on long journeys. The S 65 Coupé and Cabriolet with their high-torque 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine remain the most elite form of the S-Class," stated Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Exterior: Panamericana radiator grille and front apron with new jet wing

The new AMG S-Class Coupés and Cabriolets are instantly identifiable from the front thanks to the AMG Panamericana radiator grille: the V-shaped cooling air intake harmoniously follows the lines of the headlamp housings and is subdivided by chromed, vertical struts. The front apron resembles a hovering jet wing and is painted in vehicle colour. It is flanked by two large outer air inlets, which are outlined in high-gloss black. The three-dimensional front splitter with its aerodynamically shaped high-sheen chrome edge reduces uplift at the front axle.

The side skirts with three-dimensional inlays in high-sheen chrome give the Coupé and Cabriolet a lower-slung look and generate even more tension in the flanks. Hallmark features of the AMG S-Class models are the large forged light-alloy wheels, measuring 19 inches as standard on the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet and 20 inches on the S 65 Coupé and Cabriolet. The exclusive forged wheels on the V12 Coupés and Cabriolets have an unusual and fascinating design: each of the 16 spokes twists in a special way so that the light-catching contours radiate to the centre of the wheel hub. The effect: The wheel appears larger than its actual dimensions of 8.5 J x 20 at the front and 9.5 J x 20 at the rear. In addition, the ceramic mirror polishing ensure an exclusive look.

As standard, the forged wheels feature a high-quality, bolted and fully integrated wheel bolt cover made of forged aluminium. Its shape is reminiscent of a centre lock as seen in motorsport. The AMG logotype is incorporated into the rim as a design element. Three other forged wheels of the same size are optionally available – two design variants also painted matt black with a high-sheen rim flange.

The powerful rear end of the S 63 4MATIC+ and S 65 features an updated rear apron with diffuser insert and the redesigned, model-specific twin tailpipes of the AMG exhaust system.

New and exclusive additions to the Coupé and Cabriolet are the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) rear lamps. OLEDs are characterised by their thin-film design, which allows curved surfaces to be created, resulting in totally new light designs. A total of 66 OLEDs (33 left and 33 right) produce an unmistakable light signature, which is combined with a Coming Home function.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
- image 729551

Other stand-out features of the AMG S-Class Coupés and Cabriolets include the numerous high-sheen chrome design elements (S 65) on the front, sides and rear. These are particularly effective in combination with dark paint colours.

Interior: beguiling appointments and design

The stylish character of the new S-Class models from Mercedes-AMG is also evident in the interior: All four models welcome their passengers with a special ambience. The AMG power sports seats with memory function and seat heating offer the driver and front passenger more lateral support. Nappa leather and AMG badges in the front and rear seat backrests create an exclusive atmosphere on board. Special touches include the embossed emblem on the armrest of the front centre console and the analogue clock in exclusive IWC design, which features three-dimensional, milled metal hands and genuine metal appliqués on the face.

The three-spoke Performance steering wheel features paddle shifters, a distinctly contoured rim trimmed with perforated leather in the grip area, and a metal insert with AMG logotype. It is optionally available made of black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre.

Another hallmark AMG speciality are the displays: The 31.2-centimetre TFT wide-screen colour display reproduces round dials that provide information about engine speed, vehicle speed and lots of additional data. The driver has a choice of three display designs, "Classic", "Sport" and "Progressive". In addition, the AMG menu was expanded considerably. Among other things, it can display the engine and transmission oil temperature, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, engine output and torque, boost pressure, tyre temperatures and pressures as well as the current vehicle set-up.

4.0-litre V-8 biturbo engine with twin-scroll turbochargers

The AMG 4.0-litre V-8 Biturbo engine in the S 63 4MATIC+ Cabriolet and Coupé comes exclusively in the highest performance stage to date rated at 450 kW (612 hp). The peak torque of 900 Nm also represents a new maximum. It is available across a wide rev range between 2750 and 4500 rpm, and thereby provides a sense of superior poise. The sprint from standstill to 100 km/h takes just 3.5 seconds, and the fulminating acceleration continues until the electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h is reached (with AMG Driver’s Package: 300 km/h).

The further advanced AMG 4.0-litre V-8 Biturbo engine utilises well-proven twin-turbo forced induction, with the two chargers not located outside on the cylinder banks, but rather between them in the V of the cylinders. The advantages of the "hot inside V" are a compact engine design, spontaneous response of the turbochargers and low exhaust emissions thanks to optimal airflow to the near-engine catalysts.

Two twin-scroll turbochargers provide even better fresh-mixture cylinder charge. The results are a higher output, more torque already at low engine speeds, and a very spontaneous throttle response.

’AMG Cylinder Management’ cylinder deactivation system

For maximum efficiency, Mercedes-AMG has equipped the V8 engine in the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé with the AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system. In the partial-load range, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which significantly lowers the fuel consumption.

When the driver has selected the "Comfort" transmission driving mode, the cylinder deactivation system is available in the wide engine speed range from 1000 to 3250 rpm. The AMG main menu on the instrument cluster informs the driver whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is presently operating in the partial or full-load range. The transition from four to eight-cylinder operation is immediate, fast and imperceptible, so that the passengers do not experience any loss of comfort whatsoever.

Short shift times, high efficiency: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission

For the first time the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet have been fitted with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, which convinces with extremely short shift times, lightning reactions to shift paddle commands, a double-clutching function and fast multiple downshifts. A wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter of the production model. This saves weight and improves the response to the driver’s accelerator pedal input, particularly during acceleration and load changes. It also allows the RACE START function.

The extremely high torque of the S 65 Coupés and Cabriolets is transferred by the tried and trusted AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 7G transmission. It delivers convincing tailor-made dynamics and high variability. Whether automatic or initiated by the driver using the steering wheel paddle shifters, upshifts or downshifts are affected quickly and instantly. Especially in the "Sport+" and in manual driving modes, the transmission is very fast and responsive.

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Fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive

The LHD versions of the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet come as standard with fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive. This intelligent system combines the advantages of different drive concepts: The fully variable torque split between front and rear axle, another first, ensures not optimal traction. What is more: The driver is also able to rely on high handling stability and a high level of safety under all conditions, in the dry, in the wet or in snow. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa is seamless, because the intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture.

An electro-mechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque split is continuously computed according to the driving conditions and driver’s input. The Performance Coupé and Cabriolet can therefore be driven in a continuously variable way from traction-oriented all-wheel drive to purely rear-wheel drive. Transitions are seamless and based on a sophisticated matrix. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.

The RHD versions of the S 63 Coupé and Cabriolet feature the new engine and the new transmission, but are only available with rear-wheel drive. The S 65 Coupé and Cabriolet also feature rear-wheel drive.

Specially developed suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics

The S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet and the S 65 Cabriolet are equipped with AMG RIDE CONTROL+ suspension with adaptive damping adjustment. Customers can preset the damping to "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport Plus" ‑ from relaxed long-distance comfort to dynamic sportiness. Rebound and compression are set independently of each other, which optimises the adaptation to the driving status and the quality of the road. The freely programmable mapping furthermore allows a wide spread between minimum and maximum damper forces. The difference between the comfortable and sporty suspension setting is thus more refined and is subjectively even more perceptible – depending on the particular driving situation.

The specific front axle kinematics, including a higher wheel camber, bigger stabiliser bar and more rigid subframe mount at the rear axle are another new feature. These measures optimise the agility of the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet when a dynamic driving style is employed.

S 65 Coupé: AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with curve inclination function

The S 65 Coupé’s exclusive AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension prepares for bumps in the carriageway ahead before the vehicle drives over them. To this end, AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL combines the active springs of the suspension with continuously adjustable dampers. The system precisely scans the condition of the road ahead with the help of a stereo camera to adjust the damping of each individual wheel optimally to the upcoming bumps already ahead of time.

The standard curve-tilting function causes the body of the vehicle to tilt to the inside of a turn by up to 2.65 degrees. This significantly reduces the perceived lateral forces and enhances ride comfort, particularly on secondary roads.

Depending on the driving mode, the springing behaviour can be set to comfortable or sporty to suit personal preferences and/or the curve-tilting function can be activated. The active suspension effectively compensates body roll, squat and dive when moving off the line, in curves and during braking.

The continuously adjustable dampers enable comfortable basic damping and a speed-dependent firm setting.

The ride height of the vehicle can be raised by 40 mm to increase the ground clearance. At high speeds, it is lowered by up to 15 mm, reducing drag and increasing driving stability.

Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering

The electromechanical speed-sensitive sports steering in the new AMG S-Class models has a variable steering ratio. It stands out thanks to the AMG-specific rack-and-pinion ratio with its precise, highly authentic feedback. Power assist varies between the stages "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport+". The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode or can be personalised in "Individual" mode. At low speeds, the driver only needs to provide minimal steering input. At high speeds, he or she is able to rely on solid straight-line stability. The clearly defined steering centre and the authentic feedback likewise contribute to the optimum steering feel.

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Good control and fade-resistant: the AMG high-performance compound braking system

The large high-performance composite brake system decelerates the Performance Cabriolet and Coupé reliably and quickly and is fade-resistant even under high loads. The new models are fitted with 390 x 36 mm composite brake discs with 6-piston aluminium fixed callipers at the front axle and 360 x 24 mm discs with single-piston floating brake callipers at the rear axle.

The AMG ceramic high-performance compound braking system is optionally available. The weight savings of more than 20 percent reduce unsprung masses and increase driving dynamics, agility and ride quality. Furthermore, the ceramic brakes are distinguished by a longer service life, higher corrosion resistance and higher thermal stability. It features brake discs of size 420 x 40 mm at the front and of size 360 x 32 mm at the rear. It can be identified visually by the "AMG Carbon Ceramic" lettering on the specially painted brake callipers.

3-stage ESP® not only offers safety but driving pleasure too:

ESP® ON: for a high level of safety by adaptation to the sporty character of the car
ESP® Sport Handling Mode: allows wider yaw angles before system intervention for a sporty driving style
ESP® OFF: system deactivated for a sporty driving style on closed circuits

For a personalised experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes

The four different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport+" and "Individual" give drivers extensive influence over the new models’ characteristics. Each drive program modifies key parameters such as the response of engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP® and all-wheel drive in the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet.

The S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet also feature the "RACE" drive program, while the S 65 Coupé features the drive program "Curve".

Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension set-ups can also be selected if desired. The 3-stage ESP® and the exhaust gas flap can also be controlled using an AMG-specific button.

"Comfort" is the well-balanced drive program with a comfort-oriented suspension and steering set-up. It also offers a consumption-oriented powertrain configuration and early upshifts – with smooth gear changes and a discreet engine sound. Cylinder deactivation in the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé, the ECO start/stop function and Glide mode are active: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 60 and 160 km/h, the clutch of the MCT transmission opens and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics lower the engine speed to idle and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and friction forces of the engine on overrun.

The DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes "Sport“ and "Sport+" are designed for high driving dynamics. This is provided by the agile accelerator pedal characteristics with direct set-up and the emotionally appealing gearshifts with shortened shift times and rev-matching function on downshifts.

The increased idle speed in "Sport+" furthermore makes particularly fast start-offs and even better acceleration from standstill possible.

"RACE" is the program for highly dynamic driving on closed race circuits in which all the parameters are configured for maximum performance.

The "Curve" drive program in the S 65 Coupé is active in a speed range between 15 km/h and 180 km/h. A curve inclination function is integrated in the MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension. As a result, the vehicle tilts to the inside of the turn by up to 2.65 degrees, similar to a motorcycle rider. This reduces the perceived lateral forces and increases the ride quality.

RACE START now even easier

The RACE START function is now also available in the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet (LHD) and the S 63 Coupé and Cabriolet (RHD). It features a new, significantly simpler control logic: In the "Sport" or "Sport+" driving modes, the driver only has to press hard on the brake pedal with their left foot while simultaneously mashing the accelerator pedal with their right foot. The on-board electronics will then set the optimum engine speed. Depending on the requirements or the road surface conditions, the engine speed can be increased or lowered in a certain range by operating the paddle shifters. If the driver now releases the brake pedal, the vehicle accelerates with optimal traction. The Coupé and Cabriolet are then able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds.

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Pure sound: the controllable AMG Performance exhaust system

The S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet are fitted as standard with the controllable AMG Performance exhaust system to ensure an even more emotionally appealing sound experience. The infinitely adjustable flaps modulate the exhaust note authentically and directly. The flaps open or close dependent on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode, but can also be controlled individually with a separate button in the AMG DRIVE UNIT on the centre console. In the "Comfort" and "Sport" modes, the low-frequency sound typical of a V-8 emphasises comfort. In "Sport+" it is of a much more emotionally appealing nature.

Systematic lightweight design: AMG Lightweight Performance

The stringent implementation of the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy also contributes to the high driving dynamics and low fuel consumption. The lightweight construction measures include the use of a lithium-ion starter battery, AMG forged light-alloy wheels and the weight-optimised AMG high-performance composite brake system.

A host of options available

Anyone looking to give their S 63 4MATIC+ or S 65 an even more individual feel, can order a host of options. The exterior can be tailored to personal preferences with the Night package, attractive alternative wheels and a Carbon package. In the interior, the black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre Performance steering wheel boosts the sporty character. Carbon fibre/black piano lacquer trim parts round off the range of possibilities.

AMG Track Pace

Motor racing enthusiasts can record a range of vehicle data and lap times on the race track with AMG Track Pace in the new AMG S-Class Coupés and Cabriolets. All values are shown on the COMAND display, and in the Widescreen Cockpit the current times can also be read off in the instrument cluster. Based on the data, drivers are able to analyse their driving style with precision and can use the insights gained to improve their lap times.

Exclusive Yellow Night Edition of the S 63 Coupé

On the market launch of the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupé (left-hand drive only) and S 63 Coupé (right-hand drive only), the exclusive Yellow Night Edition will be available for a period of six months. This special model painted in a choice of selenite grey magno or night black magno is discreetly distinguishable by a yellow trim strip on the exterior mirror housings.

The exclusive impression is reinforced by 7-spoke light-alloy wheels in black with high-sheen rim flanges and the yellow-painted brake callipers of the AMG high-performance composite ceramic braking system, which is standard equipment for the Edition 1.

The model’s special character is also emphasised by the Aerodynamic package with an enlarged front splitter in high-gloss black (in carbon-fibre with Carbon Fibre package) and a spoiler lip in high-gloss black (in carbon-fibre with Carbon Fibre package) on the boot lid, as well as AMG racing stripes (decals) on the vehicle flanks.

High-quality interior with yellow highlights

The interior also features yellow accents on the AMG sports seats in the front and on the rear seats, the AMG Performance sports steering wheel with 12 o’clock marking, the dashboard, the beltline, the centre door panels, the armrests, the centre console front and rear and the floor mats. The Edition badge in the steering wheel bezel draws attention to the special equipment. AMG matt carbon fibre/black piano lacquer trim parts round off the refined and sporty look.

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The Exclusive Package is fitted as standard on board. It includes upholstery in Exclusive nappa leather with hallmark AMG diamond design and specifically placed perforation, upper dashboard, centre armrest, front and rear armrests and door centre panels in nappa leather with contrasting topstitching, AMG badges in the front and rear seat backrests, illuminated AMG door sill panels and special AMG floor mats.

The new Performance Coupés and Cabriolets will celebrate their world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main on 12 September 2017.

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