Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe review

Is luxurious new two-door Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe worth the extra cash over the excellent S500?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Some people, for whom only the performance model will do, won’t care about spending an extra £25,000 for the S63 AMG Coupe. Because of the car’s relaxed nature though it doesn’t benefit as much from the AMG treatment as Mercedes’ lesser cars do. Still, it does handle extremely well, better than the saloon, but don’t go thinking it’s an SLS, it’s too heavy for that, so more of a cruiser than a sports car.

There is always something a bit special about a Mercedes with an AMG badge. And with the normal S-Class Coupe being such an impressive starting point, the Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe promises even greater things.

It features a range of chassis upgrades, styling tweaks and, most important of all, a hand-built 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 which produces 576bhp and is (supposedly) good for 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds. Good luck getting anywhere near this time in reality though – the tyre shredding 900Nm of torque available from 2,250rpm means the traction control usually intervenes whenever you try to make a launch. This is less of a problem with the all-wheel-drive version of the car our European cousins get, which can do the sprint to 62mph in just 3.9 seconds. Sadly Mercedes won’t make the 4MATIC version in right-hand drive for ‘engineering reasons’! This rather ironic coming from a firm has managed to engineer the S-Class Coupe to lean into a corner like a motorcycle – something no other production car can do...

Know as curve tilt function, as with the S500, it’s an option on the S63 and an extension of the Magic Body Control, which uses cameras to scan the road ahead and prepare the suspension to deliver the smoothest ride possible. Of course, the AMG gets specific settings for its adaptive suspension, though this delivers mixed results.

In sport mode there is noticeably less roll through corners. But while the S63 does steer and handle very well for a big car, the firmer ride means that bumps which you’d never normally notice are now perceptible – so you soon switch back to comfort.

Then there’s the gearbox. AMG has reworked the software for its seven-speed SPEEDSHIFT MCT transmission to deliver quicker changes, and, yes, they are fast. However, the gearbox isn’t faultless. It isn’t always totally silky smooth when pulling away and then occasionally it hesitates on up shifts when you rev the engine out. These are minor complaints because the S63 is still a lovely thing to drive, and absurdly fast when the road opens up, but weighing in at two tons means that the S63 is still more of a cruiser than a sports car. And really the difference between the way this AMG feels compared the normal S500 isn’t as noticeable as it is with models further down the Mercedes range. 

Maybe the S-Class Coupe’s plush ride and incredible quietness make it harder to appreciate the extra 108bhp over the normal S500 which feels easily fast enough and sounds almost as good as the AMG too. What is more noticeable though are the styling changes.

With its AMG outfit on the S-Coupe looks even more enticing than ever. But then you can get an AMG styling kit for the normal car and then spend the rest of the £25,000 you’ll save by going for the S500 on options, such as the Magic Body Control and curve tilt function, which really compliment the S-Coupes relaxed and effortless character.  

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