Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe 2014 review
The flagship Mercedes S-Class gets its tracksuit on in 576bhp S63 AMG Coupe guise and what a tracksuit it is
The Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe is a seriously impressive piece of engineering. It’s blisteringly fast and handles better than it has any right to, but it’s also a near-perfect companion for a 200-mile motorway journey. In fact, thanks to the semi-autonomous mode, it’ll take most of the strain for you. The sensible option is to go for the lesser S500, kicking off from £96,565, but there’s a definite appeal to this supercoupe.
Blending the comfort of a Mercedes S-Class with the style of a coupé and the performance pedigree of Mercedes’ tuning arm, the all-new S 63 AMG Coupe is a tantalising proposition. It’s designed to offer exclusivity and luxury to match a Bentley Continental GT with the promise of handling and performance to rival the flagship Porsche Panamera, and aims to be the ultimate luxury all-rounder.
Despite getting the S-Class name, the new Coupe stands out enough from the limousine on which it’s based. Sharp creases down the sides, a long bonnet, sloping roof and a neat spoiler integrated into the bootlid do a great job of shrinking the S-Class Coupe’s large dimensions.
Despite being only 260mm shorter than the four-door, the Coupe looks much smaller and more dynamic than its big brother. AMG additions include a matt silver splitter and side sills, a bespoke grille and chrome-plated twin tailpipes. The S 63 strikes a tasteful balance between executive and sporty, but it’s inside that the S-Class really makes you feel like you’re in one of the best cars in the world.
With a more extravagant, sweeping dash design than the saloon and a smaller steering wheel, it feels like a coupé, but you get all the technical goodies of the saloon, including the same pair of crystal-clear screens: one for the speedo, trip computer and rev counter, the other for navigation and control functions.
The COMAND system is easy to use, and while there’s a bewildering level of functions available, the intuitive nature of the set-up means it only takes a short while to feel at one with the S-Class – an experience that is only amplified by the quality and style of the cabin.
Mercedes really has pulled out all the stops to give the car a lavish and luxurious interior, ensuring that every surface you touch oozes quality. The switchgear is first-rate, while mood lighting gives the cabin a swish ambience at night, with a selection of seven colours, from relaxing ice blue to swanky red. As you’d expect from a car with a six-figure price tag, standard kit is generous, but there’s also a vast array of expensive options and lots of potential for personalisation.
Being based on the world’s most comfortable, dynamically accomplished and refined luxury saloon gives the S 63 Coupé a head start. It’s also lower and shorter than the saloon, and from behind the wheel, it feels a fraction sharper than the four-door. In spite of its two-tonne-plus kerbweight, it corners flat without fuss, has a positive turn-in and good body control – something that’s helped by AMG Magic Body Control with the curve tilting function, which debuts on the Coupe.
The groundbreaking technology is a first on a production car. It loads the suspension up to lean the car into a bend, not to increase cornering speeds but to enhance comfort by minimising lateral loads. You can feel it through the steering, too, as the wheel doesn’t weight up when turning as much as you’d expect, which feels a fraction unnatural.
Still, by combining this technology with the Magic Body Control, which primes the suspension for bumps ahead via a camera, the S 63 strikes a fine balance between ride comfort and suspension control.
There’s no missing the performance available, either. While the Porsche pipped it at the test track, on the road the effortless torque of the 900Nm AMG delivers relentless in-gear response. Yet for all this pace, the hushed cabin and sublime refinement make just as big an impression. It isn’t a thrilling driver’s car, but it’s a classy GT that’ll soak up any journey with ease, transporting you and your passengers in comfort and luxury.
At £125,595, the S 63 Coupe is very expensive. However, compared to rivals from Bentley and Aston Martin, it could be considered good value given the technology included. For private buyers, depreciation will be the biggest source of financial pain – you’ll likely lose £64,556 over three years.
During our test, we averaged 17.6mpg, so fuel bills won’t be cheap, although this car is more frugal than previous V8 AMGs – it gets stop/start as standard. Fixed-price servicing will help budget for running costs, too.
Anyone who’s travelled in the back of an S-Class saloon will wonder where all the space has gone in the Coupe. The sculpted pair of rear seats is comfortable and supportive, and there’s enough legroom for adults, but it’s a bit tight given the size of the car. The front seats automatically slide forward to make access relatively easy, although the four-door Porsche Panamera edges ahead for rear passenger comfort.
Boot space is decent for this class, with a 400-litre capacity – which is more than enough room for some suitcases or a couple of sets of golf clubs. The rear seats fold flat, too. Our car featured the £320 load-through hatch and £440 Warmth Package, which adds heated armrests on the centre console and doors, plus a heated steering wheel.