Meet the S 63 AMG, the UK launch variant of the new S-class coupé and Mercedes’ replacement for the CL, which was the last two-door model to use the firm’s flagship saloon as its basis.

The adoption of the family name seems a little curious when you consider that the rest of the motor industry seems to be renaming closely related cars with unbridled enthusiasm.

In this case, though, the likely reasoning isn’t hard to fathom: despite a 20-year, three-generation run, the CL’s special status still felt like something that needed to be explained to the layman; the S-class, a certified ‘Sonderklasse’ for six decades, does not.

With the V8-powered S 63 AMG landing first, it’s unlikely anyone would fail to spot the coupé’s apparent emphasis on the driver, either.

Just like its predecessor, the S 63 is intended to charge headfirst at the customer base currently keeping Bentley’s bottom line black with Continental GT orders.

It has certainly been given the looks and powerplant for such a task; the question is, does the overall experience live up to them?

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