Distinguished from other recently introduced new S-class models by a number of traditional AMG styling tweaks, including a deep new front bumper, heavily chromed blade grille, 'twin-turbo V8' badges along its flanks and beefed up sills among other changes, the new S63 AMG is planned to go on sale in the UK in rear-wheel drive guise only next year at a price of around £120,000.
Building on initiatives taken with the standard S-class, the performance variant of the big Mercedes-Benz saloon benefits from a further range of weight saving measures, including the adoption of a 78Ah lithium-ion battery and a spare wheel recess made of carbonfibre.
In long wheelbase guise, as sold in the UK, the new rear-wheel drive S63 AMG is said to weigh 1995kg – 100kg less than its predecessor, despite a moderate increase in dimensions and greater level of standard equipment. Significantly, Mercedes-Benz claims the four-wheel drive S63 AMG hits the scales at the very same figure of 1995kg, owing in part to a more straightforward suspension design.
Power comes from a reworked version of AMG’s twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 engine that in a departure to recent AMG practice is planned to be offered in just a single state of tune. It develops an added 14bhp over the old S63 AMG with performance package at 577bhp, providing the new car with a power-to-weight ratio of 289bhp per tonne. Torque matches that of proceeding model’s performance package option with a sturdy 663lb ft developed on band of revs between 2250 and 3750rpm.
The direct-injection petrol unit already meets stringent EU6 emission regulations, with combined fuel consumption of 28mpg and average CO2 emissions of 237g/km in the rear-wheel-drive long wheelbase model destined for the UK. The added reserves continued to be channelled through AMG’s seven-speed MCT (multi clutch transmission) with three driving modes: Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual – the former of which brings an automatic stop/start function for added fuel savings.
Despite the various weight-saving measures and added power, Mercedes-Benz’s official performance claims for the new rear-wheel-drive S63 AMG put its 0-62mph acceleration at the same level as its predecessor at 4.4sec, while top speed remains limited to 155mph in standard guise and 186mph in combination with an optional driver’s package.
Following moves with other recent new AMG models, a new four-wheel-drive S63 AMG 4Matic model will join the line-up in selected left-hand-drive markets. However, Mercedes-Benz’s continued inability to provide right-hand-drive compatibility with its four-wheel drive system in many models means it will not be sold in the UK or the remaining 83 right-hand-drive markets worldwide. With added off-the-line traction, the S63 AMG 4Matic is claimed to storm to 62mph from standstill in just 4.0sec – an improvement of 0.5sec on the old model.
The new S63 AMG is underpinned by a retuned version of the standard S500’s air suspension complete with Mercedes-Benz’s innovative new Magic Body Control system. It employs a camera mounted within the windscreen to scan the road and alter the settings of the air springs, according to the conditions for maximum levels of comfort or sportiness, depending on the chosen mode.