What is it?
The Mercedes-AMG S 63 AMG represents the middle ground to Mercedes-Benz’s newly re-established S-Class Cabriolet line-up – the first from the German car maker since the iconic W111 series model back in 1971.
Positioned between the S 500 Cabriolet and the even more exclusive S 65 Cabriolet, the plush four-seater is due to hit UK showrooms next month wearing a price tag of £135,675. This pitches it £50,000 below its closest perceived open-top rival, the Bentley Continental GT Convertible Speed, which goes for £185,200.
Predictably, the S-Class Cabriolet adheres closely to the latest S-Class Coupé. The two share the same basic design, mechanical package and luxurious leather-lined four-seat interior, which can be enhanced by a seemingly limitless amount of optional features.
To accommodate what is claimed to be the largest fabric roof applied to a current production car, the new open-top adopts a unique windscreen with greater rake and a more substantial frame for added rollover protection.
It also receives a uniquely designed rear end with added stiffening within the rear bulkhead, rollover structures designed to deploy from behind the rear seats, a tonneau cover that opens to reveal a large storage compartment for the roof and longer bootlid.
With a claimed drag coefficient of 0.29, Mercedes says the S-Class Cabriolet is the most aerodynamically efficient car in its class. It has also developed a new sealing process for the doors and provided its latest model with double-glazed side windows in efforts to match the competition for outright refinement.
As with the latest S 63 Coupé launched in the UK last year, the S 63 Cabriolet runs AMG’s twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine. The 90deg unit produces 577bhp, giving it 129bhp more than the twin-turbocharged 4.7-litre V8 in the S 500 Cabriolet but 44bhp less than the recently upgraded twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 found in the S 65 Cabriolet.
Power is delivered to all four wheels via AMG’s seven-speed automatic Speedshift gearbox and a 4Matic four-wheel drive system engineered to provide a nominal 33/67 front-to-rear torque split. There are three driving modes to choose from: Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual.
The S 63 Cabriolet is underpinned by a uniquely tuned version of Mercedes-Benz’s air sprung Airmatic suspension with adaptive damping, offering the choice between Comfort and Sport modes. AMG has focused quite a bit of attention on the underpinnings, providing the front wheels with added camber and adopting a larger-diameter roll bar than that of the standard S 500 Cabriolet up front. The rear also receives a stiffer subframe.
The ride height can be raised by 30mm at the press of a button. The chassis then lowers again automatically when switched to Sport mode at speeds of more than 75mph.