The new Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance neatly typifies a particular response to a challenge that many luxury performance brands like Mercedes-AMG will need to negotiate over the coming years: how do you carve out a selling point for a driver's car that drives itself?

Albeit only in a few countries where local legislation allows, the S-Class is Mercedes' first car capable of Level Three (so hands-off) self-driving (as it stands, the UK isn't one of them; but that could change sooner than you might think).

An S63 with Level Three capability has a rather ugly lidar sensor on its radiator grille and a couple of special thumb-operated engagement buttons on its steering wheel. 

As in other S-Classes, customers will be able to engage a supervised self-driving mode - although only on particular roads pre-approved by Mercedes and marked in the car's sat-nav system, and only then when the car is in heavy traffic moving at less than 40mph.

But when it's engaged, the driver will be free to read for a few minutes, play games or browse the internet; and they will be prompted when the car needs to hand control back over again.

The S63 isn't quite ready to drive itself at 155mph on the autobahn, then, but you can already see that, one day soon enough, it could be - and probably sooner than the world decides that it's equally ready.