?Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG?
A gorgeous, luxurious, high performance sedan
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues to represent the company?s flagship sedan lineup, which many aficionados consider being some of the finest luxury sedans in the world. The current-generation S-Class lineup first bowed as 2007 models, featuring the S550, powered by a 5.5-liter V8 engine that delivered 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque; the S550 4MATIC, which featured a state-of-the-art all-wheel-drive system; and the V12-powered S600, fitted with a 12-cylinder engine that made 510 hp and 612 lb.-ft. of torque. Two high-performance AMG models were added ? the S63 AMG, with a 518-hp V8 that produced 465 lb.-ft. of torque; and the S65 AMG, powered by a 604-hp V12 making an unbelievable 738 lb.-ft. of torque. The S63 being the lesser of two evils (meant in a good way), as both are stellar performers. The S63 costs less and is a smidgeon more economical, if that can even be considered in this category. In fact, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Sedan actually costs $1,400. less than last year?s version, and with more content.
Even though the S-Class is categorized as a fully equipped sedan, the 2009 models benefited from several technological, comfort and convenience enhancements. All new S-Class models now come with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, as well as new push-pull power window switches and a ?Hold? convenience-braking feature. The optional Distronic Plus system includes Blind Spot Assist, which monitors both blind spots and warns the driver whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot. The system also incorporates Park Assist, which utilizes six radar sensors mounted behind the front and rear bumpers ? eliminating the need for the visible ?portholes? of the previous ultrasonic-based system. When reverse gear is engaged, the parking system superimposes guidance lines on the rear-view camera display, and the guidance lines actually change with steering input to make parking easier.
But let?s get to the heart of our review ? the 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC sedan, with a powerful biturbo production 5.5-liter V8 under the hood, built almost entirely of high-strength silicon-aluminum alloy. The engine features four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, bucket-type cam followers (rather than rocker arms), and a variable intake manifold. The engine, designed exclusively by AMG, shares no parts with other Mercedes-Benz V8 engines, with the cylinder bores featuring a twin-wire-arc-sprayed coating ? an innovative process that results in impressively low friction and running surfaces that are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinders. The technique is one of many features derived from AMG?s highly successful racing efforts.
The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG displays special body styling, alloy wheels, sports suspension and a high-performance braking system ? all AMG designed specifically for the 2014 model. The front bumper is muscular with large air intakes flanking a wide, lower horizontal intake just below the five-horizontal chrome bar grille with a chrome surround and special AMG badge and iconic hood-mounted tri-star emblem. A V8 BiTurbo badge adorns both front fenders. Contoured side skirts complement the aggressive lines of the front bumper to the rear, where an AMG rear apron emphasizes the vehicle?s width. Dual twin rectangular tailpipes complete the unique look and pleasant V8 rumble of the S63 AMG.
In the interior, drivers are greeted by an AMG sport steering wheel with distinctive aluminum shift paddles and AMG multi-contour leather sport seats finished in attractive cross stitching. Completing the interior package is an exclusive analog clock modeled on the design of the ?IWC-Ingenieur? series in the center of the polished, Burled Walniut dash.
The suspension and brake systems of the S63 AMG have been designed specifically for high-performance driving. making good use of the Mercedes-Benz ABC active suspension, tuning it for even flatter cornering and less body movement in spirited driving scenarios. A Sport-Comfort-Manual button on the center console allows the driver to choose between three different transmission shift programs that also fine-tune accelerator pedal response and the sport suspension spring-shock settings. Oversized composite brake discs help to ensure short stopping distances even during high-speed driving. The S63 AMG sedan comes with 20-inch staggered-width AMG light alloy wheels, 8.5 inches wide in front and 9.5 inches at the rear, wearing low-profile Continental ContiSportContact 255/40 ZR20 (front) and 285/35 ZR20 (rear) tires mounted on matte black painted 10-spoke AMG forged alloy wheels with a machined rim flange, and AMG stamped on one of the spokes.
Mercedes-Benz was the first automaker to develop active-suspension technology for production cars, and the V-8 powered S63 AMG, is equipped with the resulting ABC active suspension, which reduces body roll in cornering, squat under acceleration, and dive during braking. ESP stability control and ASR traction control systems complement the enhanced chassis setup.
My test Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Sedan sported an exterior finished in Iridium Silver metallic with a Black and Exclusive Back Nappa leather interior complemented by polished Burled Walnut wood trim accents throughout. The base price was set at $139,500 while options such as: the leather interior; AMG performance steering wheel with DINAMICA side grips; Night View Assist Plus; 20? AMG 10-spoke alloy wheels; Exclusive trim Package; Burmester High End 3D Surround System; Warmth and Comfort Package; Surround View Camera; air Balance Package; Driver Assistance Package; and Destination and Delivery moved the final total up to $163,835
SUMMARY: The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG is a shining example of a flagship luxury sedan that brings together the attention to detail of old world craftsmanship, across-the-board state-of-the-art technology and high performance capability in addition to safety and stability support.
The S63 AMG accelerates effortlessly, handles with agility belying its size and weight, and provides a ride quality that is luxurious, while delivering positive feedback to the driver. Braking is superb, and is capable of effectively reining in the engine?s powerful force.
The seats are incredibly supportive, even featuring articulating side bolsters that provide counter support in turns ? turn left, and additional right side support is delivered, turn right, and support from the opposite increases.
One of the advanced features of the car is a slot in the dash that accepts a PCMCIA card, capable of holding thousands of digital songs and displaying data on the COMAND system?s screen, with titles selectable via multifunction steering wheel controls.
One week?s testing simply doesn?t allow enough time to master all of the technology that the Mercedes S63 AMG features. The COMAND system has become more user friendly, but there?s so much more to deal with overall, that to become proficient with all the standard features and systems (let alone the added options), enabling one to gain the optimum level of performance from each, familiarity through practice is the only way to go to ensure enjoying the car?s full potential. The Owner?s Manual is included in the S63?s software. Spending time with it is the key to overcoming what is not initially intuitive.
The S63?s V8 delivers a sweet exhaust note, topping off all the other available attributes in what is a superb luxury sedan with high performance capabilities. Expensive yes, excessively so, not hardly, considering the vast array of comfort and convenience features, blended seamlessly with advanced active and passive safety technology.
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Sedan [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$163,835.|
|Engine Type and Size:||5.5-liter, DOHC, 32-valve, Bi-turbo V8.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||577 @ 5.500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||664 @ 2250-3,750 rpm|
|Transmission:||7-speed AMG SpeedShift Direct Select MCT with shift paddles.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / 4MATIC Permanent All-Wheel Drive.|
Air spring, Single-tube shock absorber with continuously adjustable damping/Air spring, and Single-tube shock absorber with continuously adjustable damping.
Front – Multi-link independent.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four wheel ventilated and cross-drilled discs, ABS, ESP, ASR, Brake Assist, Adaptive Brake Technology, ESP, Traction Control and Collision Prevention Assist.|
|Tires:||Continental ContiSportContact 255/40 ZR20 front – 285/35 ZR20 rear mounted on matte black painted 10-spoke AMG alloy wheels with a high sheen rim flange.|
|Length Overall:||208.1 inches|
|Width:||83.86 inches – with mirrors (75.98 – without)|
|Curb Weight:||4,806 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||21.1 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||15 mpg city / 23 mpg highway|
|Drag Coefficient:||Not listed.|
|0 – 60 mph:||3.9 seconds – top speed 186 mph.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.