I will admit that I have a thing for high-performance luxury flagships because of the sheer contradiction of them. Here is a type of vehicle whose main purpose is to coddle their passengers and provide smooth ride, and then drop in a bunch of performance goodies to make it into something completely different. But I never had the chance to drive one of these vehicles. That changed at the MAMA Spring Rally back in May where Mercedes-Benz had a 2014 S63 AMG 4Matic available for drives.
Lets begin with the S-Class itself. The new model I think is one of the best looking S-Classes in quite a while. It takes the last-generation model and refines it. The front end is more imposing with the large grille and headlights, while the three-pointed star takes its requisite spot on top the hood. The back end gets a new trunk lid and revised styling for the tailights. AMG adds some subtle changes such as front bumper with larger air vents, larger matte-finish wheels, different finishes for the trim, and the endless amount of AMG badges. The only thing I would change is the black wheels as it ruins the look of the S63.
Inside, the S63 AMG is pure class. Mercedes still knows how build a well-crafted interior in their higher-end models with high-quality wood, leather, plastic, and metal everywhere. The seats could rival a laz-a-boy recliner for how comfortable they are. The wide number of adjustments, heat, ventilation, and massaging function are the icing on top. Technology is everywhere with two massive screens stretching across the driver's field of vision. One screen features gauges and trip computer functions, while the other handles infotainment needs.
Power comes from a twin-turbo 5.5L V8 engine with 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired up to a seven-speed automatic and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Sorry, no rear-wheel drive is available for this model. Step on the throttle and the S63 moves at rate that only performance sports cars can achieve. 60 MPH is reached in a scant 3.9 seconds and can hit a top speed of 186 MPH. Driving on the back roads in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, it shocked me how quick the S63 can get up to speed.
But more shocking is how the model rides and handles. The S63 is fitted with an air suspension that adjusted from comfort to sport, larger anti-roll bar, and a stiffer subframe carrier. These changes make S63 handle surprisingly well with no feeling of body lean and feeling very planted. It cannot fully mask the size of S63 though, which is ok. Put the suspension in comfort and it becomes a normal S-Class with a smooth ride and no hint of wind/road noise. Steering has good feel and weight no matter if you decide to drive around town or a back road.
The S63 AMG 4Matic shows that Mercedes can make their top-of-line luxury sedan become a really enjoyable driver's sedan. You'll just have to pay a very pretty penny for the chance.
Disclaimer: Mercedes-Benz Provided the S63 AMG 4Matic For The MAMA Spring Rally
Trim: S63 AMG 4Matic
Engine: 5.5L Twin-Turbo V8
Driveline: Seven-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 577 @ 5,500
Torque @ RPM: 664 @ 2,250 - 3,750
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/23/18
Curb Weight: N/A
Location of Manufacture: Sindelfingen, Germany
Base Price: $139,500
As Tested Price: $164,535 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
Burmester High-End 3D Sound System - $6,400
Black/Black Exclusive Napa Leather - $4,450
Driver Assistance Package - $2,800
Warmth and Comfort Package - $2,600
Night View Plus - $2,260
Twenty-Inch AMG 10-Spoke Forged Wheels - Black - $2,200
Surround View Camera - $900
Red Brake Calipers - $700
AMG Performance Steering Wheel with Dinamica Side Grips - $500
Air Balance Package - $350