New Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65 revealed
New engines, gearbox and face for AMG’s expensive two-door luxo GTs
Somewhat awkwardly, Mercedes’ family photo until now would look a bit out of place, as not all the cars are aesthetically harmonious.
Most cars in the range have now been garnished with the new, toothy, chrome Panamericana grille – a reference to the 300 SL that won the Carrera Panamericana Mexican Road Race in 1952 – first seen on the AMG GT R. Now it's the turn of the S-Class Cabriolet and Coupe to get a set of those shiny new gnashers.
AMG has gotten into the mix, too. For the S63 Coupe and Cabrio (cab pictured above), Merc’s in-house go-faster arm thought it was time to downsize the 63 from the 5.5-litre twin-turbo engine to the 4.0-litre twin-turbo engine (with fuel-sipping cylinder deactivation tech) that you can get in pretty much everything now.
Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe
Even though it’s got a smaller displacement, the new engine kicks out 603bhp. All that power is fed through Merc’s new nine-speed gearbox and put to the ground via all four wheels in left-hand-drive markets. Us that drive on the right will have to deal with two-wheel drive and brown pants when it inevitably steps out a bit sideways.
Think downsizing is the work of the devil? Fear not. The 6.0-litre twin-turbo, V12 S65 Coupe and Cabriolet still have your back. With 621bhp and more torque than you will ever require (in this or any other life), the 737lb ft (or 1000Nm) available from 2,300rpm should be plenty adequate to slug you from continent to continent in lavish luxury.
That AMG engine, hand-built by a single technician don’t forget, features a pair of turbochargers and juicy stuff like an aluminium crankcase and a forged steel crankshaft. It’s mated to the old seven-speed automatic gearbox with many modes, powering the rear wheels. There's even a carbon fibre engine cover and that little autograph bearing the name of the man who built it on top.
Thanks to that hefty engine, the S65 will achieve some startling acceleration figures for a 2.1-tonne beast. 0-62mph takes just 4.1 seconds, and it’ll top out at a limited 155mph. Tick the AMG Driver’s pack, and this top speed rises to 186mph. Which is still limited. Let it off the leash, and you’d probably end up going very, very quickly. Being 100kg lighter, and only 18bhp down on power, the S63 is even quicker, with both the coupe and cabriolet version completing the standstill-to-sixty sprint in 3.5 seconds, thanks to the addition of launch control. The same rules for the S65 apply for its baby brother when it comes to top speed.
Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet and Coupe
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The engines and grille are the big news, but there's also been some minor tweaks visually for both cars; a new floating front apron and chrome chin spoiler up front, redesigned side skirts and a new rear apron with diffuser inserts and model-specific twin tailpipes for the shouty AMG exhaust system. Plus snazzy OLED taillights on both.
At each corner are new, large forged alloys coming in at 19 inches as standard on the drop-top and two-door S63 and 20 inches on the S65 versions. We’re told the bigger and more expensive S65 wheels are trick as each of the 16 spokes twists in a special way so that “the light-catching contours radiate to the centre of the wheel hub". Apparently, this makes them look even bigger. Then there’s the “motorsport derived aluminium wheel centre cap". Oh behave, AMG. This is a behemoth mound of luxury - the F1 links are wearing a bit thin at this end of the scale.
Not much at all has changed inside, but then again not much needed to. Allied with Merc’s voodoo ‘Magic Body Control’ that actively compensates body roll, squat and dive by scanning the road ahead and tilting the body to the inside of a turn by up to 2.65 degrees, we’re sure it’ll ride as luxuriously as ever.
Prices haven’t been announced yet, but given the S65 is one of Mercedes' most expensive production cars, it ain’t going to be cheap. But the S63 will be cheaper. Either way, we’ll be seeing both of them in all body styles at the Frankfurt show next week.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and Coupe