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Mercedes S63 AMG (2013) at Frankfurt motor show

Published: 17 July 2013

Mercedes has unleashed its new lighter, faster 577bhp S63 AMG super-limo. CAR rode shotgun in the mighty new 577bhp new S-class flagship earlier this month – click here for the full story.

>> Click here for CAR's A-Z guide to the 2013 Frankfurt motor show

How fast is the new Mercedes S63?

Draped in a bespoke body kit and riding lower than regular S-class-kind, the new S63 AMG backs up the show with a 5.5-litre, 577bhp bi-turbo V8 engine, punching out 664lb ft and capable of launching this two-tonne express to 62mph in 4.4sec. The all-wheel-drive 4Matic version does the job in just 4.0sec, but it’s not being sold in right-hand drive markets – UK buyers can only have rear-wheel drive. All S63 models are limited to 155mph flat out.

What are the S63 AMG’s main technical highlights?

A lot more power (up from 536bhp in the old car) and microscopic efficiency improvements. The new S63 will return a claimed 27.9mpg, compared to 26.9mpg before. CO2 emissions drop by two measly grammes, to 237g/km. The twin-turbo, aluminium block engine uses stop/start and direct injection to save fuel, plus there’s a lightweight composite oil pan.

Better efficiency isn’t just due to the motor, though. The new S-class is also the most aerodynamic Mercedes limousine ever, with a drag coefficient of just 0.24Cd. Plus, weight-saving tactics are evident all over the new S63 AMG, as CAR first reported in our spy shots scoop earlier in 2013.

How has weight been saved from the new S63? 

Forged 19in or 20in alloy wheels, optional carbon-ceramic brakes and a carbonfibre spare wheel well all contribute to the diet, while the lithium-ion battery saves a chunky 20kg. Meanwhile, the body itself is concocted from a mix of metals to optimise mass distribution. Aluminium is used for the frontal portion of the S63’s chassis, plus the outer panels and roof skin. Overall, the new S63 is claimed to be 100kg lighter than the old car – a short-wheelbase model weighs 2045kg. The stretched LWB version is a slightly porkier 2070kg.

Any other drivetrain highlights?

S63s use AMG’s seven-ratio ‘Speedshift’ transmission, which offers ‘Controlled Efficiency’, ‘Sport’, and ‘Manual’ modes, the latter allowing full gearbox control via the sporty steering wheel’s paddles. The suspension also has adaptive modes: rear-drive S63s get a retuned version of the regular S-class’s ‘Magic Body Control’, which scans the road ahead for bumps via windscreen-mounted cameras and reacts by changing the damping rates in a split-second.

Helping the new S63’s agility is a new ESP mode which brakes the inside rear wheel in corners, similar to McLaren’s F1-derived ‘Brake-Steer’ system fitted to the 12C supercar. Mercedes claims the ‘Curve Dynamic Assist’ means ‘there is no irritating understeer when turning into corners’.

When should the hitmen and chauffeurs open their chequebooks?

The flagship S-class, compete with new front and rear bumpers, quad exhausts, and flared side sills, will go on UK sale in winter 2013, after its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

Official UK prices are expected to start at around £100,000 for a short-wheelbase, rear-drive S63 AMG. On the continent, Mercedes will ask around €165,000 for a long-wheelbase, all-wheel drive S63.

>> Would you choose the S63 AMG over an Aston Martin Rapide S, Jaguar XJR, or Porsche Panamera Turbo? Click ‘Add your comment’ to choose your favourite

>> Click here for CAR's A-Z guide to the 2013 Frankfurt motor show

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