Mercedes S63/S65 AMG facelift (2009) first photos

Published: 21 April 2009

Mercedes has revealed refreshed AMG versions of its S-class limo at the Shanghai Motor Show. The S63 and S65 don’t have any more muscle than before, but are slightly greener thanks to tweaks to their engine management systems.

How green are these new AMG S-class limos then?

Under the bonnet you’ll find the same 518bhp 6.2-litre V8 or 604bhp 6.5-litre V12 as before. The S63 roars to 62mph in the same 4.6sec, the S65 in 4.4sec, but fuel consumption is improved by a whopping 3%. It should be worth less than 1mpg on the combined cycle so it’s hardly going to worry the Prius.

What about the visual tweaks?

A beakier radiator grille, LED daytime running lights specific to the AMG models and a new front bumper are the tell-tales at the front, the S65 getting twin chrome-plated grille louvres to let everyone know you’re packing an extra four cylinders.

There are new alloy wheels (19s on the S63; 20s on the 65) and at the rear a new set of lamps and a revised bumper featuring a body colour (rather than black) diffuser.

The new crosswind stabilisation system is probably more noticeable. It uses the Merc’s active body control air suspension to keep you on course. Also new is the Torque Vectoring Brake, which brakes the inside rear wheel when cornering to help turn-in, and the variable steering gearing first seen on the facelifted SL roadster.

Mercedes hasn’t announced UK prices but they’re expected to remain broadly the same as the current cars’: £96k for the S63, £100k for the long wheelbase S63 and £148k for the S65. They go on sale in October which gives Mercedes a few months to attempt to get rid of some of the unsold pre-facelift cars.

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By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker