Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review

Published:01 July 2014

Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review
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Mercedes’ CL is no more; meet the new Mercedes S-class Coupe, tested here in S63 AMG trim. The likely price tag is expected to top £125,000, meaning the S-class Coupe is now nudging wholeheartedly into Bentley territory.

Can the two-door S-class AMG justify pricing deep into six-figure territory? Read on for our S63 AMG Coupe review.

Mercedes S-class Coupe: first impressions

This is a handsome car, taking the sober S-class and slipping it into far more handsome evening wear for a more relaxed, coupe vibe. We’re particularly keen on the rear end, whose rump has been improved significantly by moving the number plate lower down.

The new S-class Coupe’s wheelbase shrinks by 9cm and it shows inside; the echoing roominess of the S-class saloon is replaced by a snugger, more sporting vibe. Some might even fumble for the word claustrophobic – the back seats, in particular, are strictly for children only.

The cabin is beautifully built, as we’ve come to expect of modern Mercs, but the driving position was less successful for this correspondent; the way the steering wheel and seat lift and lower never quite served up the ideal driving position, often slicing the view of the over-fussy digital dials in half. At least the new head-up display bypasses this problem.

Gadgets galore on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-class Coupe

The toy quotient is sky-high on the new S-class Coupe, as befits Merc’s range-topper. The seatbelt is proffered to you by a digital butler every time you close the door, the sunroof tints automatically to stop any pesky glare from the sun and even the ventilation system gently nudges between modes to stop anything so untoward as a breeze.

Yet despite the plethora of equipment the S63 AMG is 65kg lighter than its predecessor, achieved through a lightweight lithium-ion battery, composite brakes (very powerful) and forged light-alloy 19in wheels. The entire outer skin and front of the body are made of aluminium.

Engine, spec of new Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe

The technology behind Mercedes’ 63 models still baffle; the numerals indicate merely its pecking order positioning, not its cubic capacity – the S63 uses the 5.4-litre twin-turbo V8, developing a promising 577bhp and a colossal 663lb ft at just 2250rpm.

With figures like that, even a 2070kg kerbweight proves no problem, Mercedes claiming a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 4.2sec sprint from 0-62mph. It feels every inch that fast on the road – effortless, towering performance is available at any revs at any speed.

Merely twitch your right toe and the seven-speed automatic transmission hooks up with the twin-blown V8 and you’re off, surfing a sea of creamy torque. And despite forced induction, the V8 sounds remarkably soulful, woofling and parping delightfully on downchanges and when thrashed.

Yet the S-class Coupe’s magic is how it then transforms into a civilised cruiser when you ease off, demolishing miles in refined ease. Air rustle and road noise are simply not an issue in the new 2014 Mercedes S-class Coupe, though that auto ’box can prove grabby and abrupt at low speeds. It’s one of the few black marks on its performance.

Ride quality, comfort: Mercedes S-class Coupe

Merc’s clever-clogs Magic Body Control works magnificently most of the time, onboard cameras reading the road ahead for bumps and lumps, pre-warning the damping system to give unsurpassed ability to tackle speed bumps and the like. It’s great at dealing with low-speed road patter, but we wish the S-class Coupe felt a little more planted at high speeds.

Meanwhile the new – and optional – Curve Tilting function leans the cars into bends like a motor bike. Sounds strange, feels it on the road at first. Yet once you adapt, Curve Tilting helps make fast twisties more bearable, the Magic Body Control’s cameras fore-warning the hydraulically controlled suspension struts and reducing roll forces dramatically.

The S-class Coupe’s steering is accurate enough, but is devoid any real feel. You’ll never mistake this car for a hard-charging GT; it’s very much a cruiser, as befits its new S-class-linked name.

Verdict

The new Mercedes S-class Coupe is a fine achievement and definitely worth a look if you’re shopping in Bentley territory. The sublime ride quality and effortless performance on tap are ace cards up the S63 Coupe’s sleeve, and there are only nit-picking question marks over the modernist instrumentation and a snatchy low-speed gearchange. Otherwise, it’s a supremely comfortable continent muncher.

Specs

Price when new: £125,000
On sale in the UK: September 2014
Engine: 5461cc 32v twin-turbo V8, 577bhp @ 5500rpm, 663lb ft @ 2250-3750rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 4.2 sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 28.0mpg, 237g/km CO2
Weight / material: 2070kg/aluminium, steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm):

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  • Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review
  • Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review
  • Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review
  • Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review
  • Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review
  • Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review
  • Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe (2014) review
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