Now that the Geneva Auto Show is over, one has to wonder what the manufacturers will do to keep our attention. Mercedes-Benz has unleashed the new S63 AMG Coupé featuring a new tightened dynamic design, increased power output, all-wheel-drive, a lighter fighting-weight and world first suspension system.
Power from the 5.5-liter V8 twin-turbo engine produces a very healthy 585 hp (436 kW), while surprisingly showing NEDC combined mileage figures of 27.9 mpg (8.4 L/100 km). Not bad considering the biturbo V8 is capable of delivering torque figures of 664 ft.lb (900 Nm), which is more than enough to pull apart most autobahn on-ramps. Like all AMG engines, the powerplant for the S63 AMG Coupé is assembled by hand at the AMG engine shop in Affalterbach, Germany.
According to Mercedes-Benz, compared to the previous CL63 AMG, the new S63 AMG Coupé is not only lighter by 65 kg (143 lb) – thanks in part to aluminum body and structural refinements, a lithium-ion battery and a carbon fiber spare-tire space – but also features an additional 41 hp and a torque increase of 74 ft.lb (100 Nm). This all translates into acceleration times of 3.9 to 4.3 seconds (depending on model) for 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) and an electronically-monitored top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
On the scales, the 2,070 kg (4,564 lb) S63 AMG Coupé provides ample evidence that it’s definitely no lightweight, and means the big two-door would require a 2.5 Lotus Elise S to balance out a proper round of automotive teeter-totter. In order to keep the weighty Coupé in check Mercedes has outfitted the car with its signature 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
Delivering a 33/67 front-to-rear torque split the AWD system retains a rear bias to help maintain rear drive performance qualities while sharing power to the front wheels to assist in dealing with unruly weather conditions. Managing power to the wheels is handled through an AMG 7-speed gearbox. Drivers can choose from efficient, sport or manual modes. Each mode offers up different shift points, tighter suspension and enhanced fuel delivery. The S63 AMG Coupé also features "active baffles" in the exhaust, a little auditory gimmick that changes the aural outcry of the V8 when pushed towards the upper rev range.
Aside from the big power figures and restyled body, the new coupe also features a production car world first. Dubbed "Magic Body Control" by Mercedes, the S63 AMG features a curve tilting function. According to the German manufacturer, the new control system, available at speeds from 30 – 180 km/h (19-112 mph), is designed not to increase cornering speeds, but by leaning the car into corners, reduce the amount of lateral forces passengers experience., and so improve the car's handling abilities.
In addition to the new control system, Mercedes-Benz has also incorporated Active Body Control (ABC) and a system called Road Surface Scan (RSS) into the car’s suspension geometry. RSS technology constantly scans surface undulations that, when partnered with the Magic Body Control system, adjusts the car’s suspension accordingly to fit the respective driving mode. The proprietary suspension system detects the curvature of the road ahead up to 15 meters (50 ft) through a dual camera located behind the windshield and a lateral acceleration sensor.
The ABC system, another bit of high-tech suspension innovation, uses active hydraulic cylinders that individually adjust the force in each strut. According to Mercedes, "Depending on the cornering scenario, the curve tilting function shifts the base point of each individual strut, that in turn allows the vehicle to incline automatically and continuously in fractions of a second and to angles of up to 2.5 degrees in curves – depending on the road angle and vehicle speed."
Stylistically, the new AMG Coupé has significantly changed for the better, compared to the previous iteration. Its proportions are similar to a BMW 4-series, but in comparison to the outgoing CL63 AMG Coupé, the new two-door features a faster, more elongated cabin, a lower roofline, highly-sculpted profile treatments, a cleaner nose and grille, tighter rear, and a generally more cohesive overall aesthetic finish than its predecessor.
Inside are the usual Mercedes’ luxurious amenities and details, but for the S63 Coupé there are newly-designed AMG sport seats, a custom 3-spoke AMG steering wheel, a high-resolution TFT color display, Nappa leathers and a copious amount of AMG-branded elements.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupé will be officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show next month. The car will go on sale in Q3 of 2014 as a 2015 model with an expected price point somewhere north of US$175,000.