Though the luxury automotive segment today is rife with some of the finest-looking and highest-grade performance vehicles ever produced, some still stand out from the others.
Among that group is the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe.
It is simply one of the most stunning vehicles on the road today, earning respect and awe from all corners, even the most-jaded of parking valets at 5-star resorts, for its good looks, luxurious interior, and array of technological features.
And that doesn’t even take into consideration the driving experience the coupe version of the legendary marque’s flagship sedan has to offer.
In every respect it is the benchmark of its class.
If you are not familiar with the S-Class Coupe, it is understandable. Mercedes is reviving the S-Class Coupe nameplate for 2015 after a nearly 20-year hiatus. It replaces the CL-Class Coupe which debuted as a 1998 model as it took over for the 1997 S-Class Coupe.
Such is the cycle of automotive life, at least the way Mercedes-Benz looks at it.
The S-Class Coupe is available in three trim levels with two of them getting AMG treatment, a delight for enthusiasts with deep pocket books. The S550 4MATIC Coupe starts at $119,900 and the S65 AMG Coupe carries the biggest price tag at $230,900.
In between comes the S63 AMG 4MATIC with a base MSRP of $160,900. It actually offers the best performance package with a 5.5-liter Bi-Turbo V8 that (according to company clockers) will zip you from zero-to 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, a tick faster than the rear-wheel-drive S65 AMG with its 6.0-liter V12 and just over a half-second quicker than the S550 4MATIC and its 4.7-liter Bi-Turbo V8.
The S63’s 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque are sent to all four wheels (67 percent to the rear under normal conditions) via an AMG-exclusive 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and the choice of Comfort, Sport or Manual mode.
Though economy is not exactly what you may have high on your list — EPA estimates are 15 miles-per-gallon of premium fuel in the city, 23 on the highway — the engine does have a standard ECO start/stop function that operates when coming to a full stop. Fortunately, it can be turned off with the push of a button on the console.
As impressive as those straight-line numbers are, the S63 AMG Coupe also delivers much more in the way of agile handling that its big brother sedan. Nimble is not a quality you would associate with the S-Class sedan, but it seems appropriate for the coupe.
Though spacious inside, the S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe handles like a much-smaller vehicle than one weighing in at a hefty 4,678 pounds (the lightest of the S-Class coupe trio). You can also push a button to adjust the AIRMATIC suspension to your liking if you prefer a firmer ride.
Speaking of inside, the car represents the epitome of luxury, comfort, and the finest workmanship in the automotive world today. The Nappa leather sport seats are both comfortable and supportive and offer an available massage function to relieve tensions on long drives. (And short ones, for that matter.)
The Mercedes-Benz COMAND system for operation of many of the technological features is standard with navigation in the S63 AMG Coupe. It’s not overly complicated to operate, and the display screen is huge, making it easy on the eyes for negotiating the route to your destination. But it does require extra steps at times to perform the simplest of functions (like changing a radio station or audio source), and it can do so much you may be trading in the car by the time you get completely familiar with all its capabilities.
Fortunately, designers put buttons to the left of the instrument panel to operate some optional functions, like the optional Night View Assist. As the name suggests, Night View Assist enhances a driver’s nighttime vision by projecting what essentially is a high-def, black-and-white image previewing what is ahead in the dark in the area in the instrument cluster between the speedometer and tachometer.
It is effective at picking up distant objects beyond headlight range in dark areas, but in a well-lit urban environment, it can be somewhat distracting and offers no real benefit there. It’s a $2,260 option that may be best left unspent unless you do a ton of rural driving. Use that toward the $2,800 Driver Assist Package (blind spot warning, lane-keeping assist, etc.) instead.
For a closeup of the S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe and more details, check out the accompanying slide show.