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Automotive progress takes a wonderfully insane turn with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG,
a full-size luxury sedan with 577 hp, 664 lb-ft of torque, standard all-wheel drive, and better fuel
economy than its predecessor. And the outgoing S-Class was already quick: we clocked a
4910-pound 2012 S63 AMG with the performance package accelerating from 0-60 mph in
4.3 seconds. The 2014 S63 AMG will officially debut in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show,
before launching in the U.S. in November. So just how quick with the lighter 2014 S63 AMG be?
Until we get one to test, we can tell you that Mercedes says the new S63 AMG will complete the 0-60 mph sprint in just 3.9 seconds, on to an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph. As before, the S63 AMG’s power comes from a hand-built twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8. Though the standard S63 AMG from the last-generation S-Class only made 536 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, add the performance package and horsepower jumps to 563 hp and torque to 664 lb-ft. The new 2014 model matches the outgoing car’s torque and bumps power by 14 hp. For comparison, the 2014 S-Model variants of the 2014 E63 AMG and 2014 CLS63 AMG also produce 577 hp, but “only” 590 lb-ft.
Helping put the power to the ground is a standard all-wheel-drive system. Like the 2014 E63 AMG and 2014 CLS63 AMG, all-wheel drive is now standard, likely making it easier to sell AMG models in areas that experience real winter weather. The 154-pound system sends a third of the torque to the front axle and the other 67 percent to the rear axle, and we’re guessing that along with the weight loss of up to 220 pounds help explain how this huge luxury sedan can travel quicker than so many other capable sports cars.
With the car’s aluminum construction and lighter-weight lithium-ion battery helping shave pounds, we wonder whether the 2014 S63 AMG will feel more nimble than before.
“Why you’d bother taking this big of a car into a canyon, I don’t know — there’s no such thing as a 5000-pound driver’s car and there never will be,” we wrote in a 2012 S63 AMG First Test, “but should you want to, perhaps as a scientific exercise, you can. Predictably, the steering and brakes don’t provide much feedback, but if you wanted those things, you’d be getting a C63 AMG instead…or in addition to your S63, as the case may be.”
The AMG seven-speed automatic transmission returns, with three modes: Controlled Efficiency, Sport, and Manual. Only in the comfort mode will the car’s engine stop-start go to work, while engaging Sport and Manual modes will reward drivers with faster and, Mercedes says, “more emotional” shifts.
The 2014 S63 AMG rides on an improved adaptive air suspension that’s been tweaked to handle the car and its new all-wheel-drive setup. Nineteen-inch wheels are standard, but AMG will be happy to sell you a car with 20-inch forged alloys. Mercedes will also offer two-piece carbon ceramic brakes (with 16.5-inch brake discs).
Inside, the new S-Class’ heated/cooled front seats with a hot stone massage function are standard, as is a special IWC-design analog clock, an AMG steering wheel, and aluminum shift paddles.
So the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG is more efficient, quicker, possibly more nimble, and more luxurious than the outgoing car. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we’d expect an MSRP just shy of $150,000.
We’re now entering an age of luxury cars in which the regular rear- or all-wheel-drive S550 sedan scoots to 60 mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds. There’s much more to the 2014 S63 AMG than its 3.9-second 0-60 mph time, and we can’t wait to drive it.