Mercedes-amg has up­dated the lu­di­crously fast and sump­tu­ously lux­u­ri­ous S 63. Jack Evans dis­cov­ers the tech­nol­ogy in­side this su­per sa­loon

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - JACK EVANS


Mercedes has brought a re­freshed S- Class into the market. With up­dated looks, as well as a host of new safety tech­nolo­gies, it’s an at­tempt to bring the big, ul­tra-lux­u­ri­ous sa­loon into 2017. We’ve driven the top-of-the-range, fire-breath­ing AMG S 63 model.

It’s pack­ing the same twin-tur­bocharged V8 as found in the cur­rent C63 and E63, with over 600bhp and a stag­ger­ing 900Nm of torque. Fit­ted within the S- Class, it trans­forms the car from a stan­dard sa­loon into one that can hit 60mph in un­der four sec­onds - frankly as­tound­ing for a car of this size.


There’s no deny­ing that the S- Class is a hand­some look­ing beast. All cars get new LED head­lamps, and there are var­i­ous scoops and vents added to make it look more mus­cu­lar. The S 63 re­ceives larger air in­takes at the front to in­crease air­flow to the car’s ra­di­a­tors, while there’s a large dif­fuser at the rear.

Four ex­haust pipes give some in­di­ca­tion of the car’s per­for­mance, but it’s an over­all sub­tle af­fair - though thanks to the noise the ex­haust makes, it’s un­likely that many peo­ple will miss it ap­proach­ing.

In­side, the S- Class is more lux­u­ri­ous than ever. It ben­e­fits from the widescreen dis­play that we’ve seen on the E- Class, and there’s an over­all solid feel­ing to the cabin. Those in the rear of the car are the best off - they get ex­cep­tional lev­els of leg and head­room, as well as fea­tures such as heated and vented seats.


There’s a huge amount of space to be found in­side the S 63. The seats in the front of­fer plenty of shoul­der room, and it’s an easy place to get com­fort­able. As men­tioned ear­lier, the rear of the car is more than spa­cious enough - which is good, con­sid­er­ing the S- Class’ ap­peal to those who would rather be driven than drive them­selves.

The S- Class’ boot space re­mains un­changed over the pre­vi­ous car, and sits at a re­spectable 510 litres. It’s deep and of a square shape, mean­ing it’s ideal for stor­ing suit­cases or week­end bags in. The rear seats can’t be folded flat, so un­for­tu­nately the stan­dard boot size is all po­ten­tial buy­ers have to work with, and this does limit stor­age flex­i­bil­ity some­what.


There are few com­pa­nies as ac­com­plished at chang­ing stan­dard cars into real per­for­mance ma­chines as AMG. The S 63 is no dif­fer­ent, with its en­gine, gear­box and sus­pen­sion all ex­ten­sively worked upon and tuned, chang­ing it into a car which cov­ers ground im­pres­sively quickly.

The en­gine is re­spon­sive and even light changes in throt­tle travel are greeted with changes in pace, while the nine-speed gear­box shifts crisply. The 900Nm of torque on of­fer also make it a re­lax­ing car to drive slowly, with plenty of low-down shove mak­ing for swift and sim­ple over­tak­ing.

It’s re­mark­able that a car of this size feels quite so light on its feet, and it cor­ners with an im­pres­sive lack of body roll, too. It’s worth men­tion­ing the ex­ten­sive range of new safety fea­tures that have been fit­ted to this lat­est-gen­er­a­tion S- Class. De­signed to bring a new level of au­ton­o­mous as­sis­tance to the car, it now fea­tures Ac­tive Dis­tance con­trol and Ac­tive Steer­ing As­sist, which work to­gether to sup­port the driver when trav­el­ling on mo­tor­ways. It as­sists the per­son be­hind the wheel with steer­ing and throt­tle in­puts, and even au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs the car’s speed to com­pen­sate for a bend.

Ac­tive Emer­gency Stop As­sist is now fit­ted too, and this can ap­ply the brakes should it de­tect a pedes­trian in the road, as well as as­sist­ing the driver when avoid­ing po­ten­tial haz­ards in the road. The sys­tem can also recog­nise speed limit signs and ad­just the car’s speed, should the driver choose this func­tion.


There’s no deny­ing that the S- Class is a lux­u­ri­ous car. It comes with front seats that are heated, vented and fea­ture a mas­sage func­tion too. The new 12.5-inch screen is clearer and more user friendly than be­fore, while all of the leather feels of the high­est qual­ity. On top of this, the S 63 packs blis­ter­ing per­for­mance in a car that you just wouldn’t ex­pect it from.

How­ever, prices for the S 63 are ex­pected to start at £125,690 - and that’s a huge amount of cash for a car which, in all re­spects, never set out to be the last name in per­for­mance. It’s an im­pres­sive pack­age, but one that will not be for every­one. The S- Class comes with a more stan­dard range of petrol and diesel en­gines, and it’s likely that the vast ma­jor­ity of buy­ers will opt for these.

How­ever, for those who re­ally want to stand out from the crowd as well as be able to give sports car own­ers a fright from the lights, then the S 63 is the one to go for.


The stan­dard S- Class is there for those peo­ple who would rather spend their time in the back seats rather than the one in front of the wheel. The S 63, mean­while, is an­gled closer to­wards those who like to take con­trol of the driv­ing. It’s an im­pres­sive over­all pack­age, and one that han­dles sur­pris­ingly well given the car’s over­all size. Its price is hefty, but then the sheer level of crafts­man­ship and tech­nol­ogy on board makes it al­most jus­ti­fied - al­most.

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