S 63 AMG Coupe : the unexpected unicorn
Bulgaria - the country with most S-classes per capita. It’s been part of the Bulgarian subconsciousness and consciousness for decades. We even have songs about it. The first establishments that you see at one of Sofia’s entrances are Brabus and Mercedes-Benz. You can spot high net worth individuals, politicians, doctors, business owners and just the average person driving an S-class. Even if you have the money for a Rolls-Royce, you still buy the latest S-class. That’s how much we love it.
It does have bragging rights, though, when it comes with an AMG badge. The S 63 AMG and the S 65 AMG are the best Mercs money can buy carrying the AMG nameplate. They’re also very limited, while there’re no official numbers, in 2019 Mercedes-Benz stated they have produced only 2100-something S 63 AMG coupes in the world. This puts it in the exotic car territory, even if we add the ones produced after 2019. To put things into perspective, the S 63 AMG is 3 times more limited than the Aventador. Basically your chances of spotting an Aventador are 3 times higher than they are to spot a real S 63 AMG (not a rebadged one).
The S 63 AMG coupe is a 2-tone luxurious monster that makes 620hp. Imagine you’re sitting in a multi-million dollar yacht and you gap everyone on the highway with zero effort. That’s what this car is about. Facing a direct competition from the GT Continental and the Rolls-Royce Wraith, it stands proudly alone in a no man’s land. The GT Conti depreciates massively the second you buy it and the Wraith lacks the performance and the easy-going soul of the S 63 AMG (let’s face it: the Wraith is pretentious). BMW tried to enter the competition with the M8, but it lacks the opulence and the drama that the S 63 naturally offers. Still a good option if you end up in this no man’s land looking for the unicorn - luxury sports coupe.
Concept S-class Coupe
“The Concept S-class Coupe” was unveiled in 2013. The design was absolutely revamped compared to the CL-class. It was also the first model from the brand to incorporate the “Sensual Purity” design philosophy after the S-class - “a bipolarity of emotion and intelligence”. It stands for the most authentic driving experience in the latest high-tech environment.
The first public exhibit happened during the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014. One month later, in New York, the brand showed the S 63 AMG 4MATIC. The same year marked the start of the production of the S-class coupe.
The exterior of the S 63 AMG Coupe is still as relevant as ever. Gorgeous from every angle you look at it, it stands out not only on the road, but also in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. Like I previously stated, there's nothing like it. With its 5 meters and 20 centimetres of length, it’s a massive grand tourer. It’s a monster! A look that can never be confused with the C 63, which is shorter and slimmer and lacks the presence of the S 63. It’s an anti-social social car - intimidating and welcoming - all at once. The lack of B-pillar makes for a striking profile. The door blends into rear creating a luxurious impact.
Just like most models, it went through a facelift in 2017. The exterior remained almost intact, but saw one of the first uses of the Panamericana grille - now associated with the high-performance AMG models - with a history dating back to the 300SL. There was a major change under the hood as well - the old 5.5L V8 twin-turbo was replaced with a 4.0L V8 twin-turbo, which made it half a second quicker with a far more naughty exhaust noise. The facelift S 63 AMG most definitely has the sexiest engine braking I have experienced. It’s also loud enough to wake up your whole neighbourhood. Other cool exterior features include the 3D OLED taillights, which I honestly think are brilliant. So, even if you’re behind it (which let’s face it, you’ll be behind it), your view won’t be compromised. And if you get the Swarovski package, as you should, you’ll end up with a car with some of the most beautiful headlights and taillights in the industry. In terms of desirability, the facelift is considered to be the preferred choice and is holding its resell value very well and is currently appreciating significantly.
The interior is just the epitome of luxury. Especially if you opt out for the macchiato beige/magma grey Nappa leather, which in my opinion goes perfectly with a classic black exterior. The bright-coloured interior creates the illusion that the car is 5 meters wide as well, even though it’s “only” 2 meters wide. There’s plenty of room for everything and don’t get me started on the heated seat options and the endless massage menu - shoulder massage, lower back massage, full body stress relief massage … you just leave in a better mood and shape than you entered.
The ride is just as fancy. Obviously it being a coupe means that you drive yourself in your S 63 AMG and the entire focus is on the driver and the passenger. This doesn’t mean that there is no room in the back. Quite the opposite - the rear seats are useful with enough leg room for two adults. They also get their own climate control console. The trunk is big. It can comfortably fit large suitcases and other personal items. There is also a mini-fridge that you can buy and install with a direct reach from the rear seats. Fancy. But if you’re like me, you don’t eat and drink in cars (I believe that there is time and place for food and beverages consumption and the car isn't one. Water is allowed though.), you won’t need one.
Unfortunately, Mercedes did put a lot of electronics in it. This was also the main cons argument of Jeremy Clarkson when he tested it. I agree with him, this won’t be appreciated by the purists drivers. But like any electronics, they can be turned off. It’s still worth mentioning, even though the S 63 AMG just carries the time it was built for. Also the target for this car according to Mercedes probably likes all the assists. But in reality this car is mostly driven by young professionals who happen to be car enthusiasts and drive it like they stole it, because it can handle it.
The second cons moment comes from the brakes. The OEM Mercedes brakes don’t suit the weight and the power of this car, so my advice is to replace them asap with racing-grade brakes. I mean, the OEM brakes can take a lot, but if you drive a bit more performance-y, you just have to replace them. No other options.
Mercedes poured their know-how and heart into creating the S 63 AMG. It truly stands for what they’re capable of as a brand and in my opinion it is a masterpiece.
It is all those things a car should be, but all those things are the reason why it’s discontinued. It’s an S-class, but it’s a sports coupe. It weights 2-tones, but it’s also an AMG with 620HP. It’s luxurious and serene, but also naughty. It requires someone with the same clashing views to truly appreciate the magnificence of it. And thankfully it’s discontinued, because these people are just as rare to find as the S 63 AMG.
P.S.: This was the car that made me love driving and it will always be my first car love. It’s the car that keeps me grounded and the one that revealed new horizons. I literally learned how to drive on an S 63 AMG and this is the reason why I never understood the appeal of a small car. I still don't. Even the Mustang GT, which most people consider a big car, is 50cm shorter than this one. The big car will teach you better spatial awareness and you'll quickly learn how to park, because you have to. I bet I'm better at parking than the average small car-enthusiast.