The Mercedes-AMG S 63 is back and better than ever before.
The German marque’s performance sub-brand has finally brought back the high-performance saloon following a three-year absence. The commanding cruiser arrives with a subtle makeover and a hybrid-assisted powertrain that makes it the most powerful S-Class of all time.
The new model is AMG’s first take on this generation’s S-Class, which was introduced in 2020. From a design standpoint, the latest version of the four-door looks almost identical to its siblings, which is fine, because the brand’s flagship is a beauty. There are a few key tweaks, though. These include a new grille with AMG’s trademark vertical slats, a bumper with larger air intakes and a set of 21-inch wheels, all of which combine to give the car a more aggressive and sporty look.
Inside, the car is just as luxurious as any other S-Class, though its upholstery does wear the sub-brand’s logo. Unfortunately, the dashboard-spanning MBUX Hyperscreen found on the all-electric EQS isn’t available as an option, but the infotainment system does get a special AMG display theme.
The AMG S 63 E Performance’s real substantive changes—the ones that make the saloon an AMG car—are the ones you can’t see. Just as in 2019, the last time the AMG S 63 was available. you’ll find a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 under the hood. This time, though, it gets assistance from a rear-axle-mounted electrical motor connected to a 13.1-kWh battery pack (which provides up to 20 miles of all-electric range).
By itself, the combustion mill can produce up to 603 hp and 664 ft lbs of torque, but the electric motor can kick in an extra 188 hp, pushing total output to 791 horses and 1,055 ft lbs of twist. This doesn’t just make it the most powerful S-Class, but one of the most powerful Mercedes ever. Thanks to all his grunt and the AMG Driver’s Package (which comes standard on the US) you can rocket from zero-to-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 180 mph, both of which are quite impressive for a saloon. The powertrain is connected to an nine-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels.
Another model-specific mechanical feature is the AMG+ Ride Control suspension system, which includes air springs and adaptive dampers. It can lower the vehicle’s ride height by 0.4 inches at speeds of over 75 mph. There are also anti-roll bars and rear-wheel steering, while stopping power comes courtesy of a set of 15.7-inch brakes with six-piston calipers in the front and 15-inch brakes with single-piston calipers in the back. As with other AMG hybrids, there are also seven dynamic driving modes to choose from—Electric, Comfort, Battery Hold, Sport, Sport+, Slippery and Individual, which can be customized to your liking.
Interested in buying the most powerful S-Class of all time? Mercedes has yet to say anything about how much the 2023 AMG S 63 E Performance will cost, but it seems likely that it will be north of the previous generation’s $152,595 starting price. Based on how the last generation was priced, Car and Driver suggested the vehicle could start at around $170,000. We imagine we’ll find out closer to its release, which is expected to happen sometime next year.
Click here for more photos of the Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance.