Mercedes S63 AMG: Take the long road home
MERCEDES S63 AMG COUPE IS PURE LUXURY ON FOUR SPORTY WHEELS
You've won Lotto; maybe you've sold an app for a few million; or more likely you've worked hard and are going to treat yourself to a luxury car.
And you want a vehicle for you to enjoy as an every day ride, not for the main family transportation.
Then one of the vehicles on your test drive list is probably Mercedes-Benz's newly launched S63 AMG Coupe - a large premium car that is built with luxury and long drives in mind.
Priced from $350,000, my model was specced up with such extras as Head Up Display, Night View Assist Plus, air balance suspension pushing the price to $360,300.
Powered by a 5.4-litre, eight-cylinder bi-turbo engine producing 430kW of power and 900Nm of torque, the coupe hits 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds.
Linked to it is an eight-speed transmission plus a sports suspension system to cope with a combination of driving conditions.
Mercedes-Benz New Zealand's general manager Ben Giffin told Driven that he expected to sell up to 20 of the S63 coupes a year.
"People come out of the Mercedes-Benz CL and into an S63 coupe," said Giffin.
What makes the S63 Coupe stand out from the rest of the S-Class line-up is its exterior styling. This isn't just a two-door car; instead focus has been paid on styling this vehicle as a premium grand tourer.
The front grille and apron get the AMG works with twin louvres that extend the bonnet and give it a more sporty appearance than a conservative sedan.
The silver chrome twin louvres also gain the "AMG" lettering. Hey, if you've got it, you may as well flaunt it.
The tyres are also courtesy of AMG with 20-inch twin spoke, while at the rear there's the AMG-specific rear apron plus twin tailpipes for double the fun.
If that isn't flash enough for you, then you can add 47 Swarovski crystals to the headlights - 17 angular gems for the daytime running lights and 30 rounded cuts for the indicators.
Now that's posh.
Inside, you can add the Mercedes Air Balance perfume circulation system plus an ioniser built into the system.
The interior is a 2 + 2 seater setup with storage between the two rear passengers, but attention is on the two front seats.
Think La-Z-Boy chairs gone posh with sliding top cushions for those with longer legs (unfortunately not me), multiple seat heating and lumbar variations, plus massaging settings. From the moment I turned on the S63, I'd set my massage setting before I picked my radio station.
You hit a button to bring up your seat on the infotainment screen, and using a carousel set up your desired seat setting.
Depending on the mood or time of day I'd opt for heated stone back massage, activating and "mobilising" massage or classic but due to a safety feature (so you don't get too relaxed) the massage feature turns off after 15 minutes.
The S63 Coupe also gets the addition of the Mercedes Magic Body Control suspension system that when engaged creates a more agile ride and softer ride on bumpy roads. It works so well that I had it on permanently when taking the S63 on a long drive.
And the Coupe comes to the fore away from the stop-start of city traffic, especially being such a heavy vehicle at 2070kg, so even with the bi-turbo engine, you don't exactly zip around chicanes.
Though if you get stuck in traffic, you could engage Stop and Go Pilot function, at which point the car will take care of the steering, brakes and accelerator in a semi-autonomous manner. And if you dial in a massage setting then you can ease away any road rage.
But power through the clogged traffic, on to the road and press the accelerator so you hear the AMG bark from the exhaust. The suspension-engine setup makes you want to continue driving, especially with the dynamic response. Soon you know why you've paid $350,000-plus for your own vehicle rather than share it with the family.