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Car reviews - Mercedes-AMG - GT 4-door Coupe - 63 S

Our Opinion

We like
Truly epic engine, natural-feeling four-wheel steering, top-notch interior, surprisingly liveable ride comfort
Room for improvement
Limited rear-seat headroom, expensive retail price, costly options and extras, no MBUX infotainment system

Peak performance, practicality and panache for the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupe

Mercedes-AMG logo5 Jul 2019

Overview

HAVE you ever wanted to your kids to take your partner and kids to the Phillip Island Gran Prix circuit, The Bend Motorsport Park or the Heathcote Park drag strip?

Look, neither have we in all honesty, but in comes Mercedes-AMG and its GT 4-door Coupe answer to the question no one really asked.

As the third standalone AMG model after the gull-winged SLS and hardcore GT two-doors, the GT 63 S 4-door Coupe sampled here takes the tried-and-true V8 engine and engaging dynamics formula of its siblings but bolts on two extra doors and second-row seating.

So, does the extra practicality (and weight) ruin an already winning formula, or to put it another way, does the extra space ruin the AMG GT’s pace? Find out here.

Drive impressions

Though there are two versions of the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe available to Australian buyers, the $249,900 53 and the $349,900 63 S (plus on-road costs), only the latter was available to test at the model’s local launch last week.

$100,000 is a pretty big step in the model walk, but headlining the differences in the two is a 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine with 320kW/520Nm in the former and a stonking 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 belting out 470kW/900Nm in the latter.

OK, to be fair, there is also the difference in specification levels, but buyers opting for the 63 S will likely be drawn to the V8 punch.

The base GT 4-door Coupe is fitted with 20-inch wheels, front sports seats, an AMG exhaust system, adaptive suspension, a limited-slip differential, a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, a nine-speed automatic transmission and Mercedes’ EQ Boost 48-volt mild-hybrid system that can provide an additional 16kW/250Nm of poke.

Meanwhile, the top-shelf 63 S adds four-wheel steering, 21-inch hoops, carbon-fibre interior trim, soft-close doors, heated front pews, an uprated nine-speed wet-clutch transmission and active engine mounts to boot.

The test cars we drove were also fitted with a few extras, including one with the Luxury Rear pack that swaps out the rear bench seats for two individual pews, which costs $5300 on the 53 and $4600 on the 63 S.

Other options available to the GT 4-door Coupe include a $10,400 25-speaker premium sound system, $17,900 carbon-ceramic brakes, a $9500 carbon-fibre exterior package and a $7300 aerodynamics bundle.

That’s nearly $50,000 worth of options right there!

Luckily, the AMG GT 4-door Coupe is kitted out enough that frugal buyers who don’t tick any options will still receive a well-rounded and stylish-looking sedan.

We especially like the blend of premium and sporty in the interior, with the 63 S’ front seats providing ample support for twisty roads and the flat-bottomed AMG steering wheel feeling nice in hand.

To lift the cabin’s ambience, instrumentation is handled by an all-digital display, which can be customised, while the infotainment system is also splayed onto a widescreen high-definition screen.

Curiously, this set-up doesn’t feature Mercedes’ latest MBUX system that is found on the entry-level A-Class and Sprinter van. It has voice activation and an artificial intelligence-powered assistant.

What’s there works well enough but paying top dollar for a cutting-edge flagship like the GT 4-door Coupe should net buyers cutting-edge technology.

The coolest feature, though? The buttons controlling settings like exhaust, suspension and engine start/stop found near the shifter and touchpad controller.

What makes them so special is that they aren’t just buttons that turn off and on lights, each control is actually a tiny colour screen that changes with each press to display exactly what setting you are in.

It’s these little attention-to-detail things that the GT 4-door Coupe gets right to really elevate the experience above its rivals.

While the front seats are a pleasant space the be in, we can’t exactly say the same for the rear seats.

The four-seat optioned GT 4-door we sat in offered ample legroom and shoulder-room, but headroom for our 185cm-tall frame was severely lacking.

What’s worse was sitting in the back of an example with an optioned sunroof, which ate away even more at headroom and left us with a bent neck just to fit in the rear.

Clearly the second-row of the GT 4-door Coupe is designed for children or teenagers who have yet to hit their growth spurt.

The liftback design is also handy when loading long objects such as golf clubs or IKEA flatpacks, and can accommodate 456 litres with the rear seats in place, or up to 1324L when the second row is stowed.

But now it’s finally time to talk about the piece de resistance of the 63 S, its genuinely epic engine.

To put its outputs into perspective, the 470kW/900Nm GT63 S 4-door Coupe is the most powerful Benz available in Australia, outmuscling the likes of the 430kW GT R coupe and 450kW S63 L limo, while torque is only bested by the 1000Nm Mercedes-Maybach S650.

With peak power available from 6500rpm and maximum torque on tap from 2500-4500rpm, the V8 engine in the 63 S is an absolute gem, able to deliver punch from nearly anywhere in the rev range.

Though it would have been irresponsible of us to test the official zero-to-100km/h figure of 3.6s on public roads, we can attest that one flat-footed freeway entry was quick enough to result in a clench of the fists and sphincter. Quick the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupe certainly is.

With a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in toe, shifts are seamless and lightning quick, while the 4Matic system’s grips help get power down to the blacktop.

With tyres measuring a massive 315/50 in the rear and 275/35 at the front, the 63 S certainly feels stuck to the road too, with only one instance on icy Victorian country roads where the rear end seemed to want to break away.

The rear-wheel steering in the GT 4-door Coupe is also, surprisingly, a delight.

Our experience with such systems in the past have left a bad taste in our mouths due to an artificial and hard-to-predict feel, but maybe the long 2951mm wheelbase or tuning of the GT 4-door Coupe made the four-wheel steering feel instinctive.

Tip the car into a corner and the 63 S feels like its pivoting around the driver instead of skating on ice.

The adaptive suspension system also really does a wonderful job of controlling body roll, too, however we did note that differences between the Comfort, Sport and even Sport+ settings were minimal.

However, our experience through regular Melbourne traffic and twisty country roads in all settings revealed that the ride comfort of the GT63 S4-door Coupe is actually quite liveable, at least to our 30-year old spines.

Bumps and road imperfections, while noticeable, are not back-breaking when taken at speed.

We’re not quite sure who needs this much performance with second-row seats and enough boot space for the four people’s worth of weekend luggage, but we’re certainly glad the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door exists.

Model release date: 1 July 2019

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