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Not-for-Oz Mercedes-AMG S63 makes 1430Nm

Petrol-electric powerhouse for Mercedes-AMG S63 hyper-limo, but Australia bypassed

12 Dec 2022

MERCEDES-AMG has just unveiled a new S63 hyper-limo with an eye-watering 590kW and 1430Nm from a hybrid V8 powertrain, but it is unlikely to make it to Australia.


The local Benz outfit already has the luxurious, V12-powered S680 Maybach limousine ($574,000 before on-road costs) selling strongly in the S-Class line-up here and Aussies wanting a performance-oriented S-Class are offered an all-electric option.


A spokesperson for Mercedes in Australia told GoAuto: “We also sell the all-electric AMG EQS 53 ($328,400 + ORC) which has achieved 67 sales since it launched in mid-2022, and the AMG GT 4-Door coupe ($349,900 + ORC) as additional choices for those wanting a high-performance luxury sedan.”


It is an interesting turn of events considering Australia’s status as a big AMG market, to miss out on a car with such prodigious outputs


Despite weighing in at around 2.5 tonnes, the new S63 performs like a supercar – at least in a straight line – and is claimed to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in an astonishing 3.3 seconds. 


Pay extra to derestrict the AMG S63 and it will run to a V-max of 290km/h, tantalisingly close to joining the 300km/h club. In a limousine!


If it was to make it Down Under, the AMG S63 would be up against two direct petrol-electric all-wheel drive hybrids in form of Porsche’s Panamera E Hybrid 4.0L Turbo S sedan at $433,500 + ORC and Audi’s S8 4.0 at $273,400 + ORC (albeit the latter is a mild hybrid).


A number of all-electric or petrol models could also be viewed as competitors. 


Not long ago, a car with 375kW (500hp) was considered to be high-powered but the arms race has intensified of late with the advent of electrification, with Mercedes-AMG right in the thick of it.


It is feasible to compare the big AMG S63 sedan’s prodigious grunt with a prime mover that has to haul 50 tonnes on a B-Double trailer with around 450kW and 2200Nm.


This is the latest Benz to get hybrid petrol-electric power and follows a similar formula as the smaller AMG C63 in using a turbocharged petrol engine up front combined with a two-speed electric boost motor assisting on the rear axle driving through a nine speed multi-clutch transmission.


But the AMG S63 does not go by half measures as it features a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 up front that is twice the size of the potent C63’s four cylinder.


AMG has been producing performance S-Class variants for decades, ratcheting up performance along the way – but the S63 E-Performance model just unveiled takes all that to the next level.


Technology derived from F1 race cars is used in the power-dense battery with four-mode regenerative braking that features a new ‘expansion stage’ of AMG’s high-performance battery (HPB).


AMG’s new HPB 150 is based on the high-performance and directly cooled battery cells of the earlier HPB 80. Energy content increases from 6.1kWh in the HPB 80 to 13.1 kWh in the HPB 150, giving the S63 an all-electric range of 33km.


But AMG says the powertrain’s focus is less on electric range and more on performance, as underlined by the car’s acceleration and top speed capability.


Besides outright speed, AMG which bestows the S63 with seven driving modes and sophisticated technology to control dynamics such as AMG Ride Control + suspension, AMG Active Ride Control roll stabilisation and rear-axle steering as standard to ensure the car covers off a wide spread of driving dynamics and comfort. 


In the looks department, the AMG S63 gains for the first time, the AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvres and a large central star, with the previous Mercedes star on the bonnet replaced by the AMG emblem in silver chrome/black.


The front apron is in a stylised jet-wing design with large side air inlets and functional air curtains, while from the side view, AMG forged wheels – available in sizes up to 21 inches – and the AMG-specific side sill panels stand out. 


At the rear, there are characteristic design features of the other ‘63’ models such as the trapezoidal, fluted twin tailpipes and wide diffuser with longitudinal fins and diffuser board.


The interior combines S-Class plush with AMG-specific features such as a sports steering wheel and special AMG Nappa upholstery with distinctive stitching and embossed AMG emblems in the front head restraints.


Rear-seat passengers travel in what AMG describes as “First Class” comfort with multi-contour fully adjustable seats. 


Other interior features in the AMG S63 include a dedicated version of the MBUX infotainment system and high-end Dolby Atmos audio along with the expected suite of accoutrements available at this price point. 


Mercedes-AMG chair Philipp Schiemer said: "The S-Class has always had a very special meaning for us. In 1971, it made the AMG brand famous overnight with its legendary appearance in the Spa 24-hour race.


“This was undoubtedly an important foundation stone for our rise as a performance and sports car brand with global significance. With E Performance, we are now opening a new chapter: Never before has a luxury saloon so perfectly combined best-in-class performance with superior comfort and virtually silent electric driving.


“In this way, we are also opening up to highly discerning target groups who see Mercedes-AMG as the performance luxury brand of the 21st century. With the most powerful S-Class of all time we are not only going our own technical way, but also making a strong visual statement: For the first time, the S-Class Saloon also has our AMG-specific radiator grille, so the brand affiliation is closer than ever before.”

Mercedes-AMG technical general manager Jochen Hermann said: "With our unique E Performance in the AMG S63, we are also setting another technological milestone in electrification in this segment. Our exclusive high-performance battery is used in the S63 with a significantly higher capacity than previously known, which increases the electric range.


“The performance hybrid layout with a combustion engine at the front and an electric drive unit at the rear axle not only offers a superior driving experience, but also significantly increases efficiency.


“The optimised weight distribution, best possible utilisation of torque and the very responsive power delivery promise driving dynamics and driving refinement at the highest level.

“In addition to the technically sophisticated powertrain, we also pulled out all the stops with the suspension to achieve the greatest possible spread between comfort and driving dynamics. For example, the combination of air suspension, rear-axle steering and active roll stabilisation is on board for the first time in an AMG S-Class, he said."

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