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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - S-Class - S 63 AMG

First look: Merc’s big daddy S 63 AMG uncovered

Gulf stream: On stats alone, the S63 AMG appears to be a supercar trapped in a limousine's body.

Mercedes-Benz pulls covers from 430kW/900Nm S63 AMG executive jet

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Mercedes-Benz logo18 Jul 2013

By MIKE COSTELLO

THE new Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG uber sedan will mix supercar pace with limousine space when it hits Australia before the year is out.

The big-boned beast from the German region of Affalterbach will launch simultaneously with the diesel-engined S350 BlueTec and the petrol V8-engined S500 in December, Mercedes’ Australian arm has confirmed.

As we know, the first three S-Class models precede the arrival of another trio of variants – the long-wheelbase S600L, and S400 short- and long-wheelbase models – due by mid-2014.

Seen today for the first time ahead of a global premiere at the Frankurt motor show in September, the new super-limo is more powerful and high-tech than the circa-$400k car it supersedes, but lighter and more efficient too.

As expected, power is drawn from a hand-made, biturbo and direct-injected Euro 6 5.5-litre V8 engine (dubbed M 157 in-house) producing 430kW of power at 5500rpm and a frankly earth-shattering 900Nm of torque as low as 2250rpm.

This is 30kW and 100Nm more than the S 63 it replaces. There is no word on a potential replacement for the current, soon-to-be-superseded 463kW/1000Nm V12 in the S 65 AMG, however.

Benz claims to have lopped up to 100kg from the previous S63 AMG, courtesy of aluminium panels, a carbon-fibre spare wheel recess, a 20kg-lighter 78Ah lithium-ion battery and lighter alloy wheels.

As such, the kerb weight now stands at 1970kg (short-wheelbase) or 1995kg (LWB). Still portly in the overall scheme, but enough – in tandem with the brutal new engine – to cut the zero to 100km sprint time of both to just 4.4 seconds. That’s Porsche 911 country.

Overseas, Mercedes will offer a snow-friendly 4MATIC all-wheel-drive version which cuts this time to just 4.0s thanks to the extra grip off the mark. But this version, which directs 67 per cent of torque to the rear wheels, won’t come to Australia – we’ll get RWD only.

Somehow, Mercedes claims the AWD weighs no more than the RWD versions.

The weight savings and slipperier, evolutionary new body design reduce fuel consumption to 10.1 litres per 100km on the NEDC combined cycle (237 grams of CO2), 0.4 litres fewer than before.

All that power is routed to the rear axle (at least on our versions it will be) via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic called SPEEDSHIFT, with sports, comfort and manual modes. Such is the torque output, comfort mode starts the car in second gear.

Under the new body is re-designed AMG sports suspension. This system features Mercedes’ new MAGIC BODY CONTROL, a world-first arrangement that detects undulations via a forward camera and adjusts the suspension in advance to cope with the situation ahead.

The electro-mechanical power steering is speed-sensitive, and can load-up with extra resistance at the press of a (Sport) button. Benz will offer optional ceramic composite brakes (a whopping 420mm in diameter up front) that are 20 per cent lighter.

If the car packs a visual aesthetic punch, it doesn’t shout about it: a trio of large front air dams, a glossy black front apron, 19-inch alloy wheels, unique badges, a black rear diffuser with silver inserts and chromed twin tailpipes complete the look.

Inside the cabin are heated, massaging and memory-enabled nappa leather seats, a chunky steering wheel with aluminium paddles, and a TFT display with racy AMG dials. AMG door sill panels, AMG floor mats, stainless steel AMG pedals, COMAND Online, ambient lighting, 10 speakers with Frontbass and metallic paint are also standard.

The satellite navigation system integrates with Google Maps to provide real-world images of a destination rather than a pixellated, blocky render, while the rear seatbelts include an integrated airbag that inflates in a crash, spreading the area over which the forces are spread and minimising injury to the wearer.

The car also replaces every single incandescent globe with a low-energy LED light – as with the regular variants.

High-end options include Burmester surround sound and 3D surround sound systems, rear-seat telephony, a ‘Chauffeur Package’, or a ‘First-Class’ rear suite, rear folding tables, massaging and heated rear seats, and Night View Assist Plus that spots errant pedestrians in the dark.

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