No one talks about personal luxury cars anymore; use of that term peaked some 40 years ago. But the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe reminds us that, even if there isn’t a modern term for the concept, there remains a distinction between the average luxury car and one so egotistically over-the-top that it exists solely to serve, appease, and pamper its driver.
Indeed, the S63 coupe is one of a few cars that exude power and opulence and status and rich excesses all while delivering a driving experience that makes you enjoy the time behind the wheel. For those who prefer to be driven, there are Bentleys and Rolls-Royces. For those who drive, the two-door S-class offers $172,450 of leather and luxury, a 3.7-second run to 60 mph, and a three-pointed star on the grille.
Although the car is new, its place in the Mercedes lineup is not. The S-class coupe replaces the old CL-class as part of a scheme to reduce the dizzying number of Mercedes nameplates before the proliferation of new models makes things completely unintelligible. The big two-door co-opts the S-class sedan’s name—which it did just ahead of a massive renaming strategy—as well as that car’s design influence, to dramatic effect. This is a private luxury lounge that just happens to be capable of moving at speeds up to 187 mph. The dashboard ripples gracefully from top to bottom and side to side with beautiful swaths of unbroken trim that stretch from door to door. Intricate perforated patterns turn the leather upholstery and aluminum speaker grilles into artwork. The seats warm and knead you into a content, doughy bag of meat at the press of a button.
The back seat offers relatively roomy accommodations, but the S-class coupe possesses the ability to make anything other than its front seats feel like a dark, dank prison. And while we can’t imagine anyone with a billion-dollar net worth suffering the indignity of clambering into the rear compartment of this two-door, that hasn’t stopped Mercedes from offering an $1100 champagne cooler that resides between the rear seats.
So rich is the luxury in the S63 AMG coupe that the performance seems like an afterthought. At 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 has just 14 horsepower on the old Performance pack–equipped CL63 AMG. More effective is the new, standard 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system, which trims time off of the low end of acceleration sprints. The S63 coupe launches with the smooth, unrelenting pull of a riptide as the four-wheel traction and 4744-pound weight mask just how quick it is. Triple-digit speeds arrive in just 8.5 seconds. The quarter-mile flashes by at 120 mph in 12 seconds flat. Both the 60-mph and quarter-mile times top those of the defunct CL63 AMG by 0.3 second and the Bentley Continental GT V-8 S by two-tenths. Continental ContiSportContact 5P tires deliver an impressive 0.96 g of roadholding and a 70-mph stopping distance of 157 feet. And when you come to your senses and remember that there’s a Ferrari at home for driving like a lunatic, you can switch on the adaptive cruise control and the steering assist that guides the car in the center of its lane.
Personal luxury is getting to choose when to enjoy your car’s performance and when the car does the commuting for you. This car proves it.
Via: Car and Driver