Hang on a minute, I thought the Mercedes S-Class was a refined, luxury cruiser… You’d be correct, but that was before AMG - the German marque’s in-house tuning firm - got its greasy paws on the car. It's removed the rear doors and fettled the opulent limousine so it now rockets from 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds, thanks to a twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 engine residing underneath the elongated bonnet.
So it's quick off the mark, but how fast is it compared to its competitors? The S63 AMG Coupe will clamber into the ring with the likes of the Bentley Continental GT (which is nowhere near as spacious inside) and the Aston Martin Rapide (which is far more expensive). Both of the aforementioned bruisers serve up some seriously impressive performance figures but neither can match the German offering’s pace off the line. And neither boasts the Merc's impressive arsenal of in-car technology.
Technology? Music to my ears. What can we expect to see? On top of the S-class’s array of interior trickery - which includes twin 12.3-inch TFT screens that take care of infotainment and instrument clusters, heated armrests and motorised seatbelts that greet all occupants upon entry – the S63 AMG Coupe receives performance upgrades such as AirMatic air suspension with optional corner tilt functionality and Magic Body Control.
Magic Body Control? Sounds like some kind of newfangled dance craze… It’s actually a rather clever bit of tech trickery that uses Road Surface Scan technology to detect undulations in the road surface using a stereo camera. Magic Body Control adjusts the suspension before you hit the bumps, to ensure the smoothest ride around. Corner tilt functionality works in a similar way; it senses chassis tilt through cornering and regulates the vehicle’s yaw to ensure interior occupants aren’t thrown around the cabin at high speed.
It sounds comfortable, but does that mean it isn't really a performance machine? The AMG division doesn’t mess about it when it goes to work on a car, and the S63 is no exception. It produces 40bhp more than the outgoing CL63 AMG it replaces; it can cruise at 155mph and develops enough torque to tow a small aircraft. You can also specify super-sharp carbon ceramic brakes should you wish to take the £100,000 cruiser to a local track day.
When will we see it in showrooms? UK customers can expect to be handed the keys to their shiny new ride as early as November of this year and if you’re neighbour buys one, invest in some earplugs. This beast is likely to roar.