The new Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+ and S 65On December 31, 2019 by PeterH
Update for the performance luxury saloon
Affalterbach. New engine, new transmission, new all-wheel drive, new exterior and interior design: On the S 63 4MATIC+ (fuel consumption combined: 8.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 203 g/km), Mercedes-AMG has dramatically honed the driving dynamics and looks further.
For improved performance with significantly reduced fuel consumption, the AMG 4.0-litre V-8 Biturbo engine with cylinder deactivation replaces the previous 5.5-litre V-8 Biturbo.
Despite the smaller displacement, the new engine puts out 450 kW (612 hp) and thus exactly 20 kW (27 hp) more than the preceding model. With a sprint time of 3.5 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, the performance luxury saloon is on par with full-blooded sports cars.
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9speed sports transmission replaces the previous 7-speed gearbox. This has enabled more agile response times to be achieved. The fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system provides optimal traction.
At the same time as the S 63 4MATIC+, the top-of-the-range model S 65 (fuel consumption combined: 11.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 279 g/km) receives a visual update that underscores the superiority of the high-end
Its 6.0-litre V-12 Biturbo engine retains its output of 463 kW (630 hp) and peak torque of 1000 Newton metres. Thanks to the highest stage of development of the V-8 and V-12 biturbo engine, both new models deliver more output and torque than the competitors.
New MULTIBEAM LED headlamps and the updated front apron with jet wing underscore the more expressive appearance of both S-Class models.
At the rear, the new apron and modified tailpipe trim add distinctive design focuses.
“Impressive power, torque and performance on the road, as well as the expressive design distinguish the new Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+ and the new S 65.
With the S 63, we additionally took a major development step that supports our leadership claim in the areas of driving dynamics, performance, traction, equipment and demonstrative comfort.
The S 65 with its high-torque 6.0-litre V-12 Biturbo engine remains the spearhead of the S-Class models“, says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Managing Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Technical data at a glance
Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+
long wheelbase Mercedes-AMG S 65
Engine 4.0-litre V-8 with direct injection, biturbo forced induction and cylinder deactivation 6.0-litre V-12 with port injection and biturbo forced induction
Displacement 3982 cc 5980 cc
Output 450 kW (612 hp) at
5500-6000 rpm 463 kW (630 hp) at
Peak torque 900 Nm at 2750-4500 rpm 1000 Nm at 2300-4300 rpm
Drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+ permanent all-wheel drive with variable torque split Rear-wheel drive
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT
9-speed sports transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT
8.9 l/100 km
11.9 l/100 km
Combined CO2 emissions 203 g/km 279 g/km
Efficiency class D F
Weight (DIN/EC) 1995* kg/2070** kg 2175* kg/2250** kg
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 3.5 s 4.3 s
Top speed 250 km/h*** 250 km/h***
*Kerb weight in roadworthy condition as per DIN without driver and luggage; **Kerb weight in roadworthy condition as per EC including driver (68 kg) and luggage (7 kg); *** electronically limited, with AMG Driver’s Package 300 km/h
4.0-litre V-8 biturbo engine with twin-scroll turbochargers
The AMG 4.0-litre V-8 Biturbo engine in the S 63 4MATIC+ comes exclusively in the highest performance stage to date rated at 450 kW (612 hp). The peak torque of 900 Nm also represents a new maximum. It is available across a wide rev range between 2750 and 4500 rpm, and thereby provides a sense of superior poise.
The sprint from standstill to 100 km/h takes just 3.5 seconds, faster than in any other performance luxury saloon, and the dynamic push in the back does not end before reaching the electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (with AMG Driver’s Package: 300 km/h).
The further advanced AMG 4.0-litre V-8 Biturbo engine utilises well-proven twin-turbo forced induction, with the two chargers not located outside on the cylinder banks, but rather between them in the V of the cylinders. The advantages of the “hot inner V” are a compact engine design, an immediate response from the turbochargers and low exhaust emissions thanks to optimum airflow to the close-coupled catalytic converters.
Two twin-scroll turbochargers provide even better fresh-mixture cylinder charge. The results are a higher output, more torque already at low engine speeds, and a very spontaneous throttle response.
‘AMG Cylinder Management’ cylinder deactivation system
For maximum efficiency, Mercedes-AMG equipped the V-8 engine in the S 63 4MATIC+ with the AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system.
In the partial-load range, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which significantly lowers the fuel consumption. With a combined fuel consumption of 8.9 litres and combined CO2 emissions of 203 grams per kilometre, the new S 63 4MATIC+ is among the leaders in its competitive segment.
When the driver has selected the “Comfort” transmission driving mode, the cylinder deactivation system is available in the wide engine speed range from 1000 to 3250 rpm. The AMG main menu on the instrument cluster informs the driver whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is presently operating in the partial or full-load range. The transition from four to eight-cylinder operation is immediate, fast and imperceptible, so that the passengers do not experience any loss of comfort whatsoever.
Short shift times, high efficiency: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed sports transmission
For the first time, the S 63 is fitted with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed sports transmission, which impresses with extremely short shift times, fast multiple downshifts and a rev-matching function. A wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter of the production model. This saves weight and improves the response to the driver’s accelerator pedal input, particularly during acceleration and load changes.
The extremely high torque of the S 65 is transferred by the proven AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission. It delivers convincing tailor-made dynamics and high variability. Whether automatic or initiated by the driver using the steering wheel paddle shifters, upshifts or downshifts are affected quickly and instantly. Especially in the “Sport+“ and in manual driving modes, the transmission is very fast and responsive.
AMG Performance 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel drive
The LHD version of the S 63 4MATIC+ comes as standard with the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system. This intelligent system combines the advantages of different drive concepts: The fully variable torque split between front and rear axle, another first, ensures not optimal traction. What is more: The driver is also able to rely on high handling stability and a high level of safety under all conditions, in the dry, in the wet or in snow. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa is seamless, because the intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture.
An electro-mechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque split is continuously computed according to the driving conditions and driver’s input. The performance saloon can thus be driven in a continuously variable way from traction-oriented all-wheel drive to purely rear-wheel drive. Transitions are seamless and based on a sophisticated matrix. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.
For a personalised experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes
The four AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes, “Comfort“, “Sport“, “Sport+“ and “Individual“, allow the driver to influence the characteristics of the S 63 4MATIC+ and the S 65 extensively. Each driving mode modifies key parameters such as the response of engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP®, and all-wheel drive (in the S 63 4MATIC+).
Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes, the driver has the option of pressing the “M” button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. If required, the suspension settings can be specially selected as well. The 3-stage ESP® and the exhaust flap can also be switched with a special AMG button.
“Comfort” is the well-balanced driving mode with a comfort-oriented suspension and steering set-up, as well as a consumption-oriented powertrain configuration and early upshifts – including smooth gear changes and a discreet engine sound.
Cylinder deactivation (in the S 63 4MATIC+), ECO start/stop function and sailing function (in the S 63 4MATIC+) are active: When the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 60 and 160 km/h, the clutch of the MCT transmission disengages and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics lower the engine speed to idle and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and friction forces of the engine on overrun.
The DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes “Sport“ and “Sport+“ are designed for high driving dynamics. This is provided by the agile accelerator pedal characteristics with direct set-up and the emotionally appealing gearshifts with shortened shift times and rev-matching function on downshifts. The increased idle speed in “Sport+“ furthermore makes particularly fast start-offs and even better acceleration from standstill possible.
In addition, the S 65 features the “Curve“ driving mode, active in the speed range between 15 km/h and 180 km/h. A curve-tilting function is integrated into the MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension of the S 65. As a result, the vehicle tilts to the inside of the turn by up to 2.65 degrees, similar to a motorcycle rider. This reduces the perceived lateral forces and increases the ride quality.
RACE START now even easier
The RACE START function is now also available in the S 63 4MATIC+. It now has a new and simplified operating logic: In the “Sport“ or “Sport+“ driving modes, the driver only has to press hard on the brake pedal with their left foot while fully depressing the accelerator pedal with their right foot at the same time.
The on-board electronics will then set the optimum engine speed. Depending on the requirements or the road surface conditions, the engine speed can be increased or lowered in a certain range by operating the paddle shifters. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal, the S 63 4MATIC+ storms forward with optimal traction. The saloon then completes the sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds.
Pure sound: the controllable AMG Performance exhaust system
The S 63 4MATIC+ is fitted as standard with the controllable AMG Performance exhaust system to achieve an even more emotionally appealing sound experience.
The infinitely adjustable flaps modulate the exhaust note authentically and directly. The flaps open or close dependent on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode, but can also be controlled individually with a separate button in the AMG DRIVE UNIT on the centre console.
In the “Comfort” and “Sport” modes, the low-frequency sound typical of a V-8 emphasises comfort. In “Sport+“ it is of a much more emotionally appealing nature.
Systematic lightweight design: AMG Lightweight Performance
The stringent implementation of the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy also contributes to the high driving dynamics and low fuel consumption.
The lightweight construction measures include the use of a lightweight lithium-ion starter battery, AMG forged light-alloy wheels as well as the weight-optimised AMG high-performance compound braking system. Furthermore, the entire outer skin of the S-Class including the roof and the front end of the body are made of aluminium.
Installing a spare wheel recess made of carbon fibre, a material used in Formula 1 racing, reduces the weight by a further four kilograms.
Specially developed suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics
The S 63 4MATIC+ is equipped with the AMG sports suspensions based on AIRMATIC with adaptive damping. Customers can preset the damping to the stages “Comfort“ or “Sport“ from relaxed long-distance comfort to dynamic sportiness.
Rebound and compression are set independently of each other, which optimises the adaptation to the driving status and the quality of the road.
The freely programmable mapping furthermore allows a wide spread between minimum and maximum damper forces. The difference between the comfortable and sporty suspension setting is thus more refined and is subjectively even more perceptible – depending on the particular driving situation.
Mercedes-AMG developed special front axle kinematics including a higher wheel camber, bigger stabiliser bar and more rigid subframe mount at the rear axle exclusively for the S 63 4MATIC+. These measures optimise the vehicle’s agility when employing a spirited driving style. In conjunction with the newly developed front axle and the specially tuned all-wheel-drive system, the S 63 4MATIC+ represents a new dimension in driving dynamics in its segment.
S 65: AMG sports suspension based on MAGIC BODY CONTROL with curve-tilting function
The MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension of the S 65 is focused on driving dynamics and prepares for bumps before the vehicle runs over them.
To this end, MAGIC BODY CONTROL combines the active springs of the suspension with continuously adjustable dampers and ROAD SURFACE SCAN. The system precisely scans the condition of the road ahead with the help of a stereo camera to adjust the damping of each individual wheel optimally to the upcoming bumps already ahead of time.
The standard curve-tilting function causes the body of the vehicle to tilt to the inside of a turn by up to 2.65 degrees. This significantly reduces the perceived lateral forces and enhances the driving fun in particular on secondary roads.
Depending on the driving mode, the springing behaviour can be set to comfortable or sporty to suit personal preferences and/or the curve-tilting function can be activated.
The active suspension effectively compensates body roll, squat and dive when moving off the line, in curves and during braking. The continuously adjustable dampers enable comfortable basic damping and a speed-dependent firm setting.
The ride height of the vehicle can be raised by 40 mm to increase the ground clearance. At high speeds, it is lowered by up to 15 mm and thereby reduces aerodynamic drag and increases the handling stability.
It stands out thanks to the AMG-specific rack-and-pinion ratio with its precise, highly authentic feedback. Power assist varies between the stages “Comfort“, “Sport“ and “Sport+“.
The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode or can be personalised in “Individual” mode.
At low speeds, the driver only needs to provide minimal steering input. At high speeds, he or she is able to rely on solid straight-line stability. The clearly defined steering centre and the authentic feedback likewise contribute to the optimum steering feel.
Good control and fade-resistant: the AMG high-performance compound braking system
The large high-performance compound braking system decelerates the performance saloon reliably and quickly, and is fade-resistant even under high stress.
The S 63 4MATIC+ and S 65 are fitted with compound brake rotors of size 390 x 36 mm with 6-piston aluminium fixed callipers on the front axle, and of size 360 x 24 mm with single-piston floating callipers on the rear axle.
The AMG ceramic high-performance compound braking system is optionally available. The weight savings of more than 20 percent reduce unsprung masses and increase driving dynamics, agility and ride quality.
Furthermore, the ceramic brakes are distinguished by a longer service life, higher corrosion resistance and higher thermal stability. It features brake discs of size 420 x 40 mm at the front and of size 360 x 32 mm at the rear. It can be identified visually by the “AMG Carbon Ceramic” lettering on the specially painted brake callipers.
The 3-stage ESP® offers more safety or more fun as desired:
ESP® ON: for a high level of safety by adaptation to the sporty character of the car
ESP® Sport Handling Mode: allows wider yaw angles before system intervention for a sporty driving style
ESP® OFF: system deactivated for a sporty driving style on closed circuits. During hard braking, ESP® is switched back on temporarily.
Front apron with new jet wing: the exterior design
The new S 63 4MATIC+ and the new S 65 can be identified from the front by the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps and the redesigned front apron with expressive jet wing. The large side air intakes provide an improved airflow to the cooling modules – their functional form is familiar from motorsport. The three-dimensional front splitter reduces lift at the front axle.
The door sill panelling with three-dimensional high-gloss chrome inlays lower the S-Class visually closer to the road and create even more tension in the side. Typical for the AMG S-Class models are the large forged light-alloy wheels with a diameter of 19 inches as standard on the S 63 4MATIC+, and of 20 inches as standard on the S 65.
The exclusive forged wheels of the V-12 saloon fascinate with their unusual design: each of the 16 spokes twists in a special way so that the light-catching contours radiate to the centre of the wheel hub. The effect: The wheel appears larger than its actual dimensions of 8.5 J x 20 at the front and 9.5 J x 20 at the rear. In addition, the ceramic mirror polishing ensure an exclusive look.
As standard, the forged wheels feature a high-quality, bolted and fully integrated wheel bolt cover made of forged aluminium. Its shape is reminiscent of a centre lock as seen in motorsport. The AMG logotype is incorporated into the rim as a design element. Three other forged wheels of the same size are optionally available – two design variants also painted matt black with a high-sheen rim flange.
The powerful rear end of the S 63 4MATIC+ and S 65 is formed by the updated rear apron with diffuser insert and the redesigned model-specific dual tailpipes of the AMG sport exhaust system. Additional stand-out features are the many high-gloss chrome design elements at the front, side and rear, which develop their radiant effect especially in combination with dark paint finishes.
Interior: beguiling appointments, design and quality
The stylish character of the new S-Class models from Mercedes-AMG is also evident in the interior: Both models welcome their passengers with an exclusive ambience.
The AMG power sports seats with memory function and seat heating offer the driver and front passenger more lateral support.
Nappa leather in AMG V-8 design with AMG badges in the front and rear backrests creates a luxurious atmosphere on board. Special touches include the embossed emblem on the armrest of the front centre console and the analogue clock in exclusive IWC design, which features three-dimensional, milled metal hands and genuine metal appliqués on the face.
The three-spoke Performance steering wheel features paddle shifters, a distinctly contoured rim trimmed with perforated leather in the grip area, and a metal insert with AMG logotype. It is optionally available made of black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre.
Another hallmark AMG speciality are the displays: The 31.2-centimetre TFT wide-screen colour display reproduces round dials that provide information about engine speed, vehicle speed and lots of additional data. The driver can choose from three display designs, Classic, Sport and Progressive.
In addition, the AMG menu was expanded considerably. Among other things, it can display the engine and transmission oil temperature, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, engine output and torque, boost pressure, tyre temperatures and pressures as well as the current vehicle set-up.
Numerous options from the AMG Performance Studio
Anyone looking to customise the S 63 4MATIC+ and S 65 even further, can order a host of options from the AMG Performance Studio. The exterior can be tailored to personal preferences with the Night package, attractive alternative wheels and a Carbon package.
In the interior, the black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre Performance steering wheel boosts the sporty character. Carbon or carbon/piano lacquer trim elements round off the possibilities.
All values are shown on the COMAND display, and in the Widescreen Cockpit the current times can also be read off in the instrument cluster. Based on the data, drivers are able to analyse their driving style with precision and can use the insights gained to improve their lap times.
The new performance luxury saloons celebrate their world premiere as part of the Shanghai Auto Show on 18 April 2017.
Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.