The clean, straightforward design of the Mercedes S63 Amg Specs is let down only by the turbo model’s excessive add-ons.
Let the Measuring Contest Begin
The S65’s station at the head of the S-class family has been safe for years, and not even a conspicuous lack of major changes for the 2018 model year threatens that. Every other S-class this year is updated with new six- and eight-cylinder engines, a new nine-speed automatic transmission, improved driver-assistance systems, and slightly massaged headlights, taillights, and bumpers. Only the safety tech and cosmetic changes trickle up to the S65.
Helping the sedan evade mechanical enhancement is its defining feature, a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 engine that remains too torquey for the carmaker’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and its newer transmissions. In AMG guise, the twelve belts out a mighty 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque, which apparently can be handled only by good old-fashioned rear-wheel drive and an aging seven-speed automatic transmission.
Thus, the S65’s power paradoxically contributes to it being a little less quick in our acceleration tests relative to the less potent S63 sedan. Doing without the V-8 model’s all-wheel-drive traction and launch-control system, the S65 trails the S63 to 60 mph by 0.7 second and by a similar margin to every 10-mph increment beyond that. Still, sending 5053 pounds of metal, leather, and ego to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds with only two driven wheels is impressive, like watching an engorged platypus complete an American Ninja Warrior course.
There’s something appealingly hedonistic in the notion that you pay more for an S-class that’s slower than the S63. Or one can focus on the delightfully aristocratic way in which the S65 takes a beat to lean back on its hind tires, turbos spooling up, before it draws you back in your seat against a tide of inexorable, locomotive-like thrust. The high-strung S63 slams forward violently when accelerating with haste, although once underway the two AMGs are equally quick, with each posting identical 30-to-50-mph and 50-to-70-mph passing times (2.5 and 3.1 seconds, respectively).
The best value in Mercedes S63 Amg Specs is a base model with manual gearbox, but it’s still decently priced after adding fancy audio, leather, and a moonroof.