2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Review: Big Bang Baby

– Zurich, Switzerland

“Two sixty-four!”

I’m grinning like a fool as I alert my co-driver of our autobahn velocity, the equivalent of 164 miles per hour. Yet as I triumphantly embrace the incredible speed of this 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63, I can’t help but notice that he’s more focused on a menu within the COMAND infotainment system. “I can’t believe I’ve been riding in the car this whole time without a massage,” he says. “You want me to turn yours on, too?”

Duh. It’s an AMG S-Class. If you’re not at the peak of relaxation while ‘bahn-burning at warp speed, you’re a goddamn amateur.

 

 

Pros

Heart of gold. Say goodbye to the 5.5-liter V8. For 2018, the S63 uses Mercedes-AMG’s biturbocharged 4.0-liter V8 – you know, the one from the AMG GT – tuned to 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. And before you go all “there’s no replacement for displacement” on me, know that this smaller engine has 26 more horsepower and doesn’t lose a smidge of torque. Hammer down, the big S63 roars to life with a proper AMG growl, and this engine pulls and pulls and pulls, delivering a wave of power with immediate response in every gear. I won’t miss that 5.5-liter V8, not one bit.

She can cook. Make no mistake, a nearly 5,000-pound S-Class doesn’t handle with the same tactility as the aforementioned AMG GT, but wow, is this thing impressive. I don’t remember any version of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, or Jaguar XJ feeling this nimble and energetic on winding mountain roads. The big Merc does a grea...