Mercedes-Benz has seriously high aspirations for the new 2015 S63 AMG coupe, proudly listing as its competitors the Aston Martin Vanquish and Rolls-Royce Wraith. Yet not only does the Mercedes S-Class coupe have the graceful design to stand up to those British counterparts, it now packs the punch to keep up with them in a straight line.
The recipe for the coupe is the same one used to create the Mercedes S63 AMG sedan we've already driven and compared against other super sedans. Beneath the hood sits AMG's twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8, sending 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The hand-built engine shoves the S63 coupe to 60 mph in a claimed 3.9 seconds and on to a limited maximum of 186 mph, figures that match those of the S63 sedan.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe receives commensurate upgrades to the rest of its mechanical components, including a special lithium-ion starting battery that cuts a tiny bit of weight from the 4400-pound car. Air suspension with Mercedes' adaptive damping system is standard, and the chassis features a larger anti-roll bar and more tire camber. The standard brakes are large AMG units, but a carbon-ceramic setup that provides even better stopping power and weighs 20 percent less is an option. Also available are lightweight 20-inch wheels that shave a few pounds of unsprung weight. The final performance enhancement is an AMG sport exhaust with flaps to keep the S63 AMG coupe quiet when in Comfort or Efficiency modes, and boisterous in Sport and Manual.
An Athlete In A SuitOther upgrades help the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe look a little more beefy in its sultry sheetmetal. A matte-silver element divides the upper front grille in half, a new fascia features enormous inlets to feed and cool the twin-turbo engine, and a matte-silver front splitter helps reduce aerodynamic lift at speed. The motif continues in the rear, with air vents in the new fascia, a gloss-black diffuser trimmed with a matte-silver accent, and AMG's signature quartet of parallelogram exhaust tips.
As for the cabin, the S63 benefits from AMG-specific powered, cooled, and heated sport Nappa-trimmed seats; a racy three-spoke steering wheel; aluminum shift paddles; and a speedometer reading to 200 mph.
Consistent with tradition for other recent models like the CLA-Class, Mercedes will reward the first buyers with an Edition 1 version that wears unique equipment. In the case of the S63 AMG coupe, that includes Magno Alanite Grey matte paint, Swarovski crystals embedded in the LED headlight housings, a red/black scheme for the leather seating, and AMG carbon-ceramic brakes as standard.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe goes on sale in the U.S. this fall after its debut at the 2014 New York auto show. Pricing hasn't been announced, but note that the outgoing 2014 CL63 AMG -- essentially this car's predecessor -- commands a cool $155,525 with destination.