Read Joe DeMatio’s comments on driving the 2008 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG.
If Sirius Satellite Radio’s Area 33 dance station keeps playing the new remix of the 2000 dance hit by Fragma, “Toca’s Miracle,” I’m gonna lose my driver’s license. I first heard it last Sunday, when I was poking around the country roads southwest of Ann Arbor in a Jaguar XF supercharged. It’s the sort of fast-beat, bass-heavy, techno-jangly piece that just makes you drive like you’re on an open autobahn. The same thing happened today when I was leaving downtown Detroit in the Mercedes S63 AMG. “Toca’s Miracle” came on, I turned up the volume, and I was sailing along the freeways of love at 90 to 100 mph. Naturally, the S63 would gladly lope along at such speeds all day long, what with some 500 hp on tap from its normally aspirated, 6.2.-liter V-8 engine.
But when you turn down the volume of the S63’s superb stereo (the Mercedes Comand interface for radio station selection is absolutely brilliant), you’re left wondering what the point of this car is. I prefer the effortless torque and locomotive-like acceleration of the twin-turbo V-12 S65 AMG or simply the V-12 S600 or, quite frankly, the rational calmness of the plain-jane S550, which is really all the powertrain anybody needs in this big, heavy luxo-cruiser. The AMG V-8 engine ought to be parsed out more carefully across Mercedes-Benz’s lineup; every model doesn’t need or deserve it.