But it's not as if the owners of these cars will be drag racing on the way home from their Palm Springs boutiques. Betcha you'll never see a Panamera Turbo doing launch-control hole-shots at the quarter-mile track, an S63 exercising its way around a road course, or a 760Li doing burnouts behind the neighborhood high school. Numbers are but one piece of this pie - these cars are about so much more than that.
Someone who is laying out $135,000 - or about $150,000, as our test cars were equipped - for this type of vehicle wants a grand sedan that gives the feeling of being in a sports car. Titillating sounds, brutal acceleration, and the feel of quick responses are far more important than quarter-mile times and peak lateral g's. These buyers aren't willing to sacrifice any comfort for that performance, and if that's the game we're playing, it's the bad guy who wins this time. The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG is the most versatile actor in this film - it plays the most comfortable cross-continent cruiser, dresses up as the most glamorous luxury sedan, and does the best impression of a sports car, replete with a sound track to scare off even the toughest gunslingers in the West.