2014 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe set for N.Y. debut

The plush, leather-lined four-seat S63 AMG will lock horns with the Bentley Continental GT when North American sales get underway later this year.
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Mercedes-Benz, following the unveiling of the S550 Coupe at the Geneva Motor Show, is set to take the wraps off the even more powerful S-class two-door: The 2015 S63 AMG Coupe.

It is scheduled to make its public debut at the New York Auto Show in April.

The plush, leather-lined four-seater, which will lock horns with the Bentley Continental GT when North American sales get underway later this year, features the same twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 engine from its predecessor, the CL63 AMG.

With 577 hp, the direct-injection gasoline unit kicks out 40 horsepower more than the CL63 AMG did in standard guise -- or 14 hp more than the CL63 AMG equipped with the earlier performance package option, which is no longer offered.

Torque remains the same as before, swelling to a peak of 663 lb-ft. at 2,250 pm.

Mercedes-Benz says the power reserves are channeled through a standard seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic gearbox offering three driving modes as well as a stop-start function for added fuel savings in urban driving conditions.

As with the CL63 AMG, the new S63 AMG Coupe will be produced in both standard rear-wheel drive and optional 4Matic four-wheel drive variants, although, as with the newly unveiled S550 Coupe, it will only be sold in 4Matic all-wheel drive form in the United States.

Because of more aluminum used throughout the body structure, Mercedes-Benz claims a 143-pound reduction in weight over the old CL63 AMG both for the rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive S63 AMG Coupes. Both configurations get the same curb weight figure of 4,398 pounds for a weight-to-power ratio of 7.6 lb per hp, the company says.

The common weight is possible thanks to different underpinnings; the rear-wheel drive car receives a standard AirMatic air suspension, while the all-wheel drive car receives a more conventional, and lighter, steel sprung suspension.

The rear-wheel drive S63 AMG Coupe is claimed to hit 62 mph from standstill in 4.3seconds -- a scant 0.1second faster than the CL63 AMG. But it is the four-wheel drive S63 AMG Coupe 4Matic that takes the performance honors thanks to its superior off-the-line traction, with an official time that is 0.4 second faster than the performance-packaged equipped CL63 AMG at just 3.9seconds.

Both models boast the same limited 155-mph top speed. Combined cycle fuel consumption is put at 23.2 mpg and 22.8 mpg respectively on the European test cycle.

Underpinning the S63 AMG is a reworked version of the standard S-class Coupe’s hi-tech chassis. It receives unique front axle kinematics, including greater camber and a larger diameter anti-roll bar. The rear axle receives a stiffer sub-frame member for the suspension. The adoption of standard 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with 255/45 front and 285/40 rear profile tires is said to bring a reduction in unsprung mass in comparison to the older CL63 AMG.

Together with a standard AirMatic air suspension, the rear-wheel drive S63 AMG Coupe also comes with Mercedes-Benz’s so-called Magic Body Control system. It is comprised of a number of different functions, including the road surface scanner and active body control system already available on the S63 AMG sedan.

In a first for the S63 AMG Coupe, buyers can also add the German carmaker’s new cornering tilt function, which automatically inclines the body by up to 2.5 degrees at speeds between 19 mph and 112 mph. Additional options include carbon-ceramic brakes and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with 255/40 front and 285/35 rear tires.

The S63 AMG Coupe is visually differentiated from the standard S-class Coupe by the customary set of AMG styling elements.

They include a heavily structured front bumper with sizeable air ducts for additional engine cooling performance, twin blade grille, “V8 BiTurbo” badges within the front wings, deeper rear bumper with high-gloss diffuser, twinned chromed tailpipes either side and new S63 AMG model designations below the tail lamps.

You can reach Greg Kable at autonews@crain.com.


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