The latest edition in Mercedes-Benz’ effort to consolidate its product line is the high-performance version of the company’s new full-size sport-luxury coupe. Previously branded the CL-Class, now the car is labeled an S-Class coupe, as it was originally, before it became the CL.
For the U.S. market, 4Matic all-wheel drive will be standard equipment on the S63 AMG Coupe, helping channel the 577 hp (430 kW) and 664 lb·ft (900 N·m) from the twin-turbo 5.5-L V8 engine, driving through the seven-speed automatic transmission. To preserve the expected rear-drive experience, the Coupe’s 4Matic system splits power 33% front, 67% rear.
The engine’s power numbers represent increases of 41 hp (55 hp) and 74 lb·ft (100 N·m) compared to the outgoing CL63. It is enough to accelerate the car from rest to 60 mph (97 km/h) in just 3.9 s and to an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h). The other half of this performance story is the car’s weight reduction to go with the power increase.
The 4400-lb (1996-kg) S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe has 140 lb (64 kg) less mass than a similarly configured CL, thanks to a lightweight lithium-ion battery, forged aluminum wheels, and an available composite ceramic brake system that is 20% lighter than iron brake rotors.
The S63 AMG carries over the S-Class Coupe’s sinuous lines, but adds performance cues such as the front splitter for reducing aerodynamic lift on the front axle at speed. It is balanced by a rear diffuser that helps stick the car’s back end to the road.
The transmission offers three driving modes, “C” for controlled efficiency, “S” for sport, and “M” for manual. Program settings determine the shift schedule and also interact with the automatic stop/start function.
The settings similarly control the muffler, so “C” keeps the muffler bypass valves closed most of the time, while in “S” and “M” modes the valves open sooner and more spontaneously, delivering the driver the sound of the V8 engine at work.
The car is scheduled to reach U.S. customers in the fall of 2014.