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Is this the best new car money can buy?

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The wizards at AMG have weaved their magic on Mercedes-Benz’s largest coupe. The result is a grand turismo par excellence – at the same time a wieldy, genuinely rapid performance car and four-place luxurious, pampering two-door limousine. Although you’ll pay dearly for the privilege, living with a split personality has rarely been more rewarding.

The S 63 AMG Coupe successfully blends the disparate qualities and requirements of pace and grace to an extent beyond any other car I’ve experienced.

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Almost in spite of an ability to sprint 0-100km/h in 4.2sec, crack 300km/h before the limiter kicks in, and carve corners with the efficacy of a car two-thirds its size, the S 63 AMG can, when called upon, waft serenely.

front

All at once, it’s almost silent (Mercedes-Benz claims the new S-Class Coupe breaks records in terms of wind noise and sound attenuation) and yet when prodded with a stick, growls and rumbles as a proper V8 performance coupe should.

Supremely comfortable and with a commanding road presence, the S 63 AMG is a proper, fair dinkum, serious Gran Turismo. Arguably, the best on the market today, it combines effortless cross-country performance with real comfort for four.

Oh, and it’ll even fit all your suitcases.

side

The main building-block for the S 63 AMG is the core structure and systems of the all-new S-Class Coupe.

Based on the same platform as the new W222-series S-Class sedan, the coupe is around 65kg lighter, and has a shorter wheelbase. At 2945mm it is 90mm shorter than the standard-wheelbase S-Class sedan, but still a massive 200mm longer than the car with which it arguably competes most directly: Bentley’s Continental GT.

Not surprisingly, this gives the S coupe a substantial advantage over the Brit in terms of interior space. The Benz is also considerable lighter.

back-seat

Despite the fact the car is over 5.0m long, and almost 2.0m wide, the 2070kg-plus S 63 AMG performs better across a whole range of conditions than many cars a whole segment size smaller.

Indeed, overall, the only glitch we struck in the S 63 AMG was the very occasional jerky response from the autobox when moving off from a standstill, or at low speed.

Mercedes-Benz Australia (MBAu) is still to confirm specification and pricing for the new S 63 AMG Coupe – due late this year Down Under – more details should be released in September or October.

interior

The car it replaces, the CL 63 AMG, was priced at $422,445 (plus on-road costs). Thus, given the rarified air this type of car inhabits, you can expect the local S 63 AMG variant’s equipment levels to be high.

Among the pages of equipment our test car featured, I noted multi-function seats (with heating, cooling and massage functions), soft-close doors and boot lid, Burmester audio and head-up display among my favourites.

The standard 360-degree camera function was a God-send when I took a wrong turn near the Ponte Vecchio and ended up in a laneway barely wider than the S. Without it I would have kerbed one of the fancy 20-inch alloys or damaged one of the low profile ContiSportContact hoops for sure.

back

There are streaming online functions offered in the latest Comand satnav and audio system that’s standard on the S coupe. How many will make it to Oz is still to be confirmed. Those that do will be controlled via a new interface that in some ways replicates smartphones. All instrument panel and infotainment functions are displayed via the same two massive screens as the S-Class sedan.

Cabin finishes are as you’d expect – soft leathers, real metal and a choice of colours and trim materials that should satisfy even the fussiest buyer.

steering

The sometimes over-the-top styling tweaks AMG renders are somewhat toned down on the S 63. It’s clearly still a hottie, but there’s more subtlety than say in an E 63 or even the similarly priced SL AMG models. Suffice it to say, it’s a handsome beast.

There’s a strong suggestion, this generation of S-Class based two-door will arrive at a discount over the CL it replaces. Even if that is not the case, the abilities, performance and luxury amenities, coupled with the fact the biggest AMG two-door is effectively two cars in one, sees it set to be a success.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG S Coupe

Price: TBA – the car it replaces was priced at $422,445 (plus on-road costs).
Engine: 5.5-litre eight-cylinder twin-turbo petrol
Output: 430kW/900Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Fuel: 10.1L/100km (EC Combined)
CO2: 237g/km (EC Combined)
Safety Rating: TBA

A version of his article first appeared in motoring.com.au.