2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance: 791 Classy Horses

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is all about refinement, luxury and supreme comfort. As the German automaker’s flagship car, it’s also traditionally the one that gets the latest and most advanced technologies.

With the all-new 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance (man, what a mouthful), the full-size sedan adds a sporty and exhilarating dimension to the package.

It all starts on the outside. For the first time, an S-Class sedan bears the AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvres and a large central star. The previous Mercedes star on the radiator has been replaced by the AMG emblem in silver chrome/black. Good move? You decide.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Carbon fibre trim is applied to the bumpers, spoiler, mirror caps and lower body. On the sides, the unique 20- or 21-inch AMG forged wheels and the AMG-specific side sill panels particularly stand out. Oh, and there are gigantic 400x38mm brake discs up front and 380x32mm discs in the rear, the former clamped by six-piston fixed callipers. Carbon-ceramic rotors are optional.

Inside, you’ll find all of the creature comforts of a standard S-Class, while the list of available features can meet the needs of even the most demanding drivers. Look for an AMG-specific steering wheel and sport seats, while the MBUX infotainment system includes various AMG- and hybrid-specific displays and functions. The carbon fibre dashboard is another unique element, though only temporarily as Mercedes-Benz says it will trickle down to other S-Class models eventually.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Phenomenal Hybrid V8 Power

Under the hood of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance is the familiar twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine. However, for this particular application it is mated to a rear-mounted electric motor and 13.1kWh battery creating a plug-in hybrid system. The exact zero-emission range figure in Canada has yet to be announced, but Mercedes puts it at 33 km based on Europe’s WLTP test cycle.

Combined output is a phenomenal 791 horsepower along with 1,055 pound-feet of torque. As a result, 0-100 km/h acceleration in the big sedan can be achieved in as little as 3.3 seconds—quicker than a whole lot of luxury sports cars. Considering that it weighs about 2,600 kilograms, we’re even more impressed by what the AMG team has accomplished.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The S 63 E Performance also features fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear axles, adaptive air suspension and electronically controlled differential. It can operate in full RWD mode or send up to 50 percent of the engine’s torque to the front wheels.

In the event of rear-wheel slip, the drive power from the combustion engine and electric motor is transferred to the front wheels as required. This is made possible by a mechanical connection of the fully variable all-wheel drive system by means of the propshaft and drive shafts of the front wheels. It also makes it possible to drive purely electrically with all-wheel drive.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

We don’t know exactly when the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance will go on sale in Canada, but it should be in the second half of 2023. Pricing will also be announced closer to launch. Since the mid-grade S 580 costs $145,000 and the top-line Maybach model carries a tag of $240,000, we expect the S 63 to start at around $200,000.

By the way, the company recently invited the media to a first test drive of the smaller 2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance. Don’t miss our review coming up on December 14.

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