2024 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance: Power Galore

Strong points
  • Stupefying performance for a full-size luxury sedan
  • Great handling
  • Regal comfort
Weak points
  • Heavy weight
  • Likely to cost a fortune
  • Expensive options
Full report

Malibu, California—Blessed with a plug-in hybrid system that delivers up to 791 horsepower and 1,055 lb-ft. of torque, split between all four wheels, the new 2024 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance accelerates from 0-100 km/h in as little as 3.3 seconds, making it as quick as some of the best EVs on the planet.

The goal with PHEV tech is usually to improve fuel economy, but that’s not really how things work at AMG. Electric means performance, and here we have the most powerful S-Class sedan to ever hit the road.

The familiar and still hand-built twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, which alone generates 603 horsepower, is mated to a rear-mounted electric motor and 13.1kWh lithium-ion battery. Said battery has more than double the capacity of the one in the similarly motivated Mercedes-AMG GT S 63 E Performance (6.1 kWh). Why? Because engineers took advantage of the extra space afforded by the S 580e to accommodate the larger HPB150 pack.

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

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. Incidentally, by activating Battery Hold mode, drivers can preserve energy stored in the battery for later use.

Phenomenal Power

The twin-turbo V8 is the centrepiece of the P3 hybrid drive unit, with the two turbochargers mounted within the “V” of the cylinders in order to shorten the exhaust flow and therefore reduce turbo lag. Power is handled by a nine-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission featuring a lighter clutch design than traditional torque converters, thereby allowing faster upshifts and downshifts. The S 63 E Performance will shoot out of a corner and onto the next with stupefying force.

Like any AMG model, this one offers multiple drive modes. You can switch between them almost instantaneously by rotating the dial below the right-hand-side steering wheel spoke. In Comfort mode, driving feels smooth and relaxed, but as soon as you call up Sport or Sport+ mode, the S 63 E Performance becomes a beast with sharp reflexes. Talk about getting two cars for the price of one.

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

Surprising Agility

The automaker took us out on the winding roads near Malibu and you know what? The S 63 E Performance proved surprisingly nimble despite measuring over 5 metres long and weighing more than 2,600 kilos. Much of the credit goes to the four-wheel steering system, which can turn the rear wheels up 2.5 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels at lower speeds, maximizing agility.

That and the 48V active roll stabilization system that reduces body roll in corners (and disengages to enhance comfort on straightaways). Both technologies are included as standard on the S 63 E Performance.

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

AMG Styling

Mercedes’ big, three-pointed star on the grille is complemented by the AMG logo on the edge of the hood. The grille, in typical AMG fashion, boasts vertical louvres, while the air intakes on the lower bumper are larger to increase cooling efficiency. The rear diffuser and tailpipes also carry the AMG signature.

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

Inside, look for an AMG-specific steering wheel and sport seats, while the MBUX infotainment system includes various AMG- and hybrid-specific displays and functions. Signature S-Class comfort is delivered by the heated and ventilated front seats with massage and gorgeous leather upholstery. Rear passengers enjoy a great time, as well, especially the one sitting on the right side where a leg rest is available (the front passenger seat must be pushed all the way forward and then becomes useless).

Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

During this trip to California, we learned that the 2024 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance will go on sale in Canada sometime in the first quarter of next year, but pricing details have yet to be announced. It’s likely to cost more than the Mercedes-AMG GT S 63 E Performance, which starts at $205,000.

Watch: 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE 4MATIC+ Review

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