2020 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet review: Big power, big sky
The world is all in agitation over the new generation of luxuries and technologies that Mercedes-Benz is cramming into. And rightly so, because it sounds like a wonderful thing. However, it will take a while for those innovations to seep through the entire S line. Coupes and convertibles will take a while and their performance variants will take longer, so it will likely take a year or more before get a replacement for the majestic beast you see here.
- Clean and modern look
- Opulent interior
- Tectonic boost
I do not like
- Paying for it
- Summer will end
Okay, because this is still an amazing car. It’s the 2020 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet and what it lacks in facial recognition technology and voice assistance for the rear seats it more than makes up for with a 603 horsepower V8 and among the more opulent interior found in anything on this side. of QE2. But, you may be wondering, isn’t that all a bit too much for a two-door convertible? The answer is yes, yes it is.
Mercedes’ 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine is so commonly found in the brand’s cars, and indeed, which is easy to ignore. That would be a mistake, because here it’s delivering 603 horsepower across all four wheels, enough to drag this 4,888-pound luxury bruiser to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. It’s shockingly fast – 0.6 faster than the V12-powered S65, in fact. Claimed fuel economy is 15 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the freeway, although I only see 13.6 mpg in my… somewhat aggressive touring of mostly country roads.
Choose the coupe or convertible and you get the same performance and the same (electronically limited) top speed of 186 mph, despite the droptop flavor carrying 203 extra pounds in ballast – plus a $ 12,100 premium. That fabric top rises or falls in just 20 seconds at the touch of a button and can dance at speeds of up to 37 mph. It was a plus for me when my last trip with the S63 transformed from sunny skies to torrential downpours in the blink of an eye. I didn’t even have to linger too far below the speed limit to find a little shelter.
That big engine is paired with a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission and AMG’s 4Matic Plus all-wheel drive. This rear-wheel polarized system sends power to the front only when it’s needed. Since we’re talking about a huge amount of power, it’s actually often needed, but that redistribution is never abrupt, never really detectable.
The 15.4-inch brake discs at the front are crushed by six-piston calipers, while an optional carbon-ceramic set of 16.5-inch caps is available for those who like their rides from the top to the bottom. the bass are a little more aggressive.
Everything is controlled by a suite of safety and stability systems grouped into a series of AMG Dynamic Select driving modes. Go from Comfort to Sport and Sport Plus to Race and the car becomes progressively more aggressive. If none of these fit your needs perfectly, Individual is your ticket.
Opulence in the open
Getting behind the wheel of the S63 Cabriolet for the first time is a bit overwhelming, especially when the car has been layered into the variety of Designo elements you see here. The whole thing envelops you like a cathedral could hug a pipe organ, and once on the road you can tell the AMG exhaust has been tuned with the same precision.
The S63 is loud and raw in a way that most turbo cars aren’t, but of course the muted civilization is just a button pressed. In fact, a lot of awful things are just a button pressed, because this interior is absolutely full of stuff.
With more and more cars burying features in touchscreen submenus, this S63 proudly displays its many and varied features with discrete and delightfully tactile inputs everywhere. After a week behind the wheel I still found new ones, often marveling at their function and location. There’s a button to activate the night vision system right there on the dashboard, for example, but the headlight controls are awkwardly hidden under the dashboard. The controls for dropping the top? They are hidden inside the armrest.
Don’t get me wrong, while the placement of these buttons sometimes leaves something to be desired, I’m still a fan of tactility and appreciate the stubborn decoration of Mercedes’ physical controls. For better or for worse, much of this will go away in the next generation. Even go away? The COMAND infotainment system. It supportsis , thankfully, but overall it’s pretty clunky compared to Mercedes-Benz’s new spiciness, .
From front to rear, from the Affalterbach embossed leather armrest cover to the Dinamica headlining, the materials of the S63 are exceptional and the comfort is high. Rear seat legroom is modest, sure, but otherwise there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Even at speeds with the top down, rear passengers can have a casual conversation without screaming. This is aided by not one but two pop-up screens that eliminate buffeting and keep my baseball cap where it belonged.
However, the front is undoubtedly the best place to stay, enjoy a massage, breathe in the scent of the # 63 AMG that wafts through the vents and generally appreciate everything the Energizing Comfort system has to offer.
If all you wanted to do was spread, however, you probably wouldn’t have gone with the S63 in the first place.
The S63 Cabriolet is almost as good at being a cuddly carriage as the rest of the S-Class line, its comfort qualities are only challenged on broken asphalt thanks to the performance-oriented 20-inch wheels wrapped, 255 / 40R20 front and 285 / 35R20 rear tires. There’s a little more wind and road noise than you might find on the hardtop, but honestly you’d barely notice it without hitting the sky.
What is evident, however, is the sheer amount of power at your disposal. I have already mentioned the insane 603hp available at 5,500rpm. What I haven’t mentioned is the outrageous 664 pound-feet of torque at just 2,750 rpm. This is a tsunami of force that pushes this great machine forward. The maniacal and crackling fury of the engine makes it seem even more epochal.
The S63’s active air suspension and Dynamic Cornering Assist (which brakes the inner rear wheel when cornering) also help make it engaging. However, while some high-performance cars like the Porsche Panamera feel like they’re effortlessly breaking the laws of physics, the AMG S63 instead seems to push them astray. Maybe it’s the lack of rear steering or maybe it just comes down to suspension tuning, but that doesn’t make it a less effective tool on your favorite roads.
How much will this thrill ride cost you? Fasten your seat belt because things are about to get expensive. The 2020 Mercedes-AMG S63 starts at $ 184,495, including $ 995 destination. That puts you in place, but you’ll definitely want to tick a few more boxes before you get started. What boxes? Well, $ 2,250 for the driver assistance package is a must, and the Burmester sound system is so good that I wouldn’t hesitate at its $ 6,400 price point. I could do without the $ 2,260 night vision package equipped on my test car, and as adorable as all the Designo features are, the $ 12,700 for skin alone is a little hard to swallow. The $ 7,500 for that stunning Deep Green paint, however, is a steal.
I won’t spend too much time going over the options because this isn’t really a car where a typical buyer will sweat out such fiduciary details. Suffice it to say that the car you see here is $ 227,005 as configured, and while it is perfectly suited for such a price, it only makes aseems a bit of a bargain. For those privileged few who can manage the entry fee, the extra performance of the AMG S63 is an extraordinary package, regardless of the weather.