Man wants coupe, woman wants sedan. They compromise and buy…a sedan. Of course this is a hugely stereotypical hypothetical, but it’s also a synopsis of the car buying process that is not without merit. Coupes are often sporty, macho amalgamations of “look at me” elements like carbon and Alcantara, while sedans are the useful, but plain ol’ vanilla offering in the treat bin. Coupes are tight, agile, quick and built to drive with a captivating copilot or set of clubs up front; sedans are big, boxy, practical conveyances with ample passenger seating and trunk space for some groceries. It can’t be both ways, usually, and compromise is never easy. Unless of course one is shopping with one of the most rebellious players in the automotive industry today: Mercedes-Benz. By way of the all-new S63 4MATIC AMG Coupe, the brand has once again chosen to toss traditional definitions by the wayside.
From all exterior angles, the S63 is everything a coupe should be: a streamlined design of beauty, with practicality seemingly an afterthought. But here’s where rules get broken—the car is absolutely enormous. A monster to position and park, it dwarfs any two-door offering from rivals BMW or Audi, commanding a physical presence more on the level of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. As the successor to the CL63—a visual stunner in its own right—this new S-option delivers an ample dose of what its predecessor lacked: room. Making the current 6 Series coupe seem pint-sized, the car boasts more overall headroom than the outgoing CL63, seating four adults in comfortable fashion. While most two-doors have your companions calling “shotgun!” this one may actually have them clamoring for chauffeured status. Good luck reaching the glove box without their help.
All this available space packs in luxury and sportiness. Lavish features include Nappa leather, a touchpad user interface and spa-level accouterments like the hot stone massage seats and an aromatherapy cabin atomizer, with an optional integrated champagne chiller. Front-seat occupants have their seatbelts delivered to them on ignition by way of an automated, telescoping arm. And with accents like the billet-trimmed pedals and other racing cues, this car is also worthy to wear AMG badging. The car’s front seats are aggressively high-bolstered leathers that one would expect to find in something much more compact. While a nearly reclined driving position is possible, those gleaming race pedals had me wanting to slide right up and grip the flat-bottomed sport steering wheel. All that’s missing is a five-point race harness.
Powered by a twin-turbo-charged aluminum block V8, a mash of the coupe’s throttle delivers acceleration to triple-digit speeds way too fast for one’s own good. A late-night sprint over the causeway proved this car was a tsunami of power that would have continued to roll if my better judgment had not eventually kicked in. Blipping the paddle-shift down to third for the exit to Ocean Parkway, the S63 continued to deliver the drive feel of something half its size. Pulling through turns and routes with agility uncharacteristic of a car its size, it was quite easy to forget I was actually piloting one of the bigger cars Mercedes currently builds—and quite hard to wrap my head around the fact it had a 0-60 time lower than a Porsche Carrera S. Nailing traditional coupe nimbleness and acceleration, I did find the “sport” drive mode a bit harsh. Drivers may want to stay in “comfort,” but rest assured that even with the suspension toned down, there is no shortage of aggressive demeanor here.
Chances are Mercedes had little concern for compromise when building the S63 AMG Coupe, but they’ve delivered a perfect example of it nonetheless. Have your cake and eat it too, and still move like hell with your comfortable companions in tow.
Engine: Twin-Turbo DOHC 32-Valve V8
0-60: 3.7 seconds
Max Speed: 187mph (limited)
Max Power: 577hp @ 5,500rpm
Max Torque: 664lb-ft @ 2,250rpm
Base Price: $161,825