While 515 horsepower and 465 lb-feet of torque are indeed impressive, they are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the performance features to be found in this Mercedes-Benz 4 door sedan.
Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a butter-smooth, driver-adaptive 7 speed automatic transmission. Mercedes has long been recognized as the premier manufacturer of automatic tranmissions, and this 7 speed is worthy of handling the gobs of torque thrown at it by the specially massaged AMG engine.
With 3 different settings, Sport, Comfort and M, the driver can choose how quickly and aggressively the transmission shifts. The M setting shifts 50 percent faster than the Comfort setting, which is designed to provide a gentle ride with minimal electronic input.
An active, computer controlled and stiffened suspension combined with sticky tires translate into greater road feel and control through twisting corners. When it comes time to stop this 2 ton beast, enormous disc brakes are more than up to the task.
The innovations made to the S63 AMG are not limited to the performance spectrum. Extensive windtunnel testing has allowed Mercedes to engineer an aerodynamics package that actually works to keep windows and lights clean while driving, which is one of the more unique passive-safety systems available in a modern road car.
Add to this an infra-red camera which allows the driver a better view of the road at night, electronic stability control, and a veritable nest of airbags and you have a rocketship whose safety more than keeps up with its performance.
As with any car bearing the 3 pointed star, the S63 AMG doesn’t skimp when it comes to luxury. Heated and ventilated leather seats have a massage feature to loosen up those tensions on the drive home from the office.
The gorgeous-sounding Harmon Kardon sound system plays MP3s and is fully voice controllable, along with the integrated phone and navigation system.
With over 130 hp more than the Mercedes-Benz S550 on which this AMG car is based, the $127,000 price seems like a steal if you do all of your thinking with your right foot.
However, at $42,000 more than the S550, you really have to ask yourself if you need a luxury sedan that thinks it’s a sports car – because with that price difference, you could easily buy both an S550, (no slouch in the performance / luxury department itself) and, say a Mazda Miata or a Ford Mustang.
But maybe there is something to be said for killing 2 birds with one stone. If that’s the case, then the Mercedes-Benz S63 is the perfect slingshot.