By: IOL Motoring Staff
After a not-so-long wait, the Affalterbach gentlemen have put their obligatory tyre-smoking stamp on the posh new Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Aimed at hedonists in a hurry, the new S 63 AMG inherits the latest AMG-designed, hand-assembled 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8. Outputs of 430 killer-watts at 5500rpm and 900Nm from 2250 make it the most powerful luxury sedan on the block.
The standard-wheelbase model comes with rear-wheel drive only, but buyers indulging in the long-wheelbase option can opt for all-wheel drive - and the traction gained here actually makes it quicker off the mark.
Its maker claims a 4.0 second 0-100km/h sprint for the AWD and the RWD is expected to take 4.4 seconds. Either way, back seat drivers are urged to grip their champagne glasses tightly.
Fuel consumption on the silly EU cycle amounts to between 10.1 and 10.3 l/100km, and if you ever achieve something close to this then let us know. Granted, it will certainly be more efficient than its predecessor. Engine technology aside, the widespread use of lightweight components (including a lithium ion battery) has reduced the overall weight of the car by 100kg.
Back to its more enticing aspects, the S 63 has a sports exhaust system with adjustable exhaust flaps that allow occupants to experience a more aural V8 glory when the seven-speed MCT sports gearbox is set in 'Sport' or 'Manual' modes.
Rear-wheel drive models come fitted with an AMG sports suspension that still features the 'Magic Body Control' introduced on other S-Class models. This nifty system uses a stereo camera to detect undulations in the road ahead and adjust the suspension accordingly.
The suspension can be dialled into either 'Comfort' or 'Sport' mode and the latter also reduces the assistance-level of the AMG electromechanical steering system to offer a stiffer feel and more feedback.
On the outside, the S 63 is dressed in a typically understated AMG body styling kit and garnished with 19-inch alloys that are based on systematic lightweight construction. A set of 20-inchers is available as an option, as is AMG's ceramic high-performance composite braking system.
With the first right-hand drive versions of the S 63 going on stream at the end of the year, this brutal beast should arrive in South Africa early in 2014.