Mercedes-AMG has given us a first look at the new S 63 E-Performance plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – the most powerful S-Class saloon ever made.
This performance-enhanced executive saloon is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine paired with a rear-mounted electric motor, providing 802hp and 1430Nm of torque.
Mercedes-AMG engineers claim that the new S 63 can complete a 0-62mph sprint in 3.3 seconds, which is only four fractions of a second slower than the range-topping Mercedes-AMG GT S E-Performance saloon that uses the same engine.
The car’s 13kWh battery pack offers an all-electric range of 21 miles, which falls considerably short of the standard S-Class PHEV’s 65-mile range, but Mercedes-AMG admits that the electrified components of this saloon have been installed with added performance in mind, not battery range.
Top speed has been limited to 155mph, but customers who opt for the additional ‘AMG Driver’s Package’ will see this upped to 180mph.
To distinguish the S 63 from the normal S-Class, this new model features an alternative AMG-specific grille with vertical stripes in the front, as well as a redesigned lower front bumper. Twin tailpipes are installed either side of the protruding rear diffuser, and the saloon sits on large 21-inch alloy wheels.
All-wheel drive as standard, the S 63’s engine makes use of a nine-speed automatic transmission. There is a dual-speed gearbox for the electric motor on the rear axle too, that automatically shifts into the higher gear when the car reaches 87mph to improve efficiency.
The saloon comes with seven different drive modes, ranging from ‘Electric’ for quiet driving on urban errands, to ‘Sport+’ for optimum performance.
Besides the standard ‘Comfort’ configuration, other drive settings include ‘Slippery’, which reduces power output to prioritise road traction, and ‘Individual’, which allows the driver to customise the car’s suspension, steering and exhaust system. The driver can choose from four energy regeneration settings, which tops up the car’s battery when the brakes are applied.
At speeds up to 62mph, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels to produce more agile turning circles. Over 62mph, the front and rear wheels steer in the same direction to make the car more stable at high speeds.
Mercedes-AMG has also fitted chassis and suspension upgrades, and at high speed the car’s ride height also drops by a centimetre to improve cornering performance.
The interior design of the S 63 is very similar to that of the S-Class – the notable difference being the AMG-branded nappa leather upholstery. The infotainment, digital instrument cluster and head-up display tech from the standard S-Class remains, but with some sporty software additions, such as the ‘Race’ and ‘Supersport’ display styles, and the ‘AMG Track Pace’ menu that displays a range of telemetric data.
That sums up what we know about the new S 63 E-Performance so far – more details, including UK pricing, will be announced in the coming months.
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