Friday, February 3, 2023
Features The new 2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance saves the V8; adds electrification

The new 2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance saves the V8; adds electrification

  • The new S63 gets 791 horsepower and an even more impressive 1,055 lb-ft of torque

  • The full size sedan is capable of a 3,3 seconds sprint to 100 km/h (or 62 mph).

  • Unfortunately, the range in electric mode will be quite limited with less than 30 kilometers.


Malaga, Spain – The three-pointed star brand from Stuttgart may be working on the complete electrification of its lineup these days, that doesn’t stop it from pushing forward on the development of its more “traditional” vehicles. Sure, there’s not much traditional about an S-Class that’s been extensively reworked by the wizards of AMG, but hey, let’s just say the new creature from the motorsports division has more in common with the past of the brand.

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé

The new 2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance was just unveiled with flying colours in conjunction with our first drive of the new 2024 C63 S E Performance high performance sedan, a review that will soon be published in these pages.

However, even though this new offensive still benefits from a large displacement under the hood, there is a glimmer of hope aboard this new flagship. The “E Performance” label on the front fenders of the car gives away a little of what’s in store on top of the familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, which is already well known to fans of the brand.

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé

In fact, the “E Performance” points directly to the plug-in hybrid system that AMG engineers have integrated into the Stuttgart limousine, a solution that not only boosts performance, but even allows for a short drive in pure electric mode… for short city trips!

Electricity to the rescue

Even though the European continent is set to limit access to electricity in the coming months – a consequence of the war in Ukraine – the new Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ 2023 still offers to graft a dose of electrification to its twin-turbo V8 engine. The 4.0-liter block delivers on its own 603 horsepower and 664 ft-lb of torque. AMG engineers have added a second motor, an electric one this time, on the rear axle, which delivers an additional 140 kW (or 188 horsepower) and 236 ft-lb of torque.

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé

The new S63 has a total output of 791 horsepower and 1,055 lb-ft of torque (!), numbers that allow it to go from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 3.3 seconds. Of course, we’ll have to verify this fact when the car hits the road, but until then, it’s important to add that the new S63 is even faster in a straight line than the new C63 AMG, which we were able to test at the end of November in southern Spain.

To power the electric motor, a 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack has also been grafted onto the full-size sedan, storage technology that was optimized and developed by none other than the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team. The 400-volt battery consists of 1,200 cells, all of which must be individually cooled. In fact, to provide optimal power, the battery must reach an ideal temperature, which is why the coolant is needed, otherwise the life of the battery would be shortened.

The S-Class in electric mode?

The presence of this second electric motor at the rear also guarantees the S63 an all-wheel drive system, which is fully variable to better respond to multiple driving situations. It should also be noted that the S63 AMG can take advantage of four-wheel drive in all situations, even when the electric mode is engaged, with the electric motor connected to the front axle. As for the transmission, the automaker once again relies on its nine-speed automatic unit, a component that is found throughout the brand’s vehicles.

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Mercedes-Benz
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The problem is the claimed range, which is 33 km according to the WLTP calculation method. This means that we should be able to cover between 25 and 30 km (between 16 and 19 miles) at best.

In addition to all the hardware under the hood and under the body, the new S63 promises to be more dynamic in terms of driving, thanks to new active engine mounts. The latter can vary their stiffness by adapting to the current driving situation. A firm setting is optimal for a more inspired drive, while a less rigid force is beneficial for increased comfort. This is the first time the brand’s engineers have used this technology on a production model, and it’s likely not the last.

A familiar face

The German brand’s latest high-performance sedan is very much in keeping with the physical attributes of the AMG division. Fans know it’s a high-performance version, but to the uninitiated, it’s just another large luxury sedan. However, there are a few details that stand out, such as the huge Panamericana grille that has been applied to all other AMG models lately, but also the absence of the silver star on top of the hood. Indeed, the designers preferred to insert this huge badge in the center of the grill, rather than bringing the stripped grille and emblem on top of the hood.

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé

The Affalterbach badge is there, but the atmosphere is not the same as the previous S63s. The rest of the snout is also dressed in the usual arrangement with the optional package that adds several parts made of carbon fiber, but also on the mirrors, the rocker panels and even at the rear where the diffuser has trouble hiding the typical four rectangular exhaust pipes.

The car unveiled in this Spanish presentation was dressed in those beautiful 21-inch wheels but interested consumers should consider the more reasonable 20-inch wheels that come standard, if only to enjoy the added comfort. The car was also equipped with carbon-ceramic brakes, an expensive option, but to stop this 2.6-ton sedan, there’s nothing better!

The first examples of the spiciest version of the S-Class range are expected before the end of 2023 in North America with a price tag that will easily surpass the $200,000 Canadian mark, and fit right under in the US.

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Mercedes-Benz
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Mercedes-Benz

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Mercedes-Benz
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Mercedes-Benz

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Mercedes-Benz
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Mercedes-Benz

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé
2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+ Photo: Vincent Aubé

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