A German changed the BMW M5 e39 to an e60

A German changed the BMW M5 e39 to an e60

15.07.2018 0

Fearful that Mercedes-AMG’s relatively rare S63 cabriolet is becoming, dare we say it, familiar? Visually, it might be. In spite of a mild update for 2018—which brought revised bumpers, headlights, and new organic-LED taillights—it looks pretty much the same as it did upon its debut a few years ago. That’s fine, because it’s gorgeous even in old age, like the Kylie Minogue of large, powerful four-seat luxury convertibles.

And wouldn’t you know it, just as Kylie keeps putting out music, AMG is keeping its sportiest S-class caste—the 63-badged models—fresh with a new engine. Everyone say “hallo” to Mercedes-AMG’s hand-built twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, which replaces every S63 variant’s twin-turbo 5.5-liter this year and sits behind a grinning new Panamericana grille with striking vertical slats. Horsepower jumps 26 ponies to 603, the same state of tune as in the highest-output versions of the smaller E63 sedan and wagon. Peak torque remains 664 lb-ft, just as in the outgoing 5.5-liter, although it hits 500-rpm higher up the tachometer, at 2750 rpm.

 

On paper, the horsepower infusion edges the S63 further from the non-AMG, V-8–powered S-class (now called S560 and using a detuned, assembly-line-built version of the same 4.0-liter engine) and closer to the massively more expensive S65, whose 621-hp twin-turbocharged V-12 lopes into 2018 unchanged.

In reality, the S63’s switch from AMG’s old, jerky seven-speed automatic transmission (that used a multiplate wet clutch in place of a torque converter) to a new nine-speed unit (which also employs the clutch coupler) outshines its power upgrade. The new transmission’s spread of 8.92 is nearly 50 percent greater than the seven-speed’s, including a shorter first gear and a taller top gear, to the benefit of acceleration and fuel economy—if such a thing exists with 603 horses strapped to the reins.

And because the nine-speed retains its predecessor’s connection to the engine’s crankshaft, launch control is again part of the experience. To engage, hold the brake then mash the gas (in the hardest-core Sport+ driving mode), the engine revs to 3500 rpm or so, then release the brake and be prepared for the S63 to catapult forward as its four tires claw the pavement.

Facebook Comments