The 2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Efficiency Is A Hellaciously Scorching Hybrid

Mercedes’ S-Class has been a byword for excellence because the first one formally debuted with the W116 chassis means again in 1972. They’ve repeatedly been the primary automobiles available on the market to debut new and thrilling tech like adaptive cruise management (Distronic), seatbelt pre-tensioners and even anti-lock brakes, which debuted in 1978. The 2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E-Efficiency doesn’t debut something that groundbreaking, however holy hell, does it ever carry that custom of excellence ahead.

Full Disclosure: Mercedes-AMG wished me to drive the S63 E Efficiency so badly that they put me up for an evening in a swanky resort in Santa Monica and teased me with a 300SEL 6.3 that I wasn’t allowed to drive at an ostentatious Malibu mansion. The 6.3 was brown.

The S63 E-Efficiency is notable for a number of causes. First, it’s probably the most highly effective manufacturing Mercedes ever, with a whopping 791 hp and 1,055 lb-ft of torque coming from the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine and electrical motor mixed. Subsequent, it weighs as a lot as a Ford F-150 Raptor, at practically 6,000 lbs. It is also the primary plug-in hybrid S-Class, and it’s the primary S-Class to not have a stand-up hood emblem. Large adjustments are clearly afoot in Affalterbach.

The 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 engine of the S63 E Performance

Photograph: Mercedes-AMG

The S63 E Efficiency incorporates a 13.1-kWh direct-cooled battery pack which, aside from consuming up trunk house, allows you to drive the S63 on pure electrical energy for round 20 miles (based mostly on Euro estimates, EPA figures will doubtless be decrease and are available out in the direction of the tip of 2023) and at speeds as much as 87 mph. AMG claims the automobile will hit 60mph in simply 3.3 seconds and rocket as much as an electronically restricted high pace of 155 mph.

The S63 will get a ton of different AMG-specific tweaks as effectively, like a two-speed rear axle that helps to maximise each acceleration and high pace, an AMG-tuned air suspension and drive modes and a bunch of AMG-specific styling tweaks like the large Panamericana grille which does an superior job of hiding all of the ADAS sensors packed into the entrance of the automobile. The nine-speed MCT transmission can be tuned by AMG and usually works effectively.

Right here’s the factor, although. All that efficiency is de facto fairly pointless. Don’t get me mistaken, launching a automobile that huge and heavy is fairly intense, however all that weight makes these large energy and torque figures really feel “regular S63 quick” at the price of additional complexity. I like that there’s at all times energy out there for a fast overtake, however the thrilling a part of this automobile is its capability to drive on electrical energy alone.

Rear three quarter view of the 2024 Mercedes AMG S63 E Performance

Photograph: Mercedes-AMG

Why is that thrilling? Effectively, first, EVs rule. Secondly – and that is extra germane to our friends in Europe in the meanwhile – a lot of cities like London, for instance, are beginning to cost folks with huge offended combustion engines to come back into town middle. Another cities are banning inside combustion altogether. The S63 E Efficiency might be a sport changer for the well-heeled businessperson. Over right here, we’ll recognize the additional cruising vary that the hybrid system will most likely give us from the S63’s 20.1-gallon tank, and naturally, some folks will decide it over a non-AMG S-Class only for the badge.

Whereas I’m lukewarm on the ability, I’m fully floored by the chassis. The S63 can do issues {that a} automobile its measurement shouldn’t have the ability to. I believed AMG was bananas for sending me out on Malibu’s impossibly tight and slim canyon roads, however this large boat of a automobile has an agility that will disgrace some automobiles half its measurement. That is largely right down to the AMG-tuned air suspension and four-wheel steering, neither of which is revolutionary by itself, however each are executed flawlessly right here.

I additionally recognize how permissive the traction and stability management packages are, even outdoors of Sport Plus mode. It lets the automobile transfer round – even breaking rear traction – however intervenes easily and rapidly to maintain issues from getting out of hand. I think that the S63 E Efficiency can be a blast round a racetrack, regardless of that undoubtedly not being its supposed use case.

The interior of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance as seen from over the driver's shoulder

Photograph: Mercedes-AMG

Other than the zany powertrain, the remainder of the automobile is basically simply an S-Class, which suggests it’s completely spectacular. Every part seems to be and feels costly. The seats are extremely adjustable and comfy, they usually function the power to show heating and cooling on concurrently, which is dumb, however I like it. The inside is well-isolated from the street, and whereas AMG makes an attempt to pipe in some sound, it doesn’t sound good and even remotely just like the V8 that lives underneath the hood. There’s a bizarre, raspy five-cylinder be aware to it in Sport Plus, and never in a cool means, although this may increasingly get adjusted because the automobile will get nearer to occurring sale.

Additionally, being an S-Class, the S63 is packed to the gunwales with security tech. This factor has all the things you’d anticipate on a contemporary six-figure automobile, and all of it works effectively. This consists of adaptive cruise management, driver consideration monitoring, lively lane preserve help, lively lane centering, evasive steering help, brake intervention, blind spot help and the listing goes on. While you shell out for an S-Class, you anticipate the perfect, and also you received’t be let down right here.

The rear seats of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance

Photograph: Mercedes-AMG

Inside downsides are minor and few in quantity however embody Mercedes’ weird-ass-gonna-make-me-barf 3-D impact on the gauges and heads-up show, however that is simple to show off. Additionally, the hybrid pack eats into trunk house (10.8 cubic toes vs 18 cubic toes), so whereas not precisely sports-car-small, the S63 PHEV’s boot isn’t what you’d name cavernous.

Mercedes is taking part in it slightly near the chest by saying that the S63 E-Efficiency will hit the market across the finish of the yr. We’d guess that may find yourself being December. Mercedes is even cagier about pricing for its newest technological terror. A traditional S63 sans hybrid will run you round $153,000 earlier than you get to including choices. We’d be shocked if this new one doesn’t run nearer to the $170,000 mark, given the marketed efficiency and the added price to fabricate it.

So, with all that in thoughts, what’s my takeaway?

The large AMG-specific grille of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance

Photograph: Mercedes-AMG

The S63 E-Efficiency isn’t actually improved by the added energy and tech, at the least not in ways in which the US market will recognize. Certain, it’s fast as hell for one thing that weighs as a lot as a fishing trawler, and regardless of the handful of minor pre-production hiccups I skilled throughout my restricted time with the automobile, when it’s prepared for showtime it should have been ruthlessly engineered to be pretty much as good as it may be, as is Mercedes’ customized, significantly with the S-Class. The factor is, the hybrid system seems like an answer to an issue that solely exists due to rules and model picture, not a treatment to one thing that the S-Class was missing beforehand.

I completely cherished the 2024 S63 E Efficiency, however for my cash, I’d purchase an S580e and pocket the distinction. If badge, aggressive styling or bench racing bragging rights matter to you, you then’ll love the S63, and there’s nothing mistaken with that.

Side view of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance

Photograph: Mercedes-AMG