- The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S is staggeringly powerful sedan that can give supercars a run for their money, yet still carry three passengers in style and handle a surprisingly large amount of cargo.
- As-tested, my 630-horsepower AMG GT 63 S came in at $US190,840 – with around $US30,000 of extras added to the base-priced $US159,000 car.
- Mercedes continues to impress me with the execution of it cars, but the AMG GT 63 S truly stands out.
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It was a bit of an awkward moment. Every year, not long after the Fourth of July, I drive at least two of my kids to a sleepaway camp. Typically, I request that car makers loan me pickup trucks and SUVs for this undertaking, although for a few years we did the drive in electric cars (a Tesla Model S was party to a multi-day adventure). Overall, it’s a great test of a vehicle’s abilities.
This year, for the first drive up of about 100 miles, I discovered that I had scheduled a very powerful Mercedes-AMG four door: the GT 63 S. After a brief pause, I decided to go for it. After all, GT-type cars – “grand touring” – are meant to travel long distances at great speed. GTs are usually two-doors, but the AMG GT 63 S is what Mercedes has been calling a “coupé,” a hardtop sedan with a fastback roofline.
Upshot? The AMG GT 63 S has a relatively cavernous hatchback cargo area to go along with its 630-horsepower, twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 engine. (For a bit of reference, the Lamborghini Huracán makes do with the same output.)
It was also a rather comfy conveyance, for a journey of some 200 miles, including highway cruising, twisty back roads, and a few traffic jams. At various points, I was able to confirm that hammering the throttle can indeed produce a 0-60 mph time of three seconds, although the top speed of almost 200 mph was obviously never threatened (I did have to temper my bliss rather frequently, however, as blowing through the legal speed limit in this rocket sled is as easy as swallowing an oyster).
Now let’s talk about the power – and there’s lots of it
The GT 63 S is a stupendously prodigious example of German high-performance engineering and design applied to the challenging of compelling 4,600 pounds of automobile to gobble up pavement and frighten the uninitiated with with growls, barks, screeches, and whelps.
At a $US159,000 base price, my tester was already champing at the bit; that 630-horsepower V8 generates 664 pound-feet or torque, which translates into a serious kick in the active multicontour seats, regardless of whether the massage option is engaged or the active bolstering feature switched on.
The relevant drive modes for enthusiasts are Sport and Sport Plus, while the Race mode is best left to the professionals. An Individual mode, as with all AMG vehicles, is worth investigating, and the controls for everything are mounted sci-fi style on a sloping console between the seats.
The nine-speed automatic has a manual mode and it pipes the power effortlessly to the GT 63 S’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. A word on 4Matic, by the way: in this execution, I couldn’t push the car hard enough on a variety of roads to fluster it. The GT 63 S quite literally rides on rails. This is perhaps the most laterally stable sports sedan I’ve ever driven.
Massive engine plus rock-solid ride and handling
As you might notice from the photo above, the AMG GT 63 S can drift and in fact has an available drift mode. But off a driftable track, I’m not sure how you’d get the car to slide, unless you had access to an airport runway.
This four-door has AMG mega-brakes and an AMG mega-steering wheel that’s half carbon-fibre, half Alcantara, an AMG limited slip-differential, an AMG suspension, AMG engine mounts, and AMG exhaust system, and a friggin’ rear spoiler – not to mention $US3,200 worth of 21-inch forged wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber at the corners and a $US4,000 “Selenite Grey Magno” matte paint job – and yet is STILL inhaled two weeks worth of camping gear (each of my boys had two duffels, a sleeping bag, and a backpack).
Who needs an SUV? I even noted reasonable fuel economy, despite the posted 15 mpg city/20 highway/17 combined (there’s a start-stop function that mitigates some of the extraneous combustion). Most of my driving was on the interstate, so we erred on the 20mpg side much of the way.
A bold interior that’s crammed with technology
Of course, with that $US160,000 base price and another $US31,000 in options, if you buy the AMG GT 63 S, you probably aren’t gonna sweat your fill-ups (involving premium fuel, of course). The extras for my test car involved everything from a multifaceted suite of driver-assist features that served up automated steering under some conditions to both an AMG “Night” package of exterior elements AND an exterior carbon-fibre package.
The interior was an AMG “Red Pepper/Black Exclusive Nappa leather” combo, and it was gorgeous, if a bit bold. The $US4,500 Burmester sound system was exquisite, and I’ve come to adore Mercedes’ dual 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment syste; in combination that fill half the dashboard.
The infotainment system itself gets the job done (and there’s Apple CarPlay to fall back on if you have issues), but it’s not the easiest to use in the industry, and the touchpad controller can be imprecise. That said, the GPS navigation was faultless, Bluetooth pairing was simple, and the only major glitch was with the voice-command setup, which seemed prone to misinterpretation at times.
The bottom line is that the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S is an extremely expensive car that, like the last few Mercs I’ve driven, actually manifests as a bargain, believe it or not. It’s just so doggone much car for the money! And it proves that the high-performance four-door has a future.
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