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Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupé (2014-2021): a lavish grand tourer for as little as £35,000

Discreet and underrated, but brilliantly fit for purpose – the S63 Coupé is a remarkable GT car for Golf GTI money

Evo rating
from £127,515
  • Effortless pace; sumptuous cabin; beautifully composed at a cruise
  • Lacks the ultimate duality of the best sporting GTs

Don't be fooled by the AMG badge: the S63 Coupé is tightly confined to its role as a grand tourer, and it’s certainly not an out-and-out sports car. If you like your GTs with real bite and purpose, there are better ways to spend £35,000. On the flip side, for a more graceful long-distance machine you’ll probably need to pay twice as much.

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For whatever reason, the S-class Coupé never managed to translate its engineering brilliance into sales success. Perhaps the allure of a Bentley or Aston Martin was too strong alongside a car that, for all intents and purposes, looks like an E-class Coupé in 110 per cent scale. That’s a shame, because its refinement, ride comfort and cabin quality are genuinely world-class, and in AMG guise the S-class Coupé feels nigh-on omnipotent; a restrained, well-mannered hot-rod that’s wonderfully cohesive in character.

At its 2014 launch, the S63 Coupé was fitted with AMG’s 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8, which has fantastic flexibility and range, making its presence known with huge torque reserves and a distant rumble without intruding on the S-class’s vacuum-like cabin isolation at a cruise. Producing 577bhp the engine makes light work of the car’s two-ton mass; the 4-litre M177 V8 in the facelifted model (2017-21) is more powerful still, with 604bhp, but both engines satisfy the S63’s brief of shrinking continents.

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The tauter, more connected AMG chassis tuning that sometimes feels incongruous in the S-class saloon feels more appropriate in the lower, shorter coupe. The S63 still laps up bumps and undulations within its suspension, but the AMG treatment gives it more vertical control and keeps the body in sync with the road, and when specified with the optional Magic Body Control system, the air suspension’s ability to contain roll is almost freakish.

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While this might encourage you to dig deeper into the S63’s abilities, its mass and power overwhelm the tyres when you stretch beyond its comfort zone. It’s much happier at a brisk, flowing pace, where it stays eerily refined and composed while cocooning you in a sculptural, highly advanced and beautifully built cabin. It’s a grand tourer in the truest sense of the term.

With the first examples being built almost ten years ago, the S63 is also startlingly good value. Early 5.5-litre cars start from just £35,000 with around 60,000 miles on the clock, while
facelifted models (as pictured) begin beyond £50,000. Equipped with a more powerful, more efficient V8 and a snappier nine-speed MCT gearbox in place of the older car’s seven-speed unit, the updated S63 is a meaningful – if expensive – upgrade.

Thankfully, given that much of its mechanical make-up can be traced to the mainstream S-class saloon, buying a used S63 Coupé isn’t as much of a shot in the dark as other more specialist GT cars can be. Both V8s are well proven and resilient, and while the earlier seven-speed auto is sometimes jerky through the ratios, this can often be solved by a software update at a Mercedes dealer. Other minor niggles include a poor window seal that can let in a whistle of wind noise at speed – the pillarless side glass is an elegant design touch, but the seals need careful adjustment to insulate the cabin and provide the cosseting experience you’d expect.

Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupé (2014) specs

EngineV8, 5461cc, twin-turbo
Power577bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque664lb ft @ 2250-3750rpm
Top speed155mph
Price new£125,595
Price todayFrom £35,000
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