Mercedes-Benz AMG GT63-S. The Autobahn missile from Affalterbach
So far, the most powerful thing I've ever tested. By far, not the most difficult one, however. HEEL TOE review.
For a few decades now, the tuner from Affalterbach has given us the craziest, meanest Mercedes-Benz cars ever made. Some people have even went as far as saying that these are the “German muscle cars”. Many people who have driven AMG’s creations would probably agree. A few years ago Clarkson even said “It’s a Dodge Viper built by someone who knows how to make cars!”, while blasting down “Imola” in the Mercedes SLS AMG.
Now, after finally getting my hands on one of these cars, I can say with confidence, they don’t exaggerate. For a few months now a new Mercedes-Benz dealership has made its way into my hometown, under the banner of “Silver Star”. After a week of driving mildly mannered Fords and Volvos (Check previous articles), I got a call for a very special car. The car in question was the 2019 Mercedes AMG GT63 S.
It is AMG’s (not Mercedes’s) idea of what a four-door performance coupe should be. I should clarify, that this is not a pumped up version of the CLS. It is an entirely different car, sharing a platform with the two door Mercedes AMG GT/ GTS/ GTR and so on, depending on the trim and power figure. Unlike its smaller sibling, the 4-door version can also be had with a “small” 3 liter six cylinder biturbo engine with either 367 or 435 horsepower. Regardless of which engine you choose, 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in under 5 seconds.
We had at our disposal the biggest, meanest version of the car. Under the hood there is a 4.0 liter V8 biturbo engine mated to a rapid-shifting but smooth 9-speed automatic gearbox. The 639 horsepower and 900 Nm of torque accelerate the big cruiser relentlessly from any rpm. Thanks to the adaptable all-wheel drive system 4matic+, power and torque are transformed into an almost warp speed like acceleration instead of tire smoke. The turbochargers are located in the V-shape created by the two cylinder banks, which pretty much eliminates turbo lag. Active torque vectoring makes sure adequate amount of power is sent to each wheel at a given moment. The 2 ton coupe feels solid and confident at any speeds. The 0 to 100 km/h happens in just 3.2 seconds. Delimited, the car will do nearly 320 km/h. Sadly though, it had a limiter at 250. Still, seeing how quickly the speedometer climbed there…and feeling it, felt exhilarating.
Even with the optional 21 inch wheels the ride was a nice blend of sport and comfort. Of course you have five driving modes from which you can choose. If you are in the right mood, and in the right place of course, you can switch to Sport+, giving you absolute freedom to turn your tires into a white smoke screen. Our car even had “RACE” mode which includes “DRIFT” mode as well. Sadly, they said I'll have to buy new tires if I tried it. I've never had a car with 21 inch wheels. I imagine they would be quite expensive, so I decided to listen.
Practicality is quite good as well. You have a minimum cargo space of 456 liters which is more than enough for two big suitcases. The swooping roofline does rob you of some head room, but I still found it to be a nice place to be, despite being almost 190 cm tall. Leg room is ample. You can spend a good amount of time in the back seat without feeling miserable.
Once you start driving though, you wouldn’t want to have a second look at the back seats. The dash layout is spaceship like. The two flat screens can be customized extensively to give you all the info you may desire. The center console is elegantly shaped and has everything you need in order to quickly switch through different drive modes, or to access the infotainment system.
The two tone interior further contributes to the premium feel. The brown and black leather is a good match for the “Brilliant blue metallic” exterior, which I have to say complements the design of the car and gives it a more predator like look. It looks like something Batman would drive if he travels by land frequently. Our car also benefited from the optional AMG Aero package, consisting of a bigger front splitter, additional air ducts for air channeling, and a fixed rear wing, which doesn’t look out of place like you would expect on a car like this. Our car also had the additional carbon fiber bits on the interior, including the AMG performance steering wheel and the center console, which are optional…of course! As tested our GT63 S costs just over 200 000 Euro. I don’t think anyone who buys one will be disappointed.
Today’s car manufacturers are hell bent on the idea of making every car a jack of all trades. More often than not, they fail. You cannot make a big saloon or a performance SUV feel like a supercar. It does not matter how much you increase the engine output or how much you tighten the chassis. You cannot have a genuine supercar without having a dedicated platform. A good example of that is BMW trying to beat Porsche at their own game with the M4 GTS. But as far as 4-door performance coupes go, I’d say AMG nailed their definitive formula for this type of car. Sophisticated long distance cruiser when it needs to be, and a fully blown mentalist when you want to have some fun.