Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S.
Car Tested: Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ 4-Door Coupé; Road Test No. 1220; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 2.75 Crore
By combining the practicality of the E63 & the feel of the AMG GT, Mercedes has created a monstrously quick sports sedan
The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ 4-Door Coupé was recently launched in India during the 2020 Auto Expo back in February. The GT 63 S 4-Door is a car built from the ground up by Mercedes-AMG. It is Mercedes-AMG’s take on merging their sporting DNA into a package that can be daily driven. This car is quite important for Mercedes-AMG, as it is not only the first 4-door sedan built by AMG themselves, but also marks a change in direction of product placement, and overall brand placement of Mercedes-AMG.
Exteriors – The exterior is arguably the only place where a person could be unhappy with this car. The front end is typical AMG with the grille and the aggressive air intakes which are 100% real to feed the V8. The headlight design suits the car well, and this design seems to be coming with the upcoming S-Class also.
The coupé-like design matched to a stealthy yet elegant stance makes everyone around you know that this AMG means business
The side is basically Mercedes-AMG trying to make the roofline slope down as soon as it’s practically possible. The car is 5 metres long, and so the coupé-roofline does look a bit out of proportion. Considering the dimensions, they have really done the best anybody can. The coupe roofline does mean that window aperture is quite small at the rear, and headroom is limited.
The flow of the design also means that the rear looks bulkier as compared to the front. Even the Porsche Panamera, this car’s direct rival faces this design quirk. The transition between the front and the rear seems to be a tricky job for this design style.
The rear wing though sporty and manually adjustable also makes accessing and loading items into the boot a bit inconvenient
The rear itself is quite nice, with the slim lights, and the diffuser, flanked by ‘quad’ exhaust pipes. However, if we are pushing the ‘practicality’ narrative here for a moment, I find the boot opening quite high for this car. If you want to lift heavy items, it can be quite a stretch to put it in the boot, over and above the entire rear of the car, basically.
Apart from that, for a “first” attempt at a 4-door sedan, Mercedes-AMG have done a solid job. The GT 63 S version gets a larger front splitter and a larger diffuser at the rear, it also gets a manually adjustable rear wing for more downforce.
Interiors – If you happen to own many recent AMG models, you may forget which one you decided to drive today when you step inside this car. Mercedes, and Mercedes-AMG have hit a great sweet-spot when it comes to interior design and layout, and have not done much to meddle with the standard they have created here.
The dashboard and centre console though similar to other AMG models, feel extremely luxurious and high quality
Everything from the V8-like button layout, to the infotainment screens, to the ambient lighting of the interior, is standard Mercedes. There is nothing wrong with that, as I said, they have hit a sweet spot.
The steering wheel, however, debuted the drive mode selector screen back when this car was launched. This has found its way to the other models Mercedes-AMG have launched since then though.
The sloping roofline though looks sporty, robs away headroom and glass area from the rear passengers
The rear seat experience might be a little compromised thanks to the sloping roofline which eats into headroom and window opening. However, this car is as sporty as a 4-door sedan can get, so I can understand why Mercedes-AMG are okay with making this compromise, and why even the customers might be.
The rear seats themselves can be had in two configurations: a bench style, and the split seats. By going for the split seats version, you are sacrificing that pseudo-seat in the middle, but in turn, get a much more luxurious looking centre console. Considering the pricing of this car, I would pick the S-Class like rear seats which offer that much more exclusivity.
Mercedes allows endless upholstery customisations and if that’s not enough, you can also choose from 7 designer schemes
Mercedes-AMG does offer a lot of customisation to this car when it comes to the interior. This mainly pertains to the leather upholstery colours. Apart from the two standard interior trims, they also offer you with 7 designer schemes, which includes a wild red finish.
Ultimately, the interior is worth the price of this car, and even the pickiest of buyers should be happy with this elegant and pragmatic layout.
Performance – The GT 63 S is the most powerful Mercedes to have ever been made (of course the Black Series isn’t being considered here). This AMG model has the same recipe as its stablemates which is a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that belts out 639 HP and 900 Nm of torque, channelled to all wheels via a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It’s a heavy car at 2160 kgs but that doesn’t stop it from doing the 0-100 km/hr sprint in a quick 3.2 seconds, with an impressive top speed of 315 km/hr. But this 4-door AMG is more than just numbers.
Barring the AMG GT Black Series, the GT 63 S is the most powerful Mercedes car ever made
The engine is super smooth and refined, it’s very drivable too as low-end lag is very well contained. There are a slew of driving modes on offer, six to be precise (Snow, Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race) and they change the character of the car tremendously as the engine, gearbox, steering, suspension, exhaust and ESP are altered with a flick of the button. AMG’s launch control system is by far the best we have seen and it always works with a left foot on the brake and right foot on the accelerator launch, tap the right paddle to increase the revs for an even more aggressive launch.
The GT 63 S takes off the line with great aggression and the traction control works beautifully to ensure all that power is put down effortlessly (you can turn off traction control to get into rear-wheel-drive only drift mode). However, even if you don’t go hard on the gas, the thrust is stupendous with the GT 63 pulling ahead with gusto. The front bumper gets active air inlets which open when the car needs more air and closes at higher speeds to ensure better aerodynamic efficiency. Fuel efficiency is between 2-5 km/l with 4-cylinders being shut off to save fuel at lower speeds, the transition is smooth and you won’t even notice it.
Driving Dynamics – While the AMG GT 63 shares its name with Mercedes’ sports car, it’s actually not based on it, instead, the GT 63 uses the E63’s underpinnings, making it a heavier, more powerful, flamboyant and expensive alternative. Ride quality is stiff, as expected and one does have to be careful over bad roads although you can lift the nose with a touch of a button and the ride height drops back to the low position once you cross 120 km/hr (this is of course for better high-speed stability). The GT 63 remains glued to the road at all speeds and body roll is very well contained, it feels extremely surefooted.
Rear-wheel steering combined with the insanely precise & responsive steering allows the GT 63 to be pin-point accurate
The AMG GT 63 gets rear-wheel steering which steers in the same direction as the front wheels till 100 km/hr to shorten the wheelbase, giving the car more agility while it steers in the opposite direction to the front wheel post 100 km/hr to lengthen the wheelbase, thereby improving the stability of the car. The steering feedback is terrific as it offers great feel throughout, making it near pinpoint accurate. Braking performance is stupendous on the car with huge reserves of stopping power, the only gripe though is the suspension and tyre noise which is in excess inside the cabin for a car of this calibre.
Verdict – Mercedes-AMG have always been Mercedes’ hardcore sporty wing which spiced up their existing lineup for those who want more. However, in recent years, there has been a lucid intention of making this division a brand of its own. It’s still very much Mercedes, but gets more independent as each product is launched.
This model is a distinct step in that direction. As you would have seen in this article, I have used the phrase “standard Mercedes-AMG” quite often. That is exactly what the company also aims for, a standard AMG experience with the added practicality of a 4-door sedan. This in itself is a push for the status-quo of the AMG division. So, they have played it safe with the exclusive extras. We might see more additions that make this car unique, when Mercedes-AMG are comfortable with this car, not blending in with their other products.
One interesting this is that, if you go to this car’s product page, there is a lot of marketing jargon, as usual, but the performance-related specs are not written much. The specs that are listed are labelled under comfort, not performance. By contrast in the GT R’s product page, the specs are written almost as soon as it can be done. After you do a bit of scrolling, and clicking, the engine specs are written, in the variant page, but in a paragraph, not a bullet point.
It looks like Mercedes-AMG are trying to place this car less as a track weapon, despite the prowess, and the capabilities of this car. Seems like Mercedes-AMG want the less hardcore enthusiasts to also consider this car. This is a slight departure from the usual AMG, which is all about numbers, and dynamics.
If we are talking about rivals, the Porsche Panamera lineup is direct competition. Within AMG, the E63 S is another alternative. Ultimately though, at this pricing, decisions are based on one’s personal opinion, and what draws their eyes. Either way, you will certainly love what you bought with this car.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Porsche Panamera Turbo, Mercedes-AMG E63 S, BMW M5 Competition, Audi RS7
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