As night follows day, the AMG version of a new Mercedes-Benz model now inevitably arrives a few beats later, and in that new tradition Mercedes revealed today the 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC, the high-powered version of its new S-Class sedan. Of course its faster than its predecessor, and its 577-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 engine provides more power than any of its drivers will ever need. But will they even need to drive?
As befits the top of Mercedes' passenger-car model line, the S63 AMG will come with every technical trick and gadget known to Daimler's engineering corps, from two-piece carbon ceramic brakes to a lithium-ion battery for engine starts and even a spare tire recess made of carbon fiber to save weight. (Another AMG first: Never has an automaker boasted about how it built the spare-tire holder).
With 664 lb-ft of torque twisting through a seven-speed automatic to all four wheels, the bruiser AMG can hustle to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, or one-tenth slower than the upcoming 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray. Drivers will be able to choose various suspension and transmission settings to change the S63's nature from boulevard cruiser to drag-race blunderbuss.
And yet. Much of the S-Class's technology goes toward doing things drivers handle without help today. In the best scenario, the S63 takes care of the mundane wheel chores and lets the lucky owner enjoy themselves to the fullest. In the least-best option, all of those electronic aids never fully get out of the way, pulling back on some of the pleasure a 577-hp car should carry. There will be only one way to find out which course Mercedes chose — and we'll tell you as soon as we drive it.