A monstrous machine, capable of things that are far beyond the legal limits.
This is the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-door Coupe 4MATIC, and if you’re in a track setting, it’s capable of accelerating to 200km/h faster than you can say the entire name. It’s also by far the most popular four-door to grace our stable this year if we’re measuring by the amount of attention it got on the streets. Despite its name that suggests that it’s a more practical variant of the GT Coupé, it’s easier to think of the GT 63 S as a more powerful and sexier successor to the previous CLS 63. This is also the most powerful vehicle Mercedes-Benz currently makes.
The GT 63 S’ name would have you believe that it shares its platform with the AMG GT (reviewed here), but in fact the sleek four-door is based on the E-Class, which also shares its architecture with the CLS. Subjectively it’s far more attractive than the current CLS (reviewed here), and I feel as though this design will age much better. A fixed rear wing adds to the GT 63’s muscular look, and massive 21-inch AMG Forged Cross-Spoke wheels finish it all of beautifully. Interestingly enough, our social media feeds were crowded with mixed opinions on the vehicle’s looks, so your results may vary.
Beneath the sculpted hood, the GT 63 S packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that pushes 630 horsepower from 5,500 to 6,000RPM and 664 lb-ft. of torque from 2,500 to 4,500RPM, a healthy upgrade over the “regular” GT 63’s respective 577 and 590 figures. A lesser GT 53 is also available with 429 horsepower courtesy of an inline six-cylinder setup. Mercedes-AMG claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 3.2 seconds, a number we believe may even be underrated. With all the drive mode selection bits set to their most dynamic settings and launch control enabled, the GT 63 S legitimately pulls with rearrange-your-organs brute force.
A steering wheel dial can quickly alter the car’s personality between sedate and monstrous, with everything in between. It’s not just fast, but the manner with which the AMG carries its speed is nothing short of extraordinary. The nine-speed dual-clutch transmission snaps off gear changes vigorously, though it remains a bit too aggressive in its softer settings, meaning the car never truly forgets its roots as a European super-sedan. On acceleration, the AMG performance exhaust system creates an orchestra of sound, one of the best V8 symphonies around and easily trumping BMW’s boosted V8.
The price you pay for this incredible performance, on top of the near-$200,000 cost, is at the pumps. Mercedes-Benz Canada rates this model at 15.6L/100km city and 11.5L/100km highway, for a combined 13.7L/100km. We took the GT 63 S on a mini road-trip to Niagara Falls for the launch of Porsche’s new Taycan (previewed here), and observed 11.3L/100km over the 300km of highway driving. As expected, the AMG commands premium 91-octane fuel, and 93-octane is recommended.
This Mercedes-AMG handles well too – a self-leveling AMG multi-link sport suspension system with adaptive dampers is standard issue. Active engine mounts are also in play, as is a “Drift Mode” that can completely disable power to the front axle for track fun. No matter what setting the car is placed in, though, it’s extremely firm. The frameless windows also mean there’s more interior noise than expected from a grand tourer and unnecessary rattles and squeaks from the door and window areas.
Aside from these occasional noises, the interior seems fairly well put together, and the sheer amount of luxury is undeniable. Mercedes-Benz unquestionably has the best ambient lighting in the business, and it’s configurable. The leather and wood combinations look sensational and feel just as good to the touch. The heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats do a brilliant job keeping the driver and passengers coddled and comfortable, and are supportive during spirited driving.
Technology is one generation old at this point, using the dual 12.3-inch infotainment screens and COMAND interface rather than the new MBUX system seen in the A-Class (reviewed here) and GLE crossover. It’s functional but showing its age with cumbersome menu navigation and slower response times. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported, and the Burmester audio system provides concert hall levels of audio quality.
The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S starts at $177,500, up from $115,000 for the GT 53. It’s also a staggering $20,000 more than the 577-hp GT 63. Our test vehicle was equipped with a series of packages including an AMG Aerodynamics Package and Intelligent Drive Package. The stunning but high-maintenance Designo Brilliant Blue Magno paint job is an extra $2,500, and the Saddle Brown/Black Nappa Leather treatment is another $1,800. The sticker for this particular tester comes in at $189,500.
Perhaps most surprising is that the AMG GT 63 S has two major competitors, namely the Porsche Panamera Turbo and forthcoming BMW M8 Gran Coupé. The Panamera is the more Teutonic yet less “passionate” drive, and we have yet to test the M8. Also, those seeking practicality will gravitate to the Panamera Sport Turismo (reviewed here), a real station wagon with actual space for things. Speaking of wagons, Mercedes has their own rival in the E 63 S Wagon (reviewed here), also a true rival to this four-door and with added cargo room.
No matter how you cut it, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-door is a monstrous machine, capable of things that are far beyond the legal limits. I’ve been saying for quite some time that AMG is definitely the new M, with hand-built motors that deliver a degree of emotion that many rivals have strayed from. This car isn’t just about the performance; what makes it special is how the balance of performance and theatrics comes together to create the beastliest daily driver ever, if your wallet can support it.