2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance – V8 PHEV; 802 PS, 1,430 Nm, 33 km EV range; 0-100 km/h in 3.3s

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance – V8 PHEV; 802 PS, 1,430 Nm, 33 km EV range; 0-100 km/h in 3.3s

This is the new Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance, which is based on the latest W223 S-Class that made its debut back in September 2020. The ‘S63’ nameplate is synonymous with big power, and with the addition of the ‘E Performance’ to the mix, you’re looking at the most powerful S-Class of all time.

The headline figures you need to know are 802 PS (791 hp or 590 kW) and 1,430 Nm of torque, which is more than enough to get the limousine with a kerb weight of 2,595 kg from 0-100 km/h in just 3.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h, or 290 km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.

How the S63 achieves these numbers is thanks to the company’s P3 hybrid layout that you’ll also find in the GT63 S E Performance (a variant of the X290 GT 4-Door Coupe) as well as the latest C63 S E-Performance (obviously a variant of the W206 C-Class).

Having more in common with the former, the S63’s powertrain consists of a 4.0 litre V8 that sits on active engine mounts and has two twin-scroll turbochargers in the hot inner-V for 612 PS (603 hp or 450 kW) from 5,500 to 6,500 rpm and 900 Nm of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm.

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance – V8 PHEV; 802 PS, 1,430 Nm, 33 km EV range; 0-100 km/h in 3.3s

The V8 also comes with a belt-driven starter-generator (RSG) linked to a 400-volt electrical system and is paired with a nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT 9G automatic transmission with a wet multi-disc start-off clutch, which sends drive to all four wheels via a fully-variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system.

The other important aspect of the P3 layout is an electric motor on the rear axle that delivers 190 PS (188 hp or 140 kW) and 320 Nm for up to 10 seconds, or 95 PS (94 hp or 70 kW) continuously. The electric motor is hooked up to its own two-speed transmission that will only shift into second gear at around 140 km/h, corresponding to the motor’s maximum speed of around 13,500 rpm.

While the internal combustion engine and electric drive units appear to be kept isolated from one another, they are actually linked by the all-wheel drive system by an additional prop shaft and clutch located behind the automatic transmission. This allows power from both drive units to be transferred to the front wheels when required, like in the event of slip at the rear axle.

To juice the electric motor, the S63 gets an evolution of the AMG high-performance battery (HPB) called the HPB 150 that contains 1,200 cells for an energy capacity of 13.1 kWh compared to the HPB 80 in the other E Performance cars that has fewer cells and only 6.1 kWh of capacity. As with that unit, the cells are individually cooled to maintain an optimum operating temperature window averaging 45 degrees Celsius.

With the ability to charge the battery at a peak AC input of 3.7 kW (Type 2 connection), the S63 is now a plug-in hybrid, although the electric-only range is a meager 33 km on a full charge. Performance is the main purpose of the electrified components, so if you want something with more range, the more docile S580e is the one to go for. If efficiency is still under consideration, the German carmaker quotes a combined fuel consumption of 4.4 l/100 km for the S63.

Equally as complex as the powertrain is the number of driving parameters available to the driver. Within the AMG Dynamic Select system, there are seven drive modes to cycle through, including Electric, Comfort, Battery Hold, Sport, Sport+, Slippery and Individual. Additionally, there are four stages of recuperation (Level 0 to 3) and three different options (Basic, Advanced and Pro) in the AMG Dynamics system to play with.

To keep up with the monstrous power on tap, the S63 comes with AMG Ride Control+ air suspension with adaptive damping to manage all the heft. Meanwhile, stopping power is provided by the AMG high-performance composite braking system that consists of discs measuring 400 mm at the front with six-piston fixed calipers and 380 mm at the rear with single-piston floating calipers.

2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance – V8 PHEV; 802 PS, 1,430 Nm, 33 km EV range; 0-100 km/h in 3.3s

For added manoeuvrability, rear-axle steering is also thrown in and the standard 20-inch wheels (21-inch is optional) are wrapped in 255/45 front and 285/40 rear tyres. The S63 also gets three-stage AMG parameter steering with variable steering geometry ratio and AMG Active Control active roll stabilisation, the latter operating on a separate 48-volt onboard sub-network.

The S63’s chassis also features an aluminium stabiliser under the V8 and a cross-brace on the suspension mounting points to further stiffen the bodyshell structure. As for the rear, diagonal struts made from aluminium in the underbody are said increase driving precision, while the HPB sits in a specific load compart recess made of lightweight fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) that also contributes to overall rigidity.

Visually, the S63 appears pretty much like any other S-Class, although it does get dressed up in AMG regalia to set it apart. Highlights include an AMG-specific front grille with vertical louvres and a large central star, while the bonnet emblem is an AMG one in silver chrome and black.

Also seen at the front is a more aggressive bumper with a jet-wing design that sports large side air intakes and functional air curtains. Moving to the rear, the staple of ‘63’ models is clear visible in the quad tailpipes that are trapezoidal in shape and accompanied with a prominent diffuser.

It’s the same story on the inside, with a familiar cabin that receives plenty of AMG touches like unique trim elements, an AMG Performance steering wheel, sports seats as well as AMG- and hybrid-specific display and functions for the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system.

No shortage of tech too, with a head-up display, support for the Dolby Atmos sound format and a full complement of driving assistance systems like Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Attention Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Active Blind Spot Assist, Evasive Steering Assist and Drive Pilot Level 3 conditionally automated driving.

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.




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