Bringing a Whole New Meaning to "Street Smart"
Photography by Wes Battoclette
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC coupe looks like it’s going 100 mph just sitting there. The curves and hollows of its hood suggest a growling animal primed on its forepaws, ready to pounce. Even when the car is silent, you can hear a soft purr creeping out from its twin-blade radiator grille, the sound of its slumbering engine awaiting ignition.
“The 2015 S63 defines the Mercedes-Benz brand for the future,” says Jed Hargett, master certified sales consultant at Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, the car’s performance is uncompromisingly powerful. To be exact, 577 horsepower and 664 pounds-per-foot of torque with a zero to 60 mph time just under four seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. Its 4MATIC four-wheel drive system also impresses.
“The problem with the S63’s predecessors, as well as with other cars on the market, is that you might have a lot of horsepower but it’s difficult to get that power to the road,” says Rick Crain, fixed operations director at Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati. “The 4MATIC on the S63 offers mixed stream acceleration. It locks the wheels it senses are slipping and transfers torque to the wheels that are not.”
The inside is just as impressive. Luxury and design are thoughtfully integrated so that everything from the touchscreen display to the accent lighting exudes premium style. The seats are particularly noteworthy. In a standard coupe, reaching for your seatbelt normally requires a yoga pose due to the elongated door frame. But in the S63 the belt is built into the seat itself.
“Not many understand the amount of technology needed to make that happen,” says Hargett. “The seat has to be so strong to support the pressure of an impact during an accident, but it also has to be light. So we made the seat’s internals out of magnesium, which is both light and strong.”
“This is technology that most people don’t notice, but it’s huge,” says Greg Nuesse, shop foreman at Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati. “The seats are a marvel in their own right.”
The further you descend into the luxurious innards of the car, the more you realize just how refined it is. The infotainment system is state of the art, complete with built-in Internet access, Sirius radio and weather, an owner’s manual and Bluetooth connectivity. The LCD screen’s pixels are arranged so the driver can look to it for navigation while at the same time the passenger can be watching a high-definition movie. Accent lighting runs along the instrumentation, the infotainment system and the door. The fiberoptic LEDs bathe the car in pinks, purples and blues and give it a futuristic feel.
It’s a “smart” car as well. Night View Assist means sensors pick up infrared light bouncing back from approaching vehicles’ high beams and allow you to look at your dashboard screen, where the approaching vehicle’s beams are dimmed. The car’s sensors will also identify humans or animals and bracket them on the screen while the headlights, each moving like a ball in a socket, flash at them. Another feature, Curb Illumination, turns the S63’s LED headlights as you steer into a turn while cornering lights shine to the side of the car so you can see someone standing at a curb. Adaptive High-Beam Assist manages your high beams, using a shutter to adjust them so cars approaching you are not blinded.
“Traditional headlights have a range of about 400 feet with traditional high beams reaching around 1,500 feet, but you can’t light up anywhere in between,” says Hargett. “With Adaptive High-Beam Assist, the range is infinitely variable.”
Meanwhile, the S63 is the closest thing to a self-driving car this side of Google. The Intelligent Drive Suite features Adaptive Lane Control, Active Blindspot Assist, Cross Traffic Identification, Distronic Driver Assistance, short-, mid- and long-range radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras surrounding the car and a host of other technologies form an overlapping network of safety-oriented smart technology that utterly fades into the background when driving. The Intelligent Drive Suite is the brains to the S63’s brawn.
“The S63 is the best of Mercedes-Benz. It is a sheer distillation of personal luxury,” says Crain. “It is the standard. It determines the quality of our vehicles, and that quality filters down to other Mercedes-Benz models over time.”
In this sense, the S63 indicates what is in store for the future of Mercedes-Benz. As for the present, the S63 is an attractive commingling of power and intelligence. If you’ve got the income and the inclination, it can be yours today. At the very least, though, you should go to Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati and take one for a test drive. It’ll knock your socks off.
Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati is located at 8727 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236. You can reach them at 513.984.9000 or visit their website at www.cincybenz.com.