Mercedes-Benz quietly unveiled a pair of new AMG-tuned S-Class models at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show, announcing a host of styling and powertrain upgrades.
The biggest change of note is the drastic downsizing of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63’s engine, with the twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 clearing out from under the hood in favor of a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. Despite the decrease in displacement, the 4.0-liter makes 603 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque — about 26 horsepower more than the outgoing engine to go along with the same amount of torque. The S63 also gets a mild efficiency bump thanks to the arrival of Mercedes’ new nine-speed version of the AMG Speedshift MCT transmission.
Keeping with the luxury sedan’s sporting character, Mercedes has made it easier to activate launch control, otherwise known as ‘Race Start’, on the new S63. Whereas before the mode had to be manually activated, all the driver has to do now is depress the brake pedal and the accelerator at the same time when in either Sport or Sport+ mode and let go of the brake. If all goes to plan, the all-wheel drive four-door will hustle from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
ALSO SEE: 2017 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet Review
The S65 doesn’t get the same type of powertrain update as the S63. Its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 lives on with the same 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque, while the seven-speed MCT automatic also remains unchanged. Mercedes claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds for the S65, which is the same as before. Both the S63 and S65 have electronically limited top speeds of 155 mph, though they can be increased to 186 mph for a fee.
Styling wise, both versions of the sedan have received mild updates to make them a bit more sporty. A revised front end with large intakes has been applied and is joined by a new rear diffuser with AMG’s familiar squarish exhaust tips and new light alloy wheels. Cabin updates have also arrived in the way of a new three-spoke AMG steering wheel and an updated version of the 12.3-inch display with an expanded AMG menu that can display G-force readings, engine output, boost pressure, tire temperatures and other performance parameters.
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65 will arrive as Mercedes dealerships this fall.