It was a sunny afternoon early in the fall when a mechanical howl rang through an almost empty parking lot as Ken Block bounced his engine off the rev limiter. A small crowd watched from behind a concrete barrier as he, the car and a queasy-looking passenger charged through a closed course.
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Its lighter, more powerful and ridiculously luxurious. Mercedes officially unveiled its 2014 S63 AMG 4Matic today ahead of its in-person debut during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
There won’t be any mistaking the 2014 S63 AMG when it reaches showrooms, even with its handsome new sheet metal. And while the brand’s biggest and newest performance sedan wears the same handsome styling as its relatively mundane siblings, the engineers behind Mercedes’ AMG arm have been hard at work proving the considerable prowess they hold in building athletic luxury products.
After all, the most recent products from their training camp have been the A45 and CLA45 AMG models. Time for something a little more grown up, no?
“Following the successful launch of the A45 AMG and the CLA45 AMG, the new S63 AMG 4MATIC highlights our expertise in the automotive high-end segment,” AMG CEO Ola Kallenius said.
Starting skin deep, a series of changes improve the car over its predecessor. Body panels are crafted from aluminum, the brakes are lighter and buyers can choose optional carbon ceramic units. Carbon fiber is molded to cradle the spare tire and even the front end is made of aluminum. Mercedes even saves weight by using a lithium ion battery and in total cuts 220 lbs from the car. There’s more.
A newly massaged version of the brand’s 5.5-liter biturbo V8 rests under the hood and makes 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent through AMG’s multi-clutch seven-speed transmission to the brand’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system for the first time in an S63. Collectively, that launches the car from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds with 33 percent of the engine’s torque sent to the front and 67 percent to the rear. Top speed is electronically limited to 186 mph.
Mercedes says the car is also more efficient than last year’s model, although official fuel consumption figures haven’t been released.
An updated air suspension that can adapt more readily also promises a more comfortable ride while maintaining performance. Mercedes gave the new S63 AMG higher camber, a larger anti-roll bar and a stiffer subframe carrier on the rear axle, all of which are unique to the car.
As an AMG model, the cabin gets specific changes as well. Those include a sport steering wheel and seats. Those buckets have been newly designed and Mercedes says they will offer improved support over the previous car. Finally, the cabin gets other touches like an embossed AMG logo on the leather arm rest above the center console.
Mercedes will unveil the car in person early this September during the Frankfurt Motor Show. The company didn’t announce pricing yet, but the outgoing S63 AMG starts at $140,000. Expect that number to climb considerably with the added all-wheel drive and improved materials.
GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Mega Gallery
Discuss this story at BenzWorld.org
Automakers are always looking for an edge over the competition. Any spec-sheet advantage, no matter how insignificant, is fair game. Engine output is often something they brag about. One vehicle may have more horsepower but a competing car could offer more torque. What’s the difference between these two measurements? What do they mean? Surprisingly these terms are totally different but related.
It’s also the most radically different looking of the four vehicles we had a chance to see today thanks to the sweeping carbon fiber hood with an aggressive-looking hood scoop that looks down towards a black grille. Those colors work well against the car’s red paint, especially with the 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels which set this special dart aflight.
Mopar also graced the car with a better air intake and exhaust and retuned engine computer to make an extra 30 horsepower, bringing this version up to 210 total.
Inside, the car gets similar treatment as the exterior. A matching color scheme and piano black trim set the Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute well apart from the stock model — if you’re into the racer boy look.
Click through our gallery and tells us your thoughts in the comments section below.
GALLERY: Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute
As is happening across the General Motor’s lineup, the Buick LaCrosse is getting a powertrain update. The previous 3.6-liter V6 is being replaced with a new LFX mill which will be available at no-additional-cost on select trim levels instead of the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine with eAssist. The new engine features variable valve timing and will crank out 303-hp on the front-wheel drive LaCrosse (an all-wheel drive version will also be available). This is up 23-hp. Torque also goes up, by 5 lb-ft to 264 lb-ft without affecting fuel efficiency, allowing the LaCrosse to retain a 17 mpg city and 27 mpg highway rating.
“The changes we’ve made to the 3.6L V-6 represent greater refinements to an already well-balanced package,” said Tom Sutter, global V-6 chief engineer. “We are using the latest designs, lighter-weight components and enhancements to improve the engine’s performance, efficiency and durability.”
This new V6 will use several light weight components to help maintain optimal fuel efficiency while boosting horsepower. The new fuel pump and isolated fuel rail will make the car quieter during operation and the direct injection will also allow for a reduction of emissions. Buick has made the engine greener particularly with cold starts, where hydrocarbon emissions have have been reduced by twenty-five percent because of upgraded fuel equipment.