The 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance Is a Luxury Limo with an Eye-Watering Amount of Torque

This is the quickest and most powerful S-Class to date

(Images: Mercedes-Benz)

Plutocrats of the world, your next bonkers performance sedan has arrived: Meet the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance.

I think it will still take a little while to wrap my head around Mercedes’ new hybrid branding scheme. Once you’ve taken a few cracks at the name, though, it won’t take so long to come to grips with the new top-dog S-Class’ performance figures. The 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance (I’ll give you a moment if you need to look at it again) boasts twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 power, just like before. This time around, though, you also get an electric motor on the rear axle for even more oomph — and some pure electric driving capability, not that it matters here.

So, to the headline figures: 3.2 seconds. 180 mph top speed. 791 horsepower. And, last but most definitely not least…1,055 lb-ft of torque. That’s as much torque as a diesel-equipped heavy-duty truck and butts up right against the W16-powered Bugatti Chiron can manage, with half the cylinders and displacement. Couple to that your expected AMG Ride Control+ air suspension, rear-wheel steering and seven driving modes, and you wind up with Mercedes’ quickest and most potent limousine to date.

What makes the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance tick?

At its heart, you still get a familiar 4.0-liter biturbo V8 that powers other AMG models. It puts out 603 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque on its own. You also get AMG’s Speedshift 9-speed automatic transmission and the 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system. At the back, the “E Performance” brings in a 13.1-kWh “HPB 150” battery as well as a permanently excited synchronous electric motor. The unit puts out up to 188 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, and is integrated into an electrically shifted two-speed transmission of its own, allowing a (non-linear) combined output of up to 791 horsepower and 1,055 lb-ft of torque, in favorable conditions.

To bring that volcanic power to a halt, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance packs 15.7-by-1.5-inch brake discs at the front. Clamping down on those rotors are 6-piston fixed calipers. AMG’s composite brake system also uses 15-by-1.3-inch discs at the back, with single-piston floating calipers.

Mercedes says the “P3” hybrid system can boost electrically at full torque across the entire RPM range, while the rear-mounted motor allows for immediate power delivery and better launches. That said, you do still have a mechanical connection to the front end, so the car can shift the electric motor’s power forward when needed. That setup also allows for power to all four wheels, even when driving on electricity only.

The automaker did not announce all-electric range for the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance. However, they also say range isn’t a focus here. It’s reasonable to assume, on that basis, that it may be enough for a short commute, but not as practical in everyday driving. If fully electric driving is indeed your goal, there’s always the EQS, isn’t there?

Looking inside the new AMG S 63

Move in past the AMG-specific radiator grille (a first for the S-Class) and 21-inch wheels, and the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance is your quintessential S-Class. That is, wood and Nappa leather everywhere and all the technology you can feasibly throw at today’s high-tech sedans. Apart from the active roll stabilization and rear-wheel steering, you also get the suite of seven drive modes and four stages for the regenerative braking system.

AMG also fits its “dynamic control” system, which is another trio of settings that influence the control strategies of the electronic stability system. AMG Dynamics controls how the car should react to various driving conditions, be it in “Basic”, “Advanced” or “Pro” mode. The latter comes in with Sport+ mode, and the car tries to predict the car’s behavior based on the driver’s inputs, automatically tailoring the traction control system accordingly. Of course, if you really are advanced then you can just disable the ESP system entirely.

Being an S-Class, you’d rightly expect the latest driver assistance gadgets, and you get them. Active Distance Assist (Distronic), Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Keep/Lane Change Assist, Attention Assist, Evasive Steering Assist…it’s all here.

What Mercedes did not formally include in its Monday statement is how much its new high-performance S-Class will cost.

We should have more concrete information there for the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance in a few months. My guess is that it will land somewhere between the S580’s $118,750 starting price and the $185,950 Mercedes-Maybach S580 — somewhere in the upper-$100,000 region. The last S 63 model came in right around $175,000, so don’t expect this new one to come any cheaper.

At any rate, it’ll come in far less expensive than the G 63 4×4 Squared…just don’t drive your S-Class into what is effectively a lake, as Roman did with the G-Wagen below:\