The best from Affalterbach – Mercedes-AMG S 65 Sedan & GLC 63 S

Choosing between two of the executive sports power industry’s finest.

If you have a high-performance motoring itch that must be scratched regardless of what type of vehicle you want to drive – be it a large SUV, to a hot hatch, to a fullsize sedan, and everything in between – then Mercedes-AMG has a vehicle for you.


Seriously, the brains trust at Mercedes-AMG are not afraid to put extremely powerful engines in seemingly unlikely vehicles, and then pin an AMG badge to it.

And it works. I mean both BMW and Audi, with their M and RS models do not have a model specific answer to the S65 AMG, nor do they have an answer for their GLC 63 S AMG that was just launched.

With more than R5 million tied up in just two vehicles, the S65 and the GLC 63 S, I headed off to Gerotek to test the performance capabilities of these machines from Affalterbach in Germany.


I started with the S65, the pinnacle of the Mercedes-AMG sedan range.

The third generation of the Mercedes-AMG S65 is the epitome of executive sports power, setting new standards as the most powerful vehicle in its segment of the market.

Innovations including the head-up display and the touchpad represent further enhancements in terms of comfort and safety.


You get an AMG sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated twin tailpipe trim elements in unique V12 design integrated into the bumper as a clear indicator, both visually and audibly, of the impressive power and performance potential of the vehicle.

Talking of which, the car runs a 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine that produces 463kW of power, and a peak torque of 1000Nm.

And even though all this power and torque is channelled to the rear wheels only via a seven-speed SpeedShift Plus automatic transmission, without any launch control function, as fitted to the S63 AMG, this big 2250kg Mercedes gets off the line in a rather rapid and fuss free fashion, without any wheelspin.

As seen from the data on these pages, the 0-100km/h spring is done in under 5.0 seconds, the quarter mile done in under 13 seconds, and the 1km trap hit at 245km/h, while the top speed is electronically limited to just over 300km/h.

So, whether you are being chauffeured or doing the driving yourself, this luxury sedan will get you there in a hurry.

The better priced, nimbler S63 AMG makes more sense to be honest, but if you want the ultimate in V12 Mercedes-AMG luxury, then the S65 at R3 439 912 could just be the car for you.


Jumping out of the big sedan into the somewhat more dynamic and aggressive GLC 63 S, was quite refreshing, especially considering this is a proper mid-size all-wheel drive SUV.

And this is no ordinary SUV either, it is powered by an industry first, 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine that offers a full 375kW of family-lugging-around power and 700Nm of torque.

I think the air spring suspension with adaptive adjustable damping, AMG Performance all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution, rear-axle limited-slip differential and high-performance braking system is more about going fast on the road or on the track.


And it does. It blitzed the race track when we attended the vehicle’s launch at Zwartkops Raceway last month. It also went top of the timing charts when I had finished testing it at Gerotek. No other SUV I have tested has gone quicker.

With the AMG Dynamic Select drive programme slotted into Race mode, launch control activated, the GLC 63 S jumped to the 100km/h benchmark in 3.99 seconds, through the quarter mile in a mere 12.29 seconds, and hit the 1km at just under 240km/h, while the top speed is once again electronically limited, but this time to just over 280km/h.


So, if you have R1 665 000, before options, but want an SUV that really gets going, then there is only one choice and that is the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S.



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