Road tests 14.6.2018 10:00 am

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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