The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S four-door coupe, in a nutshell, is a fast, dynamic car for the well-heeled family man who wants his high-powered GT fun but needs the space and practicality of a full-sized family coupe.
The quick numbers are a price of R2 905 200 with 470 kW and 900 Nm on tap. Prior to this, your only real choice in the segment was the Porsche Panamera and this Turbo S E-Hybrid comes in at R3 313 00 and offers 500 kW and 850 Nm. Arriving soon to play in this high-end sandpit is BMW’s M8 Competition Gran Coupe with 460 kW and 75 0Nm at its disposal.
They say money can’t buy happiness, but I would prefer to have my unhappy days with one or more of these cars tucked in my garage. After all, do you think Douw Steyn, the multi-billionaire who has built his own city on the outskirts of Johannesburg, gets to the 25th of each month and wonders if he will have enough money for Kellogg’s cereal, or will it be no name brand stuff again? I am sure he has his problems in life, and I am sure they are real, but budgeting for school uniforms and books, and choosing which new multi-million-rand car to buy do not count among them. Before my cereal goes soggy, it’s time to talk fast cars.
The GT 63 S is fast and not only in a straight line. It can also hustle around corners in a way that might cause granny’s hair to go from purple back to its natural colour. Your wife would not see the funny side of that, and your teen – age kid would have thrown up all over the carbon-fibre interior. An all-round bad idea. But one of the positives is that you can take to the track or twisties on your own and still really carve it up, then return home and dawdle down to the hair salon in a most civilised fashion to get that purple rinse back on granny’s hair.
With an officially measured and certified time of 7 min 25.41 sec, this Merc was the world’s fastest series production four-seater on the legendary North Loop of the Nürburgring in October 2018. The same guy involved in developing the high level of driving dynamics of the four-door coupe, AMG development engineer Demian Schaffert, is also a former racing driver.
The Nurburging-Nordschleife is regarded as the world’s toughest racetrack and any manufacturer who wants to prove “mine is bigger than yours”, or in this case, “mine is faster than yours” goes there to set records. This feat, which most owners might not appreciate on local high – ways as they legally shouldn’t, is thanks mostly to standard fitment fully variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive, active rear axle steering, electronically controlled rear axle differential lock and the AMG Dynamics agility programme. Should you want to head to the track or tackle a mountain pass, AMG makes it easy.
There are up to six drive programmes to choose from: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race and Individual via a twirl of a rotary switch. If your talent, your tyre budget, your medical aid and insurance company all have your best interests at heart, then you can activate Drift Mode in the Race drive programme using the shift paddles and provided that the electronic stability programme is deactivated and the transmission is in manual mode, your AMG GT 63 S turns into a demonic rear-wheel driven machine.
The AMG 4.0-litre V8 bi-turbo engine that is now used in a host of AMG models does duty in the GT 63 S, too. Combine its mentioned outputs with the 4Matic system and a lightning-fast nine-speed double clutch gearbox that offers a full Race Mode and proper launch control function and you have a family car that is going to humble some full-blown super cars.
Fuss free as can be, dial in the Race Start and let the GT 63 S do its thing. And that means this 2 200 kg full-house, full-sized, four-door machine gets to 100 km/h in a mere 3.5 sec, the quarter mile (400 m) in just 11.5 sec at over 200 km/h, the half mile (800 m) at 243 km/h and the 1 km mark at 253 km/h.
Top speed is electronically limited to 314 km/h and this is achieved in seventh gear and it jumps between 100 km/h and 200 km/h in under eight seconds. So, you can go from happy family to jailed family in no time at all. And if you are seriously concerned about fuel consumption and efficiency, you will be pleased to note that this V8 comes with the AMG Cylinder Management deactivation system.
Driving in Comfort Mode between 1 000 and 3 250 rpm and being easy on the accelerator, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated. Does it work? Sure does. When I was hammering it around, I seldom saw better than 20 l/100 km, but as soon as normality re – turned and I was back out in public, I could get down into the low 12 s with the average number eventually settling on a good 14.4 l/100 km.
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