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Review of: 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2dr Cabriolet AMG S63 4MATIC


2017 Mercedes AMG S 63 Cabriolet: Quite simply, top shelf

By David Miller

Dec. 27, 2016

The word ‘luxury’ gets thrown around quite a bit when talking about new cars. Whether you’re at an auto show, dealership or watching television, the word is everywhere. I don’t blame automakers for using it: many cars and SUVs have come along way from being filled with plastic to blossoming into refined packages at mainstream prices.

These added luxury touches may bother a premium company like Mercedes-Benz, but order can be restored including a couple of stunners in the lineup. One of those marquee vehicles is the 2017 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Cabriolet – one of the top S-Class variants brought back into the fold for the first time since the early 70s.

This $193,600 convertible (and that’s a starting price) is in that one per cent class that rises above what most of us classify as luxury. It’s pure bliss with the looks, curves and performance to make even that oblivious, stare-into-space-crowd take notice.

Pros & Cons

  • + Attention-getting styling
  • + Quiet, serene cabin
  • + Smooth, strong engine
  • - Rear seat space
  • - Price
  • - Fuel economy
Read the full review
  • Walkaround

    The S 63 Cabriolet provides one nice walkaround, so that you may want to do it a couple more times. Its long and wide stance seduces you like a sultry vixen as it shows off its sharp radiator grille, captivating body lines and AMG dual exhausts on both ends. There’s not a bad angle in sight, and it only gets better with the top down.

    The aforementioned analogy may have gone too far, but it’s hard to argue with it being on point. This cabriolet has taken design cues from the regular S-Class, made accommodations for its folding roof and added its signature AMG styling package that includes a special flat-bottom steering wheel, sport seats, sport-tuned suspension setup and optional 20-inch AMG wheels in matte black.

    Outside of its AMG makeup, this beautiful specimen becomes an even bigger knockout with an optional set of Swarovski Crystal LED headlamps for $4,000. It’s not everyday you come across the use of Swarovski crystals in cars, but when you’re already hitting the $200,000 mark, the price, at that point, is no object.

  • Interior

    The interior does a fine job reflecting the stunning physique of the S 63. Typically for a convertible, you wouldn’t expect the interior to be a major draw, but Mercedes has created a luxurious sanctuary decked in a porcelain colour that resembles a customized job made for royalty.

    Complementing its pure interior is optional piano black lacquer trim ($1,500) that adds the right touch of colour to its clean and sophisticated look. Elevating the look even further is a two-toned, flat-bottom steering wheel and dual large flat screens with an upgraded infotainment unit with colour and 3D mapping.

    There are two small seats in the back that recline, but this cabriolet is truly a party of two. Store your handbags and groceries in the back and sit back and relax in comfort with the support of those soft Nappa leather seats. These are so special that they come with not only heating, cooling and massaging benefits but also an air scarf to keep your neck warm or cool, depending on the weather.

  • Tech

    Mercedes-Benz is one of the leaders in automotive technology, and a lot of that is on display in the S 63.

    We’ve already gone over the dual 12.3-inch TFT screens, however they bear mentioning again. In my opinion, this is the best the business has to offer for style and function. When using the navigation system, the city around you comes alive with actual streets, trees, rivers and buildings showing up on the screen.

    If a good stereo system whet your appetite, Mercedes treats you once again to the gold standard through the effervescent sounds of Burmester.

    Beyond driving pleasures, the S 63 has a number of semi-autonomous technologies that assist you, including: active blind spot assist, active lane keeping assist, adaptive high beam assist, BAS Plus (Brake Assist) with cross-traffic assist and pre-safe plus, which can all be extremely helpful in difficult situations. Active lane keeping assist seemed to be the one that activated the most; perhaps I was tired that morning, but we all find ourselves in that state occasionally and it was have to see the car smoothly drag me back into my lane.

    And if all of this technology is still not enough, you can open or close the roof in 20 seconds through a push of a button at speeds less than 50 km/h.

    8.8Very good
  • Driving

    Regardless if you crave performance or tranquillity, the S 63 has something for you. It’s all about your driving style and the corresponding driving mode you choose: sport or comfort. Based on that choice, the 576-hp 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V-8 with 664 lb.-ft. of torque will respond instantly to your wishes.

    The powerful engine is matched to AMG’s seven-speed automatic transmission that enables a smooth drive with quick and seamless shifting. Power is felt immediately, but it’s not *over*powering and can be harnessed by any driver. If you’re in the power hungry camp, the sweet crackle and pop of acceleration and downshifting will play like a pleasant symphony or a rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody; whatever your pleasure.

    The cabriolet version comes only comes in all-wheel-drive (AWD), or as Mercedes calls it ‘4Matic.’ This system aids in keeping the ride balanced with a power delivery that’s shifted more to its rear wheels. The cabriolet is up for any challenge, as it can be swung around the trickiest corners with ease. I can’t fully describe it, but there’s a certain flow that makes harsh maneuvers effortless; perhaps it’s a combination of the extra weight of the AWD system and the folding rooftop.

    When you’re not putting this convertible through its paces, it can be one of the smoothest vehicles out there. There may be some guilty chatter somewhere in the back of your head for not getting the most out of its performance, but it doesn’t matter. You’ve been captivated by its quiet and seductive charm, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    However, if you think that moment of quiet seduction will help overall fuel economy – think again. It’s estimated at 16.4 L/100 km in the city and 10.6 L/100 km on the highway, but I was only able to manage a combined 16.8 L/100 km throughout the week with 90 per cent of that driving within the city. For sure, that number is a negative, but you don’t buy a car like this to save money on anything. Can Mercedes do better to help out the environment? Sure, and let’s hope they look at reducing fuel economy for the next model year.

    For now, it’s are time to simply enjoy its driving pleasures.

    8.6Very good
  • Value

    After all the additions to this S 63 4Matic Cabriolet test car, we’re looking at a total of $209,050.

    Consumers in that price range aren’t looking for value, so there’s not much point in seeking it; at least Mercedes has loaded this convertible with all of its best features in one package. It’s priced in between the BMW M6 Cabriolet and the Bentley Continental GT Convertible.

    Whether you’re looking for those massage seats, safety technology, the finest Nappa leather to plump down in or a ton of full-throttle excitement, you get it all — but that comes with a heavy price tag.

  • Conclusion

    The 2017 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Cabriolet is a nice addition to an already large group of S-Class variants. There’s now something for everyone in the lineup, and if you choose this convertible, you add to your fleet a serious toy that can play either a quiet or loud game; you choose the mood.

    Irrespective of the way you drive, the S 63 offers a finely sculpted companion inside and out. It’s pure luxury at its finest with very few flaws to be found. If you have the funds to be in this market, you won’t be let down and will be in your own space without many other replicas around. That’s a win-win, in my books.

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