First Look: 2011 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG

By Editors on March 2, 2010 1:24 PM

Peel away the high-profile retro race livery on this one-off show car and you'll find a production version of the even-higher-performance 2011 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG. Previewed one day prior to Geneva at AMG's headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany and on sale here later this year, it's fitted with a new engine and transmission combo plus some subtle bodywork tweaks -- enhancements that promise to make M-B's high-flying flagship sedan even quicker as well a more fuel efficient than the car it replaces.

The most profound changes to this overachieving S-Class lie underhood, where the existing 6.2-liter/518-horsepower V8 gives way to an extensively upgraded twin-turbocharged version of M-B's current 5.5-liter V8 used in the S550 and other models. Here, in S63 guise, it makes a stout 536 horses and churns out 590 lb.-ft. of peak torque from 2,100-4,500 rpm -- a serious step up from the 464 lb.-ft. at 5,200 revs of the present engine. Paired with a revised version of AMG's ultra-quick and efficient Speedshift MCT seven-speed automatic, the 2011 S63 AMG also will be able to generate up to 25 percent greater fuel economy numbers than the 11/18 mpg city/highway figures of the 2010 model. For those craving a bit more intensity, Mercedes plans to offer the 2011 S63 AMG with a software-based Performance Package upgrade that will bump the engine output numbers to 563 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of twist.

And what about its red paint and those period-correct competition decals? This 2011 S63 AMG one-off recalls the original AMG-prepped Mercedes-Benz 6.3 sedan, a privateer entry whose racing successes in the early '70s set the stage for M-B's now in-house uber-tuner to attain legendary status on track as well a on the street. And unlike both the current and upcoming S63, that fabled namesake actually did have a V8 engine that displaced 6.3 liters. Cosmetic enhancements on the 2011 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG show car that are due to see production status include its handsome five-spoke AMG alloy wheels and slightly-wider fender flares -- although perhaps not quite to this degree.