Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupé driven [w/video]

The Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupé had its international ride and drive event in Austin, Texas in the USA. We were fortunate enough to attend and sample the model first hand.

Track attack

Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is a brilliant piece of tarmac. The USA’s first purpose-built F1 track takes inspiration from several other world-class facilities. More so than the interesting corner sequences it also has elevation changes, which always makes for a great driving experience.

COTA, however, doesn’t undulate like Spa-Francorchamps or the Nurburgring. All of the elevation change takes place between the start/finish line and Turn One. The climb up to T1 is 41-metres but the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S I am piloting has hardly noticed the massive 13-storey ascent and is still accelerating hard up the hill.

Massive power

Powering the newcomer from Mercedes’ in-house speed factory is a highly tuned version of the firm’s twin-turbocharged V8. In this car, the power output has been cranked up to FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY KILOWATTS along with 900 N.m of torque (639 hp and 664 lb ft – just because I am in the US). Incidentally, the power output makes this the most-powerful AMG road car to go on sale.

Those outputs mean that I am charging towards the tight, narrowing corner and speed continues to build at an impressive/alarming rate. When I eventually lift off the loud pedal, announced by a volley of crackles from the exhausts, I am thankful for the large carbon discs. The stoppers are almost as impressive as the power delivery as they scrub off enough speed from our approach to make the clipping point of T1.

Grippy situation

This acute left-hander is one of the tightest of the 20 corners at COTA. In AMG cars of old getting to the apex after carrying too much entry speed would have been a tyre-squealing exercise. In this 2-ton luxury sportster, active rear-wheel steering helps the nose to tuck in tight. On the way out, power can be applied early as drive is shared with the front axle.

The sequence of corners from turns two through six calls on yet more dynamic reserves from the large GT. Multiple right-left-right direction changes lean heavily on mechanical grip and the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S delivers admirably.

All-wheel drive ensures surefootedness and reduces the chances for the GT63 S to lose grip on either axle. Added to that, active rear steering, which virtually extends the wheelbase for more stability at speed, there is also downforce-generating aero (a movable rear wing and rear diffuser to name two) at play over 80 km/h. COTA is a real test of a car’s prowess and the latest AMG is really delivering the goods.

Extending the family

Since Mercedes-Benz took over full control of AMG about a decade ago, the chaps from Affalterbach have produced two standalone models, the SLS AMG and the more recent (two-door) GT models, which includes the GT, GT S, GT C and GT R.

What you see here is the third AMG-specific car, called the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupé. There are three derivatives dubbed GT43, GT53, and the big daddy GT63; the latter is available in regular or S guise.

A model for all tastes

The two ‘smaller’ variants feature turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engines. Power is rated at 270 kW/500 N.m for GT43 and 320 kW/520 N.m for the GT53. Although these are performance models, they also feature mild hybridisation. An EQ Boost starter-alternator provides additional short-term power and torque boost to the tune of 16 kW and 250 N.m. The ‘regular’ GT63 makes 430 kW/800 N.m.

Click here to read about the smallest member of the GT 4-door Coupe family.

Regardless of the power output, drive is transferred to all four wheels through Mercedes’ nine-speed Speedshift automatic transmission. A multi-pack clutch removes unwanted power losses normally experienced with a torque converter. To underline the performance car credentials, each model features a limited slip differential (LSD).

Thanks to the all-wheel-drive system and launch control, the GT63 S will rocket to 100 km/h from standstill in 3,2 seconds. Flat out it will do a supercar-rivalling 315 km/h. Those figures are incredible considering it weighs 2,1 tons and can easily carry four adults with luggage.

Back to the track

Most of my time in the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupé around COTA I spend chasing five-time DTM champion, Bernd Schneider. He’s talented enough already but added to that he was driving an AMG GT R, shod with semi-slick tyres. There was no way to keep touch with the champ, try as I did.

Chasing Herr Schneider calls on everything I have as a driver, and everything the GT 63 S has to offer from a dynamic point of view. For such a large car the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupé is doing a great impression of a sportscar. Slow-, medium- and high-speed corners are handled with alacrity and verve. As familiarity of the track and car grows, I am attacking corners harder each time (though the car in front is always too far to catch, damn your talent Bernd) eventually exiting the tighter corners steering the rear wheels with my right foot.

Summary

AMG has targeted performance cars such as the Porsche 911 with its earlier models and now it takes the fight to the Panamera with the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupé.  This is the first four-door AMG that can be hammered lap after lap by a novice to a track with confidence, and manages to hide its size and mass to feel like a proper sportscar. It is shot through with the technology and DNA that the SLS and (two-door) GTs have been honing. The Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupé is a real AMG car. And a sportscar without compromise.

Get full details of the new Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coup from the company’s official site.

Model: Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupé

Engine: 4,0-litre twin-turbocharged V8

Transmission: Nine-speed auto, AWD

Max power: 470 kW

Max torque: 900 N.m

Top speed: 315 km/h

0-100 km/h: 3,2 sec

About the Author:

Banzai Matai - Your Petrolhead Concierge Racer F1 fan Motor noter Test driver Motorsport enthusiast Lover of life More about me and Double Apex