Mercedes S-class Coupe (C217)


Debut: 2014
Maker: Mercedes-Benz
Predecessor: CL-class (C216)



 Published on 24 July 2014
All rights reserved. 


In a move opposite to Audi and BMW, Mercedes decided to abandon separate nameplates for its sedan-based coupes. This results in C-class Coupe and E-class Coupe. Now the flagship CL-class is also rebranded to S-class Coupe, no longer hiding a fact that we always know: it is the coupe version of S-class. I suppose few people would feel sorry for the demise of CL-class, because it has never been a big success. No matter styling or build quality, it fell short of our expectation and never matched the high standard set by its spiritual predecessor SEC, which was also the last time the car was officially known as the S-class Coupe (even though the nomenclature was different then).

This time around the S-class Coupe looks more like a winner. Being priced at about £100,000 in the guise of S500 or £125,000 for S63 AMG, it doesn’t have too many rivals – Aston Martin DB9 and Rapide, Bentley Continental GT and Maserati GranTurismo are its closest competitors. Wealthier buyers may also consider Aston Vanquish and Ferrari FF as alternatives. What about BMW 6-Series, Gran Coupe and M6? I would say they are not classy enough to trouble the Mercedes.



One thing separates the new Mercedes flagship coupe from its counterparts: style. This is a true beauty – sleek, elegant and classy. Yes, Maserati has sexier curves, but the Mercedes’ streamline profile is nearly as attractive, and it has amazing level of attention to details, such as the radial mesh grille and the complicated LED elements in its headlights. Fine chromed elements decorate locations where necessary. Heavy sculptures create tensions at its sides and lessen the visual bulk. The same effect is achieved by its frameless windows and the omission of B-pillars. This is the best looking Mercedes coupe to date.

You might not aware of its size from pictures, but in the real world the new S-class Coupe has strong presence. After all, this car measures in excess of 5 meters long, 1.9 meters wide and its wheelbase spans across 2945 mm – the latter is just 90 mm shorter than its saloon sister. Its roof is lowered by a massive 85 mm. In addition to the steeply raked A and C-pillars, the greenhouse is inevitably smaller. Fortunately, given its sheer size the rear seats are still comfortable to hold 6-footers, something not even a 4-door Aston Martin Rapide can claim, let alone the emergency seats offered by Bentley Continental GT. As in the S-class saloon, its chassis is a hybrid structure of aluminum and steel – the front is constructed in aluminum while steel is used from the firewall rearward to benefit weight distribution. Almost all outer panels are aluminum sheets, as in the old CL-class. Despite that, it still tips the scale at 2 tons, something attributed to its immense rigidity, remarkable NVH suppression and luxury. Anyway, it undercuts Bentley by a good 300 kg.



The cabin owes much to the S-class saloon, bar the sportier 3-spoke steering wheel and a new touchpad controller on the transmission tunnel. Much of the dashboard is carried over from the saloon. It features even the same air vents and the huge, dual-TFT display panel, whose lack of aesthetic still displeases me, but its rich graphic is really eye-opening. The Coupe does get some more tasteful trims, including carbon-fiber ones for AMG, and more stylish design for door panels. Overall build quality and sense of occasion are now on a par with the best of the class, including Bentley and Rolls-Royce, whereas IT technology and functionality easily trump both. As expected, the multi-adjustable, heated, cooled and massaged chairs are superbly comfortable.

Start the 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8, the S500 Coupe immediately shows a refinement outstanding for even this class. It is remarkably smooth and quiet – perhaps too quiet for a coupe. The sound insulation used throughout the cabin is just as effective as the S-class saloon, which means a new class standard is set. Even in high speed cruising there is little wind noise can be heard. On the flipside, enthusiastic drivers will never get warm with the car. Yes, it corners flatly and rides impeccably – thanks to high-tech features like Magic Body Control (which uses stereo camera to scan the road ahead and adjust the suspensions accordingly) and Active Body Control (which utilizes adjustable hydraulic struts to provide anti-roll function), it steers quite responsively for a car so large, and it accelerates in straight line with a pace nearly matching the old CL63 AMG, but it lacks the sharpness and communication that distinguish a Ferrari, Maserati or Aston Martin. In other words, it feels like a sedan-turned coupe rather than a thoroughbred GT.



Note that the MBC system on the Coupe adds another function: Active Curve Tilting. It makes use of the same hardware to lean the car towards the inside of the bend. This sounds like how a motorcycle corners, although the maximum lean here is much modest at 2.5 degrees. It doesn't help the car to corner faster, but it can partially offset the g-force acted on the occupants and make them feel more comfortable in hard cornering. As we can see here, the S-class Coupe puts comfort on first priority.

The S63 AMG model is much better. Its 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 not only delivers much stronger performance (585 hp, 664 lbft and 0-60 mph good for 3.8 seconds in the case of 4-wheel-drive) but also a sporty exhaust note that the standard model cries for. In normal driving it is still very smooth and quiet, but once you open the throttle wide it roars like a supercar engine, with a volume and sound quality lagging not much behind the outgoing 6.2. Meanwhile, the MCT gearbox reserved for the AMG model, which uses a wet clutch instead of slow-reacting torque converter, works a lot more responsively than the regular 7G-Tronic. As a result, the powertrain feels properly sporty.

As for ride and handling, it is adequately sharpened from the regular model. The suspensions – note that on the more popular 4matic model it uses Airmatic springs and adaptive dampers instead of the sophisticated MBC – gets stiffer calibration, 10 mm drop of ride height and increased negative camber for the front wheels. In addition to some weight saving measures (e.g. lithium battery, composite brakes and forged alloy wheels), which make the S63 actually lighter than S500, its handling is noticeably sharpened. The heavier steering offers a little more feedback, if still not something it could be proud of. The body control and composure are superb, while ride quality and NVH suffers just a tiny bit. For a car that large, the S63 Coupe is remarkably responsive to steer. It might not be a great companion to attack B-roads, but in fast curves it can match any great GTs, Ferrari included. Most impressive is all the while it remains calm and relaxing, as the immensely stiff structure and rich insulation can absorb everything. This is what the big Mercedes coupe meant to be.



For a large luxury coupe, the S63 AMG Coupe leaves nothing to be desired. It is fast yet easy to control, beautifully styled inside and outside, impeccably built and super-comfortable to travel along. Drive leisurely and it can be nearly as relaxing as an S-class saloon. Up the pace and you will enjoy its throaty exhaust note, strong performance and tight body control. The balance between luxury and sportiness is better judged than Bentley Continental GT (which is neither as comfortable nor as sporty), Rolls-Royce (all about luxury and not much sportiness to speak of), Maserati, Aston and Ferrari (all lack the relaxing character of the Mercedes, and their interiors are not built with top-notch quality). The lesser S500 Coupe biases towards the comfort side thus might be less desirable to demanding drivers. Same goes for the supposedly range-topping S65 AMG Coupe, which is simply too heavy.

Verdict:
S63 AMG Coupe: 

S500 & S65 AMG Coupe: 
 Published on 8 Jun 2016
All rights reserved. 
S-class Cabriolet


This is the first time we see a convertible based on the Mercedes S-class flagship. The last time Stuttgart did so was in 1971. Engineering such a large convertible car has always been a big challenge. You have to reinforce the floorpan, bulkhead and body sides a lot to compensate for the rigidity lost in the large opening. You have to engineer a large fabric roof whose sealing and sound insulation are effective, whose power mechanism good enough to open and close quickly, yet the large soft roof does not add too much weight or occupy too much boot space. The new S-class Cabriolet meets all these requirements soundly.

Derived from the stylish S-class Coupe, its wheelbase measures some 2945 mm, 105 mm longer than the recent C-class Cabriolet. Under the large tonneau cover is the largest fabric roof in production. It can be opened or closed in 20 seconds, same as the smaller roof of C-class Cabriolet, and this can be done at speed up to 60 km/h (37 mph), or 10 km/h higher than the C-class. Its electric actuators must be very powerful and sturdy. The soft roof itself is made of 3 layers to ensure first class sound and thermal insulation. Moreover, the car employs double-glazing side windows (all 4 of them) and improved door seals to enhance sound insulation further. As a result, with the roof in place the cabin feels just as quiet as the Coupe.



When the roof is opened, wind buffeting can be minimized by the standard-fitted Aircap, which pops up an aero foil above the windscreen header, and mesh wind deflector, which rises vertically from behind the rear seats. Doing so will inevitably damage the beautiful shape of the car, especially the strange-lookng Aircap. Nevertheless, when you are sitting inside the car you are unlikely to be care about its exterior looks. What catch your attention must be the lavish interior design and materials. Though it doesn’t deliver the sense of bespoke craftsmanship as Bentley or Rolls-Royce, in the mass production world it is almost peerless. The dashboard design and the huge TFT screens can be described as flamboyant, yet their forms mate with functions. The flamboyant-looking front chairs have neck-warming Airscarf (though it is currently in patent dispute), massagers and thigh supports. The rear seats are a little disappointing though. Despite the long wheelbase, rear legroom is not too generous. This means the front occupants have to compromise a little to accommodate adults behind. On the plus side, the rear seats have good head and shoulder room, whereas the backrest is not too vertical as in the case of C-class Cabriolet.

Despite the Aircap and wind deflector, at highway speed the occupants, especially the rear, still suffer from some turbulence. This might have something to do with the steeply raked windscreen which gives the cabriolet an excellent Cd of 0.29. Otherwise, the cabriolet is impeccably engineered.



Its chassis is remarkably rigid, thanks to structural strengthening including a new aluminum rear floor and rear bulkhead as well as extra cast aluminum parts reinforcing the side walls. Pop-up rollover protection bars are incorporated into the sturdy rear bulkhead. These modifications add about 115 kg to the kerb weight, which is peanuts for a car carrying over 2 tons. On the road, you don’t notice any loss of rigidity unless on the worst surfaces, yet that rarely affects its fine handling and smooth ride. The S500 Cabriolet with its 455 hp 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 is tuned for effortless performance, ride comfort and refinement. It does this job better than its arch-rival Bentley Continental GTC yet costing considerably less to purchase. S63 4matic is brawnier and its larger AMG V8 is more exciting to listen. Taking merely 3.8 seconds to sprint from rest to 60 mph might shock many people, but in fact its handling is precise and safe. However, a smaller, lighter car like C63 Cabriolet is always more agile and more feelsome. Still, the S63 is a better option than the range-topping S65, which is just a show of wealth.

One thing the AMG duo does better than the standard car is styling. However, none of the Cabriolets can quite match the S-class Coupe, whose sleek proportion is somewhat lost in the transformation.
Verdict:
 Published on 5 Dec 2017 All rights reserved. 
S-class Coupe/Cabriolet facelift 2018


Pick of the range is still S63, which gets the most improvement.


Closely following its sedan sister, the S-class Coupe and Cabriolet also get a mid-life revision. Among all models, the AMG S63 gets the most changes, most notably the new 4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 612 hp and 664 lbft of torque (27 hp more than the old 5.5-liter), 9-speed MCT transmission and rear-biased 4matic+ system, all of which are adapted from the E63 S. This improves its 0-60 mph acceleration from 3.8 to a remarkable 3.4 seconds, although top speed is still capped at 186 mph. The AMG model also gets the most visual change, i.e. a Panamericana grille like the AMG GT, so it looks quite a lot angrier, washing away the feminine theme of the old car.

On the road, the S63 Coupe’s new powertrain feels even more refined in Comfort mode, as it registers only 1600 rpm in cruising, but in sportier modes it feels noticeably sharper. Despite the considerably reduced capacity, its throttle response is quicker, thanks to the shorter exhaust ducts of the hot-V engine and the use of twin-scroll turbos. The exhaust still produces exciting crackles on overrun. The 9-speed MCT is a big improvement from the old 7-speed unit, too. Its gearshifts are not only smoother but also quicker in manual mode. Meanwhile, the 4matic+ offers plenty of traction yet a rear-biased handling characteristic in sportier modes. The only weakness remains the steering, which lacks feel.

As a cross-country GT, few could match the S63 Coupe. Its cabin is high-tech, luxurious and spacious – the rear seats can accommodate average adults for short journeys. Its adaptive air suspension provides good cruising refinement. Its directional stability is high and the performance is outstanding, even faster than an Aston Martin DB11. It is not quite as agile or as engaging to drive as the latter, but it is a more spacious and more comfortable kind of GT. Its closest rival will be the forthcoming new Bentley Continental GT. Otherwise, there is nothing quite like it on the market.

Lesser S-class Coupe includes the 367hp V6-powered S450 and 469hp V8-powered S560. They are not quite as big an improvement as the AMG S63. The top S65 keeps its dated V12 and 7-speed transmission as it is cruising to sunset. This means pick of the range is still the S63.

Verdict:   (S63: )
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
S500 4matic Coupe
2014 (2016)
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel + aluminum monocoque
Mainly aluminum
5027 / 1899 / 1411 mm
2945 mm
V8, 90-degree
4663 cc
DOHC 32 valves, DVVT
Twin-turbo
DI
455 hp
516 lbft
7-spd auto (9-spd auto)
F: 4-link
R: multi-link
MBC, ABC
F: 245/40ZR20
R: 275/35ZR20
2015 kg
155 mph (limited)
4.4 (c) / 4.5*
10.7*
S63 AMG 4matic Coupe
2014
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel + aluminum monocoque
Mainly aluminum
5044 / 1913 / 1422 mm
2945 mm
V8, 90-degree
5461 cc
DOHC 32 valves, DVVT
Twin-turbo
DI
585 hp / 5500 rpm
664 lbft / 2250-3750 rpm
7-speed MCT
F: 4-link
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping, air springs
F: 255/40ZR20
R: 285/35ZR20
1995 kg
186 mph (limited)
3.8 (c) / 3.7*
8.5*
S65 AMG Coupe
2014
Front-engined, RWD
Steel + aluminum monocoque
Mainly aluminum
5044 / 1913 / 1422 mm
2945 mm
V12, 60-degree
5980 cc
SOHC 36 valves
Twin-turbo
Twin-spark
630 hp / 4800-5400 rpm
737 lbft / 2300-4300 rpm
7-speed automatic
F: 4-link
R: multi-link
MBC, ABC
F: 255/40ZR20
R: 285/35ZR20
2110 kg
155 mph (limited)
4.0 (c) / 4.1*
8.8*




Performance tested by: *C&D





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
S560 4matic Coupe
2018
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel + aluminum monocoque
Mainly aluminum
5032 / 1899 / 1411 mm
2945 mm
V8, 90-degree
3982 cc
DOHC 32 valves, DVVT
Twin-turbo
DI, cylinder deactivation
469 hp
516 lbft
9-speed automatic
F: 4-link
R: multi-link
MBC, ABC
F: 245/40ZR20
R: 275/35ZR20
2060 kg
155 mph (limited)
4.4 (c)
-
AMG S63 4matic Coupe
2018
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel + aluminum monocoque
Mainly aluminum
5051 / 1913 / 1428 mm
2945 mm
V8, 90-degree
3982 cc
DOHC 32 valves, DVVT
Twin-turbo
DI, cylinder deactivation
612 hp / 5500-6000 rpm
664 lbft / 2750-4500 rpm
9-speed MCT
F: 4-link
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping, air springs
F: 255/40ZR20
R: 285/35ZR20
2005 kg
186 mph (limited)
3.4 (c)
-




























Performance tested by: -





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