As Mercedes-Benz’s S-class gets a refresh for 2010, the high-performance AMG models will be updated as well. Official press pictures will be released during the Shanghai auto show later this month, but the automaker’s German-market online configurator has spilled the beans early.
If you found previous AMG versions of the S-class to be too discreet, you’ll be happy to know that the package has been sharpened considerably. The front fascia has been altered to make room for a large center air intake. The circular fog lights also have been removed, while the outer air intakes now integrate LED light strips. The S63 and S65 are distinguished by their badging, wheel choices, and front grilles. As to the grilles, the V-8–powered S63 wears five slim, horizontal bars, while the V-12 S65 displays three double strips, just like the S600. The quadruple exhaust tips are larger on the S65, and each pair meets in the middle. The taillights also feature new LED elements. We were hoping that AMG would move the shifter from the steering column to the center console where it belongs, as was done for the 2010 E63 AMG, but that’s not the case.
Both models remain among the most outrageous choices in the upper-luxury segment. The S65, with its 604-hp, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 producing 738 lb-ft of torque from 2000 to 4000 rpm, is more powerful than the 2010 BMW 760i/Li, as well as the 2009 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed. The S63 AMG is a bit tamer, with a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 producing “just” 518 hp and 465 lb-ft. Nevertheless, chances are you won't encounter anything faster on your commute, and the burly V-8 makes all the right sounds, too. In the S63, you get a seven-speed automatic transmission; the S65 uses a five-speed automatic—necessary to handle the mountains of torque—but it never leaves you wanting for more gears.