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Upgraded Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet. Image by Mercedes-AMG.

Upgraded Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet
New engines, OLED lights and more for the 2018 Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet.
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2018-10-04: Driven: Mercedes-Benz S 350 d

More Frankfurt fodder?

Yup, this time it's the turn of the 2018 Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet to take the spotlight, following on from the major overhaul enacted on the S-Class Saloon. There are relatively subtle exterior enhancements including restyled bumpers front and rear, new exhaust outlets and wheels, as you'd expect, plus OLED rear lights for all models. The AMG Line cars get cool chrome-pinned front grilles, while the full-on Mercedes-AMG models gain the Panamericana grille from their GT sibling.

Is that it?

No, not at all. There's a lot more happening inside, starting with new steering wheel designs featuring those lovely touch-sensitive control pads that debuted on the E-Class. They let the user swipe and scroll through all the sub-menus of the upgraded infotainment system, which now features the impressive looking Widescreen Cockpit layout, where two customisable 12.3-inch displays are housed behind one wide expanse of glass. They can also be controlled via the latest iteration of the Mercedes rotary and touchpad interface on the centre console or by an advanced new Linguatronic voice recognition system. As you'd expect, the AMG models get their own look and feel, with plenty of AMG badging, an IWC analogue clock and a meaty new sports steering wheel.

AMG, now you're talking...

Two of the four variants announced for production come from Affalterbach, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 and the S 65. Both are offered in Coupe and Cabriolet guises. As before, the S 65 is the slightly more mature and elegant hooligan. But hooligan it is, thanks to its biturbo V12 petrol engine, which sends 630hp and 1,000Nm of torque to the trembling rear tyres. To deal with the torque, AMG has retained the trusty SpeedShift TCT 7G seven-speed automatic.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 gets an upgrade. Its 5.5-litre biturbo V8 has been replaced by the company's newer 4.0-litre biturbo, still a V8 you'll be glad to know. It manages 612hp and 900Nm of torque and gains the AMG SpeedShift MCT 9G nine-speed transmission. Annoyingly, left-hand-drive markets get 4Matic four-wheel drive in the S 63, but it's not even an option for us that drive on the correct side of the road... So-equipped, it's a 0.6 seconds faster to 62mph from rest than the (rear-drive only) S 65 at 3.5 seconds. Mercedes quotes identical figures for the Coupe and Cabriolet.

The Mercedes-AMG S 63 (both body styles) and the S 65 Cabriolet come with AMG Ride Control+ as standard, with adaptive damping. The S 65 Coupe alone gets AMG Active Ride Control, which uses a stereo camera to scan the road surface ahead and adjust the suspension to suit - altering the damping at each individual wheel. It also has a curve-tilting function to 'bank' the car into a turn, while the whole car can be raised 40mm for ground clearance and it lowers itself automatically by 15mm at high speeds to reduce drag and the centre of gravity.

Any point talking about the regular models?

They're hardly 'pauper editions'... The entry-level S 450 Coupe is powered by a 3.0-litre V6, which produces 367hp and 500Nm of torque, while the star of the line-up could conceivably be the new S 560 variant - offered as a Coupe or a Cabriolet. It uses the same base engine as the AMG S 63, so it's a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, this time with peak outputs of 469hp and 700Nm. It features a nine-speed automatic too, if rather less speed-focused than that of the S 63, and Mercedes quotes a very respectable 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds.

Anything else to add?

We really like the sound of the Yellow Night Edition. Based on the Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe, it'll be available for the first six months of production only and painted either 'selenite grey magno' or 'night black magno' with yellow strips on the door mirrors. That colour is repeated on the brake callipers, which signifies the presence of the AMG high-performance composite ceramic braking system - fitted as standard. Those stoppers sit behind black seven-spoke alloys with silver rims. There's also a bit of a body kit, including a larger front splitter and rear spoiler lip (both high-gloss black unless you tick the box marked 'Carbon Fibre package'), plus AMG 'racing stripes' down the sides. More yellow detailing can be found inside, along with plenty of other extra equipment included in the yet-to-be-announced price.

Shane O' Donoghue - 4 Sep 2017

2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe. Image by Mercedes-AMG.    - Mercedes-Benz road tests
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