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OVERALL
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The Top Gear car review:

Mercedes-AMG GT63S 4MATIC+

R3 253 000

No items found.

A relentlessly fast 4-door Supercar slayer

9

OVERALL
VERDICT

For:

Bewildering dynamic ability.

Against:

Not much really. It's heavy perhaps.

What is it?

Many years ago some legend of a person at Mercedes-AMG pondered a range of 63-designated cars in the stable and thought…mmm, we really need something even more capable than the S63, the E63S and, well, anything else that had four doors and a V8 under the snout. If the Porsche Panamera was really causing so many sleepless nights at AMG they could have just improved the above-mentioned cars surely – but no, there had to be another way. The GT63S 4-door Coupé was the answer. And what an answer it was.

Firstly, it’s not really in the same family of engineering tech as the 2-door AMG GT. Similar in name but not too similar in nature. The 4-door Coupé is in fact an E63S starter pack that the AMG team went to work on in no small way. More on that a bit later.

So in effect, the GT63S 4-door Coupé is very much the high level of AMG performance talent. It’s packed with a raft of tech to make it one of the most competent 4-door performance cars ever made. We can all thank the Panamera for that – if a car like this can be created solely because of another car, then it’s the perfect explanation for why competition is such a good thing in any industry.

As performance-oriented as the Mercedes-AMG GT63S 4MATIC+ 4-door Coupé is (that’s the full name) there’s something of a disconnect with its exterior profile. Don’t get me wrong, you can see it means business by its quad tailpipes, it’s AMG grille and bonnet bulges but not such serious business. With its retractable wing sitting flush in its cradle it doesn’t seem as menacing as it actually is. A variety of spec options can enhance that visage. If you’re into that matt look then the designo graphite grey or selenite grey are standout options.  

But Panamera comparisons aside, the AMG GT63S 4-door also goes head to head with a certain BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupé. If you’re in the above R3,2-Million bracket, what fantastic choice you have.




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Layout, finish and space

One of the gripes I have with say a BMW M8, is that its interior doesn’t feel as special as what you might find in a BMW 5-Series with great spec. Not in the AMG. The AMG GT63S 4-door has a unique cabin with a layout and finish that is just that bit more special. The central tunnel and storage compartment is raised and features its own TFT switchgear, with illuminated buttons that are certainly different to the standard Mercedes Benz design.

The Mercedes-AMG comes with two 12,3-inch displays that integrate to form Mercs top notch infotainment system dubbed MBUX. We’re pretty familiar with it but in this car with this much spec, there’s a lot of depth to what’s possible. The options call out your name and you really can spec the AMG GT 4-door with S-Class levels of technology. The car bristles with long lists of high tech, high spec features. My test car is decked out with illuminated sills, wireless charging in the front and rear compartments, extra storage and even Climatised front seats which means heating and cooling functions.

There are four distinct and comfortable seats, our test car sporting the AMG Performance Seats. The GT63S 4-door can be optioned with an additional rear bench to make it a 5-seater, something that gives them the upper hand as far as these go. There’s ample legroom, more than both its competitors and still, you’ll fit 461-litres into the boot. Take note that should you want split rear seats for more room, you’ll need to option that. The car comes standard with fixed rear seats for improved rigidity. You’ll see why shortly.

The party piece is a stunning AMG Performance Steering wheel finished in a DINAMICA microfibre (read Alcantara)/carbon fibre trim. It’s fantastic really. A gem from which to guide the ballistic Benz. It’s as ballistic as they come.



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What is it like on the road?

It’s not entirely uncommon nowadays for car manufacturers to use a Nürburgring lap record to announce their performance credentials. The GT63S was launched with that sort of fanfare as the fastest 4-seater production car around the infamous ‘ring. The car it beat was... we’ll get to that. Before I try to summarise the driving experience let me explain some of the intense labours poured into this car.

As mentioned, the underpinnings start as an E63S, an already bonkers motor car by any stretch. Then they add 20 kW of muscle to the power unit, now delivering 470kW of power and yes 900Nm of torque. Now let’s add some rigidity to cope with all of this: carbon fibre boot floor and carbon fibre rear bulkhead, steel reinforcements at the back, aluminium suspension componentry and dynamic engine mounts at the front. The power is driven to all 4 wheels via a 9-speed auto.  AMG then throws in air suspension, active aerodynamics, carbon ceramic brakes and rear wheel steering to assist with stability in those high speed corners but also to turn this massive car into something slightly more manageable in car parks and tighter spaces. It is by all accounts, a hugely endowed piece of machinery.

Managing all of this spectacularly complex set up is a management system that must be commended in its ease of use, its intuitive display and its sheer dynamic versatility. The Dynamic Select system is not your average system. Its fitted with driving modes galore.  If you dare, you can even figure out how to send all the power to the rear wheels for full bore Drift Mode but I say again – if you dare, because the other management component of this dazzling array of power is of course, the outie driving the thing.

In Comfort mode the AMG GT63S 4-door can be quite tame and docile. It’s not softly sprung certainly but doesn’t display any particularly uncomfortable behaviour apart from when you’re doing a full lock turn into a parking lot where it bucks on its front wheels, a trait not too uncommon in performance cars. It’s uncomfortable but you’ll get used to it quite quickly. You can option the GT 4-door with a full suite of driving assistance systems, including the Distronic Plus with active steering and lane keeping as well as PRE-SAFE, a system that primes the car and you if it senses imminent impact. There really are a lot of these assistance systems that can turn your ‘commute’ into something of a non-event but I am certain that’s hardly going to happen.

You just cannot ignore the power unit that AMG has delivered here. It is a scintillating, titillating drawcard. We are fans of AMG’s for their hooliganistic engines and the noise that emanates from them, and there’s no difference here. It is the second most powerful production AMG you can buy right now - after the AMG GT Black Series - and it will barrel forth into the distance with unrelentless shove snapping through the gears with lightning speed and thunderous noise. 0 - 100km/h is dealt with in 3,2-seconds helped by a vicious launch control system, and it will mission on with unrelenting power onto the other side of 320km/h. All boxes ticked for mind-warping speed but it gets more and more bewildering as you get into the corners.

It features an electro-mechanical steering that is quick and accurate, precise and confident in its turn-in. The front-end is seemingly of much lighter and smaller race-bred cars. The all-wheel drive system is predominantly rear-wheel biased so the car doesn’t suffer any uncharacteristic understeer, instead erring towards a very manageable and unsurprising oversteer snap but it comes very late into the equation. This car has grip beyond its size.

This is a large car and it weighs in at just a touch over 2 tons but the dynamic engine mounts and body control systems work so well that you will constantly be in awe at its ability, despite its weight.






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Running costs and reliability

At this price level, you’re indeed spoiled for choice. There’s a ton of highly competent and desirable cars that will ooze with preposterous speed and noise and even some with an added sense of design flair.

Direct competitors remain the BMW M8 Competition GC as well as the newly updated Porsche Panamera Turbo S, which incidentally is the car that has now once again taken that Nürburgring lap record crown away from the GT63S 4-door – by just 5-seconds.

As with all these cars mentioned here, the AMG GT can be optioned to a very high level of luxury and technological specification adding a fair chunk of money to the price tag. Such is the price and game of luxury buying, an ability to configure a car to what you as the owner want, at a deal that you as the owner are willing to accept. Either way, the Mercedes-AMG GT63S 4MATIC+ 4-door Coupé is a worthy consideration.


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Final thoughts

The name is a mouthful but so is the car itself. This Mercedes-AMG GT63S 4MATIC+ 4-door Coupé is an elevation of what the super saloon is capable of. It is so multi-dimensionally talented and faultless in its approach.

There may be a question around its weight and its seemingly unconventional proportions, but make no mistake, there’s an agility and nimbleness to its dynamic exploits that will leave you mesmerised in no uncertain terms and all veiled in a stylish and luxury cockpit.


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