Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
On the one hand, the new S63 AMG is a very surprising thing - a large, imposing brute that somehow manages to be supremely rapid. But on the other hand, it's not surprising at all: it takes all of the headline-grabbing attributes of the monumental and statuesque S-Class ubersaloon, and smooshes them into a cookie cutter that's shaped like a sports coupé. Bravo on toast.
The numbers stack up rather boisterously. Under the bonnet is a 5.5-litre biturbo V8 offering a robust 585bhp, which rumbles like stampeding cattle and rolls along sufficient torque to always offer urgent acceleration whenever you feel like burying the throttle into the carpet for kicks. It's got multi-link suspension with air springs, sodding great brakes, and AMG's Speedshift 7-speed 'box, so it's eager - and yet it's still an S-Class limo at heart. That's why you find massive TFT screens forming the dash displays, little seatbelt butlers that reach out and hand you a belt when you shut the door (a door, incidentally, that is happy to shut itself if you can't be bothered), sumptuously crafted front seats that soothingly massage your kidneys, lane assist, steer assist, heated rear seats... if you're the sort of person who has a demanding family to cart around (but they don't have too much luggage), you enjoy a spirited drive when you're on your own, and you've got £150k to drop, this is the car for you.
Some solid consumer advice there. You're welcome.