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View all Mercedes-Benz S-Class reviews
Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8
  • Three petrol engines, all very powerful
  • Seven- or nine-speed gearboxes
  • Speed rises proportionally to cost

There’s a trio of engines in the S-Class Coupe line-up, and all drink petrol.

It’s possible that a plug-in hybrid version will join the line-up at some future juncture, but we’ve no firm information on that yet.

Mercedes-Benz S 500 Coupe

While the 4.6-litre V8 petrol motor and nine-speed automatic gearbox combination in the entry-level version doesn’t offer quite the sort of frantic accelerative performance of the AMG models, it still makes for one seriously fast car.

With 455hp and 700Nm of torque, it makes simply effortless progress, supported by stats that proclaim this two-tonne two-door will cover 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically governed to 155mph.

It’s at its best cruising at lower speeds, however, with the V8’s silky power delivery joining ultra-smooth gearchanges from the sophisticated transmission.

You can sharpen up the experience a little using the button in the centre console, which offers a Sport mode to quicken gear-changes. We found it far better left in Comfort, however; that’s more in keeping with the S 500 Coupe’s luxury character.

Mercedes-Benz S 560 Coupe

The S 560 was announced as the replacement for the S 500 at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. We’ve yet to drive this new engine, but with 469hp and 700Nm of torque, its performance figures match the S 500 but with far better claimed fuel economy.

Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe

Until the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, this model was powered by a 5.5-litre V8 twin-turbo with 585hp and 900Nm of torque, meaning 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds. Top speed is again limited to 155mph.

The sheer amount of performance on offer here is so astonishing, it’s difficult to imagine why you’d need the below S 65. The 63 sounds fantastic too.

Facelifted Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe

With the 2017, the engine in the S 63 was changed to the 4.0-litre V8 that sees service in the C 63 and AMG GT, with 4Matic all-wheel drive added, too. We’ve yet to drive this version, but it comes with 612hp and 900Nm of torque. It’s still electronically limited to 155mph.

Mercedes-AMG S 65 Coupe

At the top of the S-Class Coupe line-up is this ultra-extravagant 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 that develops 630hp and 1,000Nm of torque. The result 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds – just 0.1sec faster than the pre-facelift S 63, which considering the £57k premium at time of writing, seems paltry at best and miserly at worst.

However, this engine is a masterpiece. Hand-built like all AMG engines, it has noticeably more torque at all speeds and suits the S-Class Coupe down to the ground. Sure, it’s expensive, but it’s also absolutely captivating.

  • S-Class Coupe shows its dual character
  • We delve into the clever chassis
  • For a big car it is surprisingly agile

There are some technical differences in the conventional S 500 Coupe and its harder-edged S 63 and S 65 performance derivatives in the chassis department too.

Mercedes-Benz S 500 Coupe handling

Considering it’s no AMG model, the S 500 Coupe does handle remarkably well. It sits on standard air suspension and comes with the firm’s Active Curve System installed.

This can counter the centrifugal effects of cornering, keeping the car flat and stable through bends in a similar fashion to Pendolino trains by adding 2.5 degrees of body roll towards the inside of the bend. This technology made its world debut on this particular model.

The steering isn’t the final word in response or communication, however. The wheel itself is covered in beautifully sumptuous leather, but feedback is conspicuous by its absence if you start to drive the S 500 Coupe hard.

You can firm-up the suspension via a button on the centre console, but this doesn’t transform the two-tonne S-Class into a sports car. You can still sense its mass, and on B-roads it’s actually a little unwieldy. You’re best to sit back, relax and take it easy.

Mercedes-AMG S 63 and S 65 Coupe handling

This pair differs from the S 500 Coupe in that they feature upgraded AMG sports suspension – this remains adjustable, however.

Both cars handle incredibly impressively given two caveats: they’re large, heavy vehicles and they’re not meant to be as sporty as the SL-Class or Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe.

What that means is you can expect a far more comfortable ride than you’d expect considering the AMG S-Class Coupes’ performance, but even in Sport mode the body moves around a little more than we’d prefer.

You can counter this somewhat by selecting the Curve mode for the Active Curve System, but this does have the effect of feeling a little unnatural if you’re not used to it.