2014 Mercedes S-Class Coupe review

We drive the AMG version of the Mercedes S-Class Coupe, a two-door version of our favourite luxury car that promises opulence, power and style

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The Mercedes S-Class Coupe is a two-door version of the already incredibly luxurious S-Class saloon, but comes with an engine line-up that is far more focused on the sporty element of driving.

It also looks stunning, with a lower roofline and shorter wheelbase than the saloon, while the interior has a unique floating dash design, and sportier three-spoke steering wheel. Underneath, there's a different exhaust and tweaked suspension settings.

The S63 Coupe launches with a 5.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 producing a mighty 577bhp. Two other engines will soon join the range, the S500 with a 4.7-litre twin-turbo motor with 449bhp, and an even more outrageous V12-powered S65 as well for those with even deeper pockets.

However, Mercedes says there are no plans, for now at least, to put a diesel into the S-Class Coupe.

What is the 2014 Mercedes S-Class Coupe like to drive?

Mercedes is aiming to appeal to keener drivers with the potent engines in the S-Class Coupe, but there's no getting away from the fact that even as a two-door, this is a very heavy car. Yet there's so much power that it still accelerates incredibly quickly in the case of the S63 AMG. It can reach 62mph from a standstill in just 4.2 seconds – just 0.1 slower than the new BMW M3.

A pillowy soft ride is one of the S-Class Saloon's best points, and the Coupe feels just as luxuriant despite its suspension having been lowered by 10mm and stiffened. There are two driving modes to choose from – Comfort and Sport – and both strike a fine balance between sharp body control and a cossetting, smooth ride.

The 'Magic Body Control' takes smoothing things out around corners even further. It leans the car into the curve of a bend to counteract bodyroll and does a remarkable job of flattening out fast, flowing corners, even if it feels a little odd at first.

For now, the S-Class Coupe comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. It's probably the weakest point of the car, because it can become flustered and unresponsive when you really hustle the car along. A new nine-speed transmission will be introduced in the S500 Coupe, which arrives in January.

The Coupe is a wonderful car in which to cover long distances because there's very little wind and road noise.

However, it is a real shame that the best place to appreciate the snorting roar from those large and powerful V8 engines is from the outside of the car – they sound a bit muted from the driver's seat.

What is the 2014 Mercedes S-Class Coupe like inside?

The S-Class Coupe gets the same wonderfully finished cabin as the saloon, covered in a variety of fantastic-feeling materials. Soft-touch leathers, polished woods and plastics and touches of chrome metal work combine to make the cabin feel very special indeed.

Those front seats are covered in high-quality quilted leather, and are electronically adjustable and have thick side bolsters to hold you in place.

Twin widescreen displays on the dash give the cabin a modern, high-tech look, and feature high-definition graphics. One sits behind the steering wheel and contains all the speedometer and rev counters etc, while the other displays the various navigation and infotainment systems.

The infotainment system isn't the most intuitive of set-ups, however, although the touchpad that allows you to write into the system is a clever touch. It isn't that easy to use on the move, though.

Space up front is incredibly generous, even with the standard-fit panoramic glass roof. The back seats are less spacious though. A six-foot adult will fit (just), but headroom is tight, legroom is merely adequate and getting into and out of it is something that cannot be done gracefully.

That's the price you pay for the svelte looks, although cars such as the BMW M6 have similar issues. That said, the Bentley Continental GT probably offers a bit more room in the back.

At 400 litres, the S-Class Coupe's boot is more spacious than those in most of its rivals.

Should I buy one?

If you're in the market for a big, luxurious GT car, then the Coupe should be near the top of your list.

Customers looking for a car like this are unlikely to complain about the high running costs, and won't mind that prices are likely to start at around £97,000 for the S500 and go up to £125,000 for the S63 AMG.

However, alongside V12 rivals such as the Aston Martin Vanquish and Bentley Continental GT Speed the S-Class Coupe seems like a bargain, and is every bit as luxurious and good to drive as either British car. 

What Car? says...




Rivals

Bentley Continental GT

Aston Martin Vanquish

S63 AMG V8

Engine size

5.5-litre petrol

Price from

£125,000 est.

Power

577bhp

Torque

664lb ft

0-62mph

4.2 seconds

Top speed

155mph

Fuel economy

28.0mpg

CO2

237g/km




 
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