First Drive

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet review - price, specs and release date

Mercedes' performance arm AMG has fettled with the S-Class Cabriolet to come up with this S63 version. At more than Β£100,000, is it worth its hefty pricetag?

Words ByRachel Burgess

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Mercedes S63 Cabriolet

Priced from Β£140,000 (est) Release date Early 2018

The Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet is the sportier, convertible version of the S-Class saloon, currently our favourite luxury car between Β£50,000 and Β£100,000. The S63 Cabriolet we're focusing on here is the middle of the range: there is an entry-level S560 model and a top-end AMG S65 model.

Changes to the previous model, which launched in 2014, are predominantly under the skin of the car rather than the exterior. Styling changes include an AMG grille - called Panamericana - and some new front aprons and side skirts. There’s also new snazzy lights at the back, called OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode).

More notably, there is a new 4.0litre V8 biturbo engine, replacing the S63's old 5.5-litre, a new nine-speed automatic replacing a seven-speed and a host of fancy technology already seen on the S-Class saloon.

Pricing isn’t yet announced, but will start from around Β£140,000, which is far cheaper than an Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, but on a par with rivals such as the forthcoming Aston Martin DB11 Volante and some versions of the soon-to-go-off-sale Bentley Continental GTC.

2017 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet on the road

The S63 Cabriolet manages to offer broad appeal despite its speed and handling capabilities. Let's cover those off: it hits 0-62mph in phenomenal 3.5sec, even more remarkable when you consider it weighs more than two tonnes.

And that weight doesn’t do much harm to how it takes corners either. It means, if you want to – and we suspect many don’t – you can really enjoy driving this car at the limit, and more so than in a Vanquish Volante or Continental GTC.

There are three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Comfort is by far the most popular, says Mercedes, but it is in Sport+ where the S63 feels its most agile.

It’s worth noting that our test car was four-wheel-drive (4Matic), but when the S63 Cabriolet arrives in the UK, it will only be available in rear-wheel-drive, which slows the 0-62mph to 4.2sec and will affect handling to some extent.

But despite its sporting capabilities, the S63 Cab remains incredibly refined and comfortable. Wind deflectors at the front and rear help it out with the roof down, while with the roof up – which takes 20 seconds up to 31mph – the cabin is decently quiet, thanks to a three-layer insulated roof.

2017 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet interior

It’s near impossible to fault the quality of the S63’s interior which is cosseted in leather. It also gets the swish new widescreen cockpit, which has two digital screens side by side, on which you can access everything you’d ever need.

There are new steering wheel controls, which allow you to manage almost everything, including cruise control, volume but also how your screens are set up and more.

As standard, the AMG is well-equipped with sat nav, cruise control, Bluetooth. Worthy options include the Β£1600 Driver Assistance Pack which features all the semi-autonomous technology found on the S-Class saloon.

We tested the active distance control and active steering assist, which essentially, allows you (if it were legal) to take your hands off the wheel for up to 30 seconds and can not only speed up and down but also steer around bends. It’s impressive stuff, even if means the Germans are just catching up with Tesla.

Rear seat space is also respectable for this kind of car, which, let’s be honest, will rarely have more than two passengers onboard.

Next: 2017 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet verdict >

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