As Spring was arriving fast and summer was not arriving rapidly enough, we decided to test drive a luxury vehicle that is capable in any weather. The new Audi S8 left an extremely positive impression when we first saw it at the Ingolstad plants in Germany a few days prior to its 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show reveal. Since then, the car has raised a stir thanks to its very high-quality interior design and incredible performance. Although during our test drive we had a snow storm and the car had studded winter tires that limited our test drive, it was obvious that the S8 is a rocket. Lue lisää →
The new S 63 AMG Coupé is the latest dream car to augment the Mercedes-AMG model range. Exciting lines underpin this two-door model’s design. Dominance and sensual purity combine to lend the vehicle irresistible presence and effortlessly superior sportiness. Equally impressive is the combination of high driving dynamics, ambitious lightweight construction and groundbreaking efficiency. As the most powerful member of the BlueDIRECT engine family, the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine is a paragon of poise and assurance. Boasting an output of 430 kW (585 hp) and 900 Nm of torque, the S 63 AMG Coupé delivers exceptional performance with remarkably low fuel consumption. Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is available as an option. And there is a world first in the shape of the curve tilting function, part of the MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension system, to further enhance both driving pleasure and comfort. Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “The new S 63 AMG Coupé is another exciting AMG dream car in the luxury segment. Now the S-Class Coupé also comes with the option of performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive – as we rigorously pursue our all-wheel-drive initiative. Mercedes-AMG is putting the pedal to the metal again in the new year. Our model initiative is set to continue at blistering pace in 2014.”
65 kilograms lighter thanks to AMG Lightweight Performance The S 63 AMG Coupé is the latest model to benefit from the systematic implementation of the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy. Lightweight construction has reduced the vehicle weight by 65 kilograms – even though the car has a higher output and more extensive standard equipment than the predecessor model. This weight saving was achieved largely thanks to the use of a lightweight lithium-ion battery, AMG forged light-alloy wheels and a weight-optimised AMG high-performance composite braking system. Furthermore, the entire outer skin and the front end of the body are madeof aluminium. The reduced weight improves driving dynamics and cuts fuel consumption, while the low power-to-weight ratio of 3.41 kg/hp results in effortlessly superior performance: the S 63 AMG Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 to 4.3 seconds, depending on model variant, and goes on to reach a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited). In terms of maximum output, torque and fuel consumption, the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine remains one of the most efficient series-produced V8 engines of all. With an output of 430 kW (585 hp) and 900 Nm of torque, the AMG eight-cylinder unit from the BlueDIRECT engine family meets even the most demanding of requirements. Compared to the previous CL 63 AMG model, engine output has been increased by 30 kW (41 hp) and torque by 100 Nm. Yet the S 63 AMG Coupé still consumes less fuel: The NEDC combined figure of 10.1 litres per 100 kilometres makes the two-door model the most fuel-efficient model in its competitive segment. This reduction of up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres and compliance with the EU6 emissions standard show that performance, efficiency and environmental compatibility are by no means mutually exclusive at Mercedes-AMG.
The models at a glance:
S 63 AMG Coupé
S 63 AMG Coupé 4MATIC*
430 kW (585 hp)
at 5500 rpm
430 kW (585 hp)
at 5500 rpm
at 2250-3750 rpm
at 2250-3750 rpm
10.1 l/100 km
10.3 l/100 km
Kerb weight (according to EC)
* only available with left-hand drive; ** ready-to-drive condition (fuel tank 90% full, without driver and luggage); *** ready-to-drive condition (fuel tank 90% full, with driver (68 kg) and luggage (7 kg); **** electronically limited. Lue lisää →
+ Delivers amazing speeds also on winding roads + Travel comfort in a sporty car + Consumption and power in this class – Price in Finland – Door rubber seals swing out – Front seat leather worn in a relatively new test car
We were convinced by the new BMW X5 F15 when we tested it and that’s why we decided to test the sportiest version, the BMW Motorsport tuned M50d. On paper it promises a lot from the same three-liter engine, which we found plenty strong already in the 30d. This version promises 381 horsepower (280 kW) thanks to triple-turbo technology and variable turbine geometry. Acceleration 0-100 km/h takes only 5.3 seconds and this was achived easily in the previous model (E70). Similar power can be found in the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg, but they are equipped with less economical V8 diesel engine and are not available as 7-seaters.
What is the number one luxury car? The most common answer would probably be the S-Class Mercedes, the kind of ride used by heads of state, sheiks and dictators all over the world. The Mercedes S-Class is clearly the flagship in it’s class and a milestone when compared with other brands of luxury cars (such as the BMW 7 Series , Audi A8).
We had a possibility to test drive the delivery of the new W222 -series Mercedes- Benz S500 L, and we gladly grabbed the opportunity. The S500 is a 450 horsepower luxury business missile, which has adequate power for any situation. We compared the new S-Class to the previous generation W221 S500 series model (model year 2008), which had a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8 good for 388 horsepower. The older model was equipped with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, while our brand new test car was rear wheel driven.
Engine and Drivability
Our test car was rear wheel drive and in the Finnish winter this is not a good thing. Despite having 450 hp and promising a 0-100 km/h of 4.8 s, we only managed to get a time of 6.2 seconds, which was frustrating and disappointing at the same time. The wet road surface combined with studded tires, rear wheel drive and a massive 700 Nm of torque caused the traction control system to work overtime. Only occasionally on dry spots we got a glimpse of the car’s performance potential. Unfortunately the rear-wheel drive is not suitable for the Finnish winter and therefore we highly recommend 4MATIC all-wheel drive for all high performance models. Although this model had a large V8 under the hood, only a subdued murmur entered the cabin.
The car is intended for peaceful cruising, especially on long trips, so the steering is quite light and forgiving and it can’t be described as very sporty or accurate. Compared to the previous generation W221 with the AMG-pack, the control was more numb. The suspension is soft and luxurious, it filters out the poor Finnish roads efficiently and the ride comfort is better than before, even without the new Magic Body Control air suspension, which was not available for test drive.
The 7-speed transmission worked smoothly, but it is no longer the most modern and economical type on the market and the new 8- speed automatic and 7-speed dual clutch transmissions are better. Mercedes has, however, recently introduced a new 9-speed gearbox 9G, which is updated for the S-Series during 2014, probably from model year 2015 onwards. That will be a gamechanger.
Safety Equipment and Features
The S-series is best known for it’s technical innovations and unmatched luxury. It has been for decades the technical showcase model in which all the advances in technology are presented first, after which the equipment will gradually become available to more common and affordable cars. Examples of innovations found first in the S-Series are numerous. Among them ESP stability control, ABS brakes, night vision assistant, adaptive cruise control etc. In the latest W222 model all indoor and outdoor lights are LED lights and there is a glamorous lounge -like lighting and atmosphere inside. Interior light color can be adjusted to one’s mood. The one thing we were disappointed in, was that in the times of 3D bluray the entertainment system was still DVD-based.
New technological innovations include Magic Body Control air suspension and seat belts airbags . Technological advantages of the Magic Body Control -chassis are presented in the video below:
Magic Body Control is able to predict uneven road surfaces through the stereo camera due to bumps in the road and adjust the suspension accordingly. Rear seat belt airbags, in turn, will increase the surface area of the seat belt, minimizing the load on the chest of passengers in a collision.
The new S-series also features air ionization ( Air Balance), which lets you create a pleasant fragrance environment from four different scent options. Also the Burmester audio system is a new option, and the 1.450 euro (tax-free) extra price is justified for those who enjoy high-quality sound.
All in all, even a standard S-Class is luxurious and full of tech toys, but only by ticking optional extras, the car becomes the milestone, based on which the S-Class has received its reputation. The car we test drove had over 46,000 euros (tax-free) of accessories, so the technology doesn’t come cheap. Our personal favorites include the Night View Assist, keyless go, dynamic handling control seats, as well as thermal comfort package. Thermal comfort package heats also the armrest and door side panels in addition to front seats, which will bring added comfort in our cold climate conditions.
Interior and Comfort
Comfort is the main advantage of the S-Class. There is nothing that comes even close to the S-Class level. Our test car was the extended Lang model with ample rear space. The tested car featured also the rear seat comfort package, which allows the rear seats to be electrically adjusted and fitted with massage, heating, ventilation functions etc. The interior as a whole is first-class and modern. The suspension is more comfortable than ever, the difference between the previous generation is clear.
It is hard to find anything to criticize in the new S-class. A slightly disconnected steering feel could be mentioned, but then again, it belongs to the nature of the car, since this is no track car in spite of the 450 -horsepower output. The steering wheel design is not our favorite and the new COMAND could be be more intuitive, but these are a matter of taste. What is clear is that the new S-Class is a new milestone to which other brands of luxury models will again be compared.
As tested the S500 model was nearly 250,000 euros, of which the car tax accounts for an unbelievable EUR 90,000 almost doubling the price of the car. This is not, however, the car’s fault. Finland’s unreasonable and absurd car tax is to be blamed.
Acceleration from 0-100 km / h (2 passengers, full tank and studded tires) : 6.2s Test consumption: 12.6 l/100 km
Technical data (indicated by the manufacturer):
Engine: 4663 cm3 V8 Power: 335 kW / 450 hp @ 5250 to 5500 RPM Torque: 700 Nm @ 1800-3500 RPM Acceleration from 0-100 km / h: 4.8 s CO2 emissions : 199 g / km Consumption: 12.1 l/100 km (city) , 6.4 l/100 km (highway) , 8.6 l/100 km (combined)
BMW proudly presents the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé (combined fuel consumption: 8.1–4.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 189–119 g/km), the first four-door coupé in the premium midsize class that represents a consistent extension of the model range. Following the launch of the BMW 4 Series Coupé and Convertible, the Gran Coupé is the third model to join the new BMW 4 Series, which is longer, wider and more dynamic than any of the previous midsize series due to the balanced proportions of the vehicles. The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé combines the sleek look of a two-door coupé with the functionality provided by four-doors and expansive spaciousness, including a wide-access luggage compartment. Lue lisää →