2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Review

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Review

For one torrid week recently, I kept a rocket in my pocket.

It looked like any other modern car key-fob, but this particular chunk of radiated plastic probably glowed in the dark with evil intent.

The sinister fob lit the fuse on an asphalt-inhaling 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, probably the fastest four-door sedan I’ve ever driven.

If I look different, I’m a tad shorter after my week with the beast, compressed by the squeeze of 630 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque.

It hurt so good.

In some ways, the matte blue GT 63 I had can be viewed as a four-door version of AMG’s blistering GT 63 coupe.

The sedan version rolls on an E63 S station wagon platform, but like the coupe, gets heavily tweaked and tuned by Mercedes’ AMG performance division, which also hand-builds the ferocious V-8 beneath the hood.

Think of it as a renegade Benz that escaped the Mercedes compound before the suits at M-B could tame it.

And it still looks kind of wild.

Twelve thin vertical chrome strips trimmed the muscled-up sedan’s huge horizontal grille -- teeth in someone’s rearview mirror.

Relatively small, intense headlamps flanked the grille, topped by a long, broad hood.

Credit: Mercedes-AMG (2019 Model Year Pictured)

Though the sedan’s AMG-designed body was pretty smooth, it sported curvaceous muscle and shoulders over the rear wheels, crouching down on fine-looking 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped with meaty 275/35 tires up front and 315/35s in the rear.

Huge gold AMG brake-calipers shouted Autobahn from behind the 63’s alloy wheels while twin black exhaust pipes bristled from each corner of the back.

Meanwhile, a sleek, beautifully curved top slid into a short hatchback that gave the low, burly sedan the slink and stance of a sports car.

Although you can opt for three less expensive and less powerful models of the AMG GT sedan, one taste of the top-of-the-line 63 S might tempt you to seriously consider its dizzying $191,000 sticker-price.

I mean, do the kids really need to go to college?

Even with twin turbochargers capable of more than 20 pounds of boost, the all-wheel-drive sedan felt surprisingly civilized at modest speeds, accelerating with smooth ease. But don’t get too comfortable.

In fact, you might want to take your contacts out.

Slam the accelerator to the floor and all four tires spin briefly before the all-wheel-drive 63 S blasts off with the shriek and seeming force of a cruise missile.

It rips to 60 mph in a stunning 2.9 seconds, according to Car and Driver, its nine-speed automatic clicking off rapid, race-quality shifts.

In sport mode, the 4,700-pound sedan also tears into corners with mid-size vengeance, settling comfortably into a tight, grippy line with no lean.

However, it comes with a price.

The car rides stiffly, naturally, its low-profile tires crashing down hard on any bumps in the street. Put the 63 S in comfort mode, though, and the ride smooths out a bit.

About the only thing I didn’t like about the car’s dynamics was its quick-but-numb steering, which made it difficult to tell what the front wheels were doing – and in this car, they tend to do things rapidly.

This will come as no surprise, I’m sure, but the 63 S only manages overall fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon.

Credit: Mercedes-AMG (2019 Model Year Pictured)

I loved and loathed the black Nappa leather and gray interior in my 63 S.

Two rectangular 12.3-inch bins sat side by side, housing the instrument panel and infotainment system, which was home to the worst stereo I have ever encountered.

The high-dollar Burmeister unit sounded great, but tuning it proved too daunting for this old Texas boy.

None of the arrows on the face of the thing responded when I pushed on them, and since I only had the car for a week, I passed on consulting the 520-page owner’s manual.

Moreover, the awful touchpad on the console changed stations if I brushed it lightly or cursed it loudly.

Why must life and German sedans be so complicated?

At least the 63 S offered carbon-fiber trim on the dashboard and door panels, as well as great sport seats with high bolsters and sectioned centers in suede and leather.

It also lugged a full load of safety nannies, including active cruise control, stop assist, speed assist, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot assist.

Sometimes, they even let me drive.

Be careful who you put in the back, though. Head-room in the slinky 63 S was kind of limited, but leg-room was fine.

The car came stuffed with $30,000 in options, including ceramic brakes ($8,950); the beautiful cross-spoke wheels ($2,700); the sport seats ($2,500); and all the driver-assistance stuff ($2,250).

Does any of this represent great value? Probably not. But the 63 S will give you a reason to get up every morning with a smile, and what is that worth?

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S

  • What I liked most: The Mercedes-AMG GT’s great style and retina-flattening performance.
  • What I would change: That maddening sound system – or at least the way in which it was set up and operated.
  • MSRP: Base price, $161,200; as equipped, $191,105.
  • Official color: Brilliant Blue Magno.
  • Fuel economy: 15 miles per gallon in the city, 20 on the highway and 17 combined with filler on the right.
  • Odometer reading when tested: 4,903 miles.
  • Spare tire: None.
  • Weight: 4,682 pounds.
  • Length-width-height: 199.2 inches long/76.9 inches wide/57 inches tall.
  • Fuel-tank capacity: 21.1 gallons.
  • Towing capacity: Not applicable.
  • 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S in a few words: Simply one of the most amazing cars I’ve ever driven.
  • Warranty: Four years or 50,000 miles.
  • Final assembly location: Sindelfingen, Germany.
  • Manufacturer’s website: www.mbusa.com
  • E-mail me at terry@carprousa.com
  • Up next: 2020 BMW X6 xDrive40i