Reviews

2018 Mercedes-Benz / Mercedes-AMG S-class Coupe and Cabriolet

Hoping to develop criticisms for some members of Mercedes-Benz’s S-class lineup may feel a bit like picking nits using a Monet painting–you are almost reduced to stabbing the canvas using a crayon merely to find something worthy of criticism. Similarly, finding fault with the most recent S-class coupe and cabriolet versions takes a while, an impression strengthened after we spent time at the updated-for-2018 versions of this luxurious full-size two-doors, which provide a brand new motor, the carmaker’s most current driver-assistance attributes, and subtle styling revisions. These changes follow fast on the heels of these applied to the four-door S-class.

Much like the sedan, the non-AMG two-door V-8 versions, previously badged S550, have been rechristened S560 and awarded Mercedes-Benz’s omnipresent twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. The engine benefits from a feature that shuts down half of the cylinders under light loads, although in the coupe version, not the Cabrio. The S560 cabriolet is strictly driven, although the S560 coupe comes standard with the drive. A very similar–in this instance hand-built–twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 makes its way to the Mercedes-AMG S63 this season, where it generates a powerful 603 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. Mercifully, the at-times-jerky transmission — fitted with a clutch connecting it to the engine of last year–is gone. Sits a version of the same automatic used in the S560, even though with the coupler that is clutch-pack. All-wheel drive remains standard on the coupe and cabriolet, but the machine has control over torque distribution compared to the incoming setup. That trick compelled this version to be rebranded by Mercedes.

That is not a bad thing, given the 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque of the. The only downsides to the S65 are its sometimes clunky seven-speed automatic transmission (here using a conventional torque converter) and the absence of an all-wheel-drive alternative. Both can be blamed on the mountain of torque, which is good for any Mercedes transmission or transfer situation to deal with of the V-12. Regardless of their new engines, the S560 and the S63 engine down the road similar to their predecessors. The 4.0-liter V-8 provides snappier throttle response compared to ultra-smooth 4.7- and 5.5-liter engines it replaces. And we tip our cap to the transmission, which shows none of the responses to shifts of the unit gearchange stumbles, or the sensations of the S63. We guess the S63 and that the S560, like their siblings, will be quicker in our testing. The S65 will not be, and it will be slower compared to lack of all-wheel-drive traction that is launch-aiding and the S63 because of its mass.

Setting Race modes — the suspension for its Sport or — on the AMGs only adds a whiff of starch to the Comfort ride. They are all silent, too the cabriolet models when their acoustically lined fabric tops are raised. Those backpacks block out enough sound to convince you that you are riding in a fixed-roof automobile; they can also be powered down and up at speeds up to 31 mph in as few as 20 seconds. As before, the cabriolet can nix wind buffeting with the air deflector that runs around the windshield header and the top reduced, as a result of a rear end blocker. An installed end blocker that covers the seats helps conserve hairdos but creates a fair bit of noise.

As the appearance is inspired by the brand’s midcentury 300SL race car that won the 1952 Carrera 40, the S65 and the S63 gain a new grille with vertical strakes, known by Mercedes. Inside, each two-door S-class includes a fresh three-spoke steering wheel shared with the sedan. In what qualifies as a big deal one of Mercedes loyal, the switches have moved to the wheel out of a stalk. The tiller gains the set of thumbpads as the E-class and the S-class sedan; while the gauge cluster’s menus are navigated by the left, the center display is manipulated by the pad. Along with voice command and the pads, the COMAND infotainment setup can be manipulated to menus using a touchpad on the middle console, a knob, and a string of shortcuts.
The COMAND system is provided that you do not dive too deeply into preferences submenus, or its sound, navigation, telephone say, establishing a destination or changing a radio channel. There are but while the vehicle is moving, messing with them takes attention. There! We found another scuff on the shoes of the S-class.

The remainder of the interior carries over mostly unchanged from last year. It’s as decadent as ever, as exemplified by the massaging chairs’ capacity to initiate kneading by means of the verbal command “message on!” The effortlessness of the cabin jibes with the upgraded tech of the 2018 model. A detector package allows for lane changes at highway speeds, while the cruise control can slow the vehicle for traffic circles, curves, or entrance or exit ramps based navigation information. Before requesting the driver to set a hand on the 22, as before, the function can. These automobiles exist to serve the needs, not the demands, of a clientele who demand a driving experience that is isolated and style. Cabrio and the S-class coupes continue to succeed at these pursuits as you would expect given their costs.

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