Two-doors roll out with upgraded powertrains
If you’ve been angling to pick up a two-door S-Class but saw the updated sedan make its debut in April at the Shanghai Auto Show and decided to hold out until Mercedes released the face-lifted 2018 models, you’re now cleared to exhale—though don’t reach for the checkbook quite yet. While the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet are coming to the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show later this month, they won’t be reaching dealers until the middle of next year.
Both two-doors will be available in three flavors: S560, S63, and S65, with the latter two obviously being AMG models. The S560 replaces the S550 in the lineup and uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 instead of the previous 4.7-liter. Despite the reduction in displacement, power increases by 14 hp to 463, while torque is unchanged at 516 lb-ft. Distribution duties remain assigned to a nine-speed automatic, which is mated to Benz’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive system in the coupe, but sends power only to the rear wheels in the convertible.
The S63 also sees its engine downsized, the 2017’s 5.5-liter V-8 making way for the handcrafted AMG version of 4.0-liter, which is also found in the 2018 E63 sedan and wagon. And again, power goes up instead of down, increasing from 557 hp to 603, while torque again remains unchanged, here sitting at 664 lb-ft. The 2017’s seven-speed auto makes way for AMG’s new nine-speed multi-clutch automatic, but unlike the S560s, both S63 two-doors come with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
As for the S65, the beast retains its 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12, its output unchanged at 612 hp and 738 lb-ft. It’s still routed directly to the rear wheels by a seven-speed automatic. Despite the S65’s power advantage, it’s 0.6-seconds slower to 60 mph than the S63, which hits the mark in a claimed 3.4 seconds. Of course, ultimate performance stopped being the reason why people choose the 12-cylinder long ago.
Aside from the powertrain shuffle, the 2018 S-Class coupe and convertible don’t differ much from the 2017 versions. Cosmetic updates are fairly minor, regardless of variant. All six offerings get new front and rear bumpers, new headlights, and OLED taillights. The AMGs also get the new Panamericana grille from the AMG GT, which gives the models a more aggressive look but doesn’t entirely work with the lines of the body, though the presentation may work better in the metal.
Inside, there’s a new three-spoke steering wheel and a new version of the COMAND infotainment system with twin 12.3-inch screens—one for the digital gauge cluster and one for everything else, same as the 2018 E63. The asymmetrical design looks strange in photos; as is the case with the grille, the presentation may work better in the leather and plastic, but it doesn’t appear that Benz updated the design of the trim piece under the screen that houses the center vents to match. Additionally, there are three new interior trims and a new black-and-red upholstery choice.
The extensive portfolio of luxury and safety features expected in an S-Class—that is, all of them—doesn’t change. Massage seats, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, etc., are all on the table. About the only thing the 2018 S-Class won’t do is pick your music for you and drive itself, and at least one of those is almost certain to be rectified in the next few years.
With nearly a year to go before the fixed-roof two-door and its soft-top counterpart arrive in showrooms, Mercedes didn’t announce pricing. The outgoing S-Class coupe started at $123,675 USD for the S550, $165,675 USD for the S63, and $237,175 USD for the S65, while the 2017 S-Class cabriolet started at $132,325 USD for the S550, $177,325 USD for the S63, and $248,825 USD for the S65. There’s no reason to expect a significant departure for 2018 given the limited changes.