For most motoring journalists, festive seasons in Malaysia double up as an excuse to test-drive some of the newest cars in the market over longer distances, for longer periods. They present a unique opportunity for us to settle down with the car, giving it time to adapt to our daily routine and help us answer questions we often struggle with upon publishing rushed reviews.
So here are all the answers to the questions you never asked about the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-Door Coupe 4Matic+ – yes, that’s a mouthful – after spending the better part of a week behind its wheel during the Chinese New Year break.
A 639bhp AMG as a daily? Are you serious?
If anyone else had offered us a RM1.8m car with over 600bhp to sample over a week during which interstate travel on packed roads with a couple of folks on board was paramount, we would have easily said no. The pressure of such a hefty price tag weighing on your daily grind is one thing – when was the last time you accomplished anything practical in something that would do 0-100kph in 3.2 seconds?
But the GT63 S is different. We’ve actually reviewed it before for the February 2020 issue of TopGear Malaysia (please get a copy if you haven’t). It proved to be an astonishingly liveable and versatile driving companion on our first date despite the unfiltered aggression of its fanged front fascia, audacious 21-inch alloys and not-so-incognito ‘Designo Graphite Grey Magno’ paintjob. And the prospect of a second, longer outing seemed quite exciting indeed.
Surely it’s not just practical because it has four doors? Is the boot really that big?
Yes and yes. The GT63 S strictly seats four like most conventional two-door grand tourers, but an extra pair of doors on a much bigger frame – structurally, the GT 4-Door is more closely related to the W213 E-Class than the AMG GT Coupe – means you’ll be using the rear seats more often. If you’re not, you can fold them down for 1,324 litres of cargo space, not that the boot’s 395 litres weren’t enough for us to haul luggage for a full passenger load between Kuala Lumpur to Melaka and back.
Expectedly low ride height and roof line aside, the rear quarters proved to be more pleasant than we initially feared, with plenty of legroom to stretch in. The cupholders and wireless charging tray – which we ended up using as storage – wedged between the individual bucket seats were a nice, practical touch. Toyota Camry drivers may accuse us of scraping the bottom of the barrel for nice things to say here, but these are certainly very impressive traits for a track-honed machine that also happens to be the fastest series-production four-door car around the Nordschleife.
Can a car built for lap times behave normally on regular roads?
This was one of our biggest concerns too, as the CNY routine typically involved ferrying some older folks who would much rather be in the back of an S-Class without a single shred of doubt. The GT63’s ‘un-prosperous’ paintjob didn’t help its case either. And there’s only so much fireworks we can put up with during festive breaks like this – imagine the guilt of waking up everyone within a 200-yard radius weighing on every faint thought of going out for an early breakfast.
For that reason, the GT stayed park indoors for much of our time back at home. But on the occasions when taking to the highway was necessary, it proved its flexibility once again by keeping its volume down to a perceptible but comfortable degree at steady high-speed cruises; comfortable enough for our passengers to fall asleep in the back anyway.
Hearing snores that were louder than the exhaust note from the cockpit proved to be a win for the adaptive suspension as well; sure it’s firmer than your average Merc, but the GT isn’t that much stiffer than the average European exec riding on impossibly big wheels these days.
In terms of driveability, the GT 4-Door is surprisingly easy to navigate, not that it’s held back by the typically restrictive proportions of cars with this amount of power. All-round visibility is good – the 360-degree camera helps with parking – and rear-wheel steer helps keep the turning radius tight and predictable in narrower city roads. It’s remarkable how laidback the big AMG felt in urban environments. Cars with over 600bhp rarely ever are.
The petrol bill must have killed you, though…
Fortunately, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia loaned the GT63 S to us with a full tank of petrol. That said, 80 litres can only take a car good for 11.3l/100km on paper so far. During our a full week with the GT, we covered a little over 800km across three states – Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Melaka – with about two-thirds of the driving conducted on highways (naturally) and an additional RM100 worth of gas. And by the time we had to return the car, our economy average readout stood at 13.8l/100km, which was honestly not too bad given the number of spirited runs we had on the North-South Expressway – some naturally-aspirated four-pot saloons return roughly the same mileage in the city.
It helped that the AMG twin-turbo four-litre V8 is capable of shutting off half its cylinders at steady cruises below 3,250rpm. The nine-speed multi-clutch transmission, which will gladly help you to a speeding ticket without venturing beyond 2,000rpm, also aided the cause. But you don’t buy an AMG of any sort, let alone the priciest and most powerful sort on sale, with issues like fuel consumption scratching the back of your head. The GT63 S is proper supercar material. It just happens to have more wholesome tricks up its sleeve than, say… a mid-engined two-seat Ferrari.
I’m convinced. How do I buy one?
With a lot of dough. For all of the GT63 S’s multi-dimensional talents and versatile qualities, it is its massive price tag which keeps resurfacing as the key talking point. After factoring everything it’s capable of, the AMG flagship’s RM1,798,888 starting price may seem like a somewhat justified pipedream. But that’s not all – there’s the hefty insurance premium to cover RM1.8m worth of moving metal and the RM6,549 annual road tax to go with it. Mercedes-Benz Financial actually provides tailored packages for AMG customers and it might be able to work something out for you to realise your dream of owning a GT 4-Door (the range actually starts at RM1.1m for the GT43).
It feels weird saying that – fast, four-door coupe-like things aren’t traditionally dream car material. But the GT63 S’s everyday heroics certainly make us question our priorities…
For a more in-depth review, read all about the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-Door Coupe in the February 2020 issue of TopGear Malaysia