Mercedes’s S-Class Raises the Bar for Luxury Sport Coupes

The new 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.
The new 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. 

Muscular and energizing, the 2015 Mercedes S-Class Coupe masterfully incorporates every element you could want — and a few you didn't know you wanted — in a luxury coupe. Formerly known as the CL model, Mercedes-Benz has elevated its top-dollar S-Class Coupe to flagship status. 

The German automaker is offering two models: the S550 Coupe and S63 AMG Coupe variants. If the S550’s 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 449 horsepower and 517 lb-ft of torque isn’t enough to pull your skin back at acceleration, the S63 fits the brand’s renowned 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine with 577 hp, 664 lb-ft of torque, and a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.9 seconds.

While both options are blisteringly fast, shift delightfully, and stop exceptionally thanks to massive rotors, subtle cues distinguish the understated S550 or more aggressive S63 — that, and a $40,000 premium for the latter. The S63 sees wider and lower grille openings complemented by piano black exterior trim, quad exhaust pipes, and a rear diffuser. 

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Both cars, however, offer the option of 4MATIC all-wheel drive. To go a step further, opt for Mercedes’s Magic Body Control on either model. The body-tilting component leans the vehicle body into corners, reducing G-forces pulling you from your seat.

The new coupe is more svelte compared to the old CL, thanks to a new aluminum outer skin and front end, while the pillarless profile — a hallmark of design this coupe has maintained since its inception in 1961 — honors its lineage. Creating an even larger expanse of openness is the addition of a new panorama roof that’s available with a variable tint.

The cabin embodies the notion of detail-oriented luxury. Every tactile switch feels commanding, every surface — the open-pore wood, diamond-stitched leather, and piano black trim — is pleasing to the touch. But the surest commitment to comfort is the hot stone massage seats. That infotainment display? It’s second only to Tesla in visual harmony. And the 13-speaker, 590-watt Burmester sound system (musicophiles will want to opt for the 24-speaker, 1,540-watt system) will make conductors out of any driver idling in traffic.

For safety, Mercedes’s suite of industry-leading technologies includes adaptive cruise control, front and rear collision avoidance, blind-spot and lane keeping assists, and a damn good steering assist. The S-Class Coupe is, frankly, nearly capable of driving itself.

Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce come to mind when shopping in the $100,000-plus price segment and luxury sport category, but none of them strike the balance of technology, refinement, and everyday drivability the S-Class Coupe achieves. [Starting at $119,900, MBUSA.com]