By Mark Gauert
I could start this review of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe raving about the 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds acceleration. I could go on (and on) about the 5.5-liter V-8 engine, delivering a 7-speed stampede of 577 horses and 664 pounds of torque. I could geek out about the let’s-play-fighter-pilot Head-Up Display keeping track of my direction and ground speed on the windshield; or the Burmester Sound System keeping track of my satellite tunes on the wraparound dash; or the 360-degree camera keeping track of my every move on Earth – including, somehow, inside my own garage – apparently from somewhere in space. (I wish I’d known you all were coming because it’s clear on the in-dash screen, even from a lofty perspective, that my garage needs sweeping).
But when they come to pry my hands from this Diamond White tester’s AMG steering wheel, complete with a “contoured rim and perforated leather in the grip area allowing perfect vehicle control,” I am hoping they won’t notice that one piece of equipment is missing.
The driver’s seat.
Because I want to take it with me. Everywhere.
The Active Multicontour seat in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG is simply the best I have ever sat in. (And I’m including my seat at the Rolling Stones concert at Kemper Arena in ’81).
It is the best seat not just because it comes wrapped in black Nappa leather. Not just because controls on the driver’s side door move it forward, back, up, down. Not just because there are finer adjustments to accommodate lumbar, side, shoulder, neck and head preferences – so many I began to suspect that if I wanted to operate the car hanging upside down and facing backward, the seat, somehow, would figure out a way to do that comfortably while allowing perfect vehicle control.
No, not just all that.
It is the best seat because it gives good hugs. There, I’ve said it.
Bank left on the flyover to our own personal Autobahn – that is, the express lanes of Interstate 595, where the Sun Sentinel reports half the drivers are going at least 80 mph and the rest are going faster than conventional instruments can actually detect – and the seat cradles you gently in place from the right side. Bank right at the end of the express lane as you rocket onto the Sawgrass Expressway, and the seat embraces you from the left in a truly committed relationship.
Coming down the six floors of my office parking garage, which has left-right turns every 30 seconds or so, is a veritable hug-fest. I imagine how the seat would feel on a road with hairpin turns – say, Lombard Street in San Francisco – and I envisage left-right-left hugs coming so fast and furious, it would feel like being wrapped in a Nappa-leather tortilla burrito.
Looking for more than a hug? Activate another set of buttons for a massage, or to ventilate your, uh, car/driver interface – or to warm it up, as necessary. (Hot stone massage on the way up to 186 miles per hour, anyone?)
That’s why I’m hoping they won’t notice the seat missing when they come for the S63 AMG. Even though I’m pretty sure they’d be able to spot it from space, wherever I tried to run, hide.
As great as the seat is, I realize it’s only a small part of the greater driving experience of this rather awesome automobile. An experience that also includes Night View, Blind Spot, Active Lane Keeping, Brake with Pedestrian Recognition, Cross Traffic Assists, and on (and on) …
All of it leaving this driver feeling comfortable, capable, confident behind the contoured wheel.
And, above all, hugged.
2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe, list price $160,900; price as tested, $173,245; 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway; mbusa.com.