The new Mercedes S-Class S63 4MATIC, a 577 horsepower convertible

The new S-Class S63 4MATIC, a convertible bearing the signature of Mercedes and AMG, does exactly what a 577 horsepower car should do: scaring you. Not in the bad sense of the word, but rather in that sense of fear you experience when you’re in a roller coaster: when the race has finished, you just can’t wait to start over and over again.

The new S-Class Cabriolet is available both in the classic version, S 500, and the AMG amended versions: S 63 4MATIC and S 65. In terms of facilities, S 500 looks like a luxurious limousine, which is normal, given the fact it’s Daimler’s best model. Since this is an S-Class, all the details are clearly defined; the novelty is the fact that this is a cabriolet, the first 4 seat convertible luxury car launched by Mercedes in the last 45 years.

In terms of design, the company is right: it is, indeed, the “comeback of a dream car”. The feeling you experience driving an S-Class Cabriolet through the streets of Cannes is unique; of course, the power of the car becomes evident when you leave the busy roads, choosing less traveled by, which is where the S 500’s 450 horsepower engine can be actually tested. While the car is pretty heavy (about two tons), the strength of the 9G-tronic automatic transmission makes the transition between speeds quite simple, almost imperceptibly –which makes us proud, as it’s made in Sebes.

Last year, the German group was the tenth largest exporter in the Romanian economy; the exporter climbed from 85th position a year ago, but it may climb the podium, given that it started the production of a new gearbox at the Sebes factory, and by the end of the production will triple.

“Regarding the turnover, we could exceed one billion euros with the new gearbox. This depends on the production and especially the market demand. We will also continue to be one of the best exporters”, said Falk Pruscha, CEO of Star Transmission and Star Assembly, the two local divisions of Daimler AG. The new nine-speed box, made in Sebes this month, is available in 20 Mercedes-Benz models, and its potential is to reach 800,000 units annually produced in Stuttgart and Sebes. With an average price of 3,000 euros, if half of production would be in Sebes, only the 9-speed transmission would bring 1.2 billion euros exports, which would be enough for the German to become one of the top three exporters.

Turning to the S-Class, its size is problematic in certain cases, but this is expected in a limousine. Fast cornering cannot be made very quickly, at least for S 500. If we talk about the AMG developed version, S 43, sport settings are making their presence felt.

One of the most useful features seemed to be the heads-up display (HUD), which basically eliminates the need to look either on the road or at the dashboard; basic information such as speed, rotations or direction to be followed (taken GPS), are shown on the windshield, but this does not seem to be an inconvenience.

But most of the improvements to the new S-Class are not in sight. For example, the new function “Thermotronic”, designed for cabriolet models, is a complete automation of the weather system: the driver doesn’t have to choose the convertible mode setting, as the onboard computer is adjusting the temperature depending on the outside temperature and several other factors.

It’s a shame driving with the hardtop roof unretracted, so I wanted to see how effective hydraulic system is and if it also works while driving, as the manufacturer claims. When driving at 50 km / h, the roof retracts in 20 seconds and a thin spoiler installed on the windscreen attenuates the wind power felt inside.

S 500 Cabriolet is not noisy at all, but maybe too quiet for my taste. Things change when you rev the S 63 engine: a sounds that lets you know that you’re about to feel the power of the 577 horsepower. And you really feel it: with the pedal stuck to the floor, the speed pushes you in the chair. I couldn’t reach a high speed, as I was driving on a stretch of road with a speed limit, but I imagine a test drive on the Autobahn is even more violent – again, in the good sense of the word.

However, it’s important to note that S-Class has never been and will never be a circuit car – is a limousine, and this makes the AMG work even more spectacular. Roadside assistance systems are extremely useful in terms of safety, but they can bring a certain dose of banality to the driving experience. Just suffice to say that S 63 is almost a self-driving car, is you wish that.

The starting price for the S 500 is 139,000 EUR and for S 63, 187,000 EUR.

According to Bloomberg, Mercedes-Benz have increased their sales twice faster than BMW in the first quarter of this year, almost reaching the first position in the luxury industry for the first time in a decade. Daimler’s luxury division deliveries increased by 13%, up to 483.487 vehicles by March, compared with a 6% growth for BMW, which sold 478.743 cars. Audi, the third largest producer of luxury cars globally will report their sales later on Tuesday.

Mercedes stated they want to surpass BMW by 2020, a goal they can be able to reach with the popularity of new models. BMW has a series of older model, without having an equivalent for E-Class, as the BMW 5 Series Sedan will probably hit Europe next year.