Review: Mercedes-Benz S560 Coupé 4Matic

Review: Mercedes-Benz S560 Coupé 4Matic
Review: Mercedes-Benz S560 Coupé 4Matic

A midlife facelift, tested in California – where else?

This popular two-door has had some minor tweaks to the bodywork and the technology in the cabin, but perhaps the biggest news is that the old 4.7-litre twin turbo V8 has been replaced by a smaller 4.0-litre twin turbo V8. Since the new engine is based on that found in the Mercedes-AMG S63, there is cause for optimism for when the bandages come off.

Torque is the same, at a significant 516lb ft, as in the previous engine, but power is up 13bhp to 462bhp. If you want to loll around, cruising in a stylish manner, then the latest S560 is a peach. In Comfort mode it’s so refined, with so much clearly held quietly in reserve, that you feel like you’re never going to have to strain anything to either get to the church on time or get there before it opens.

But if you get all giddy and give it the Sport mode to play with, then things move into another dimension. The new engine pours out the power right across the rev range, right up to the 6200rpm redline, in a long, linear surge that brooks no hesitation or delay.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé S560 4Matic

Price: £103,715
Engine: 4.0-litre, V8, turbocharged petrol
Power: 462bhp
Torque: 516lb ft
Gearbox: 9-spd automatic
Kerbweight: 2075kg
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 4.6sec
Fuel economy: 32.5mpg
CO2 rating: 199g/km

It’s enormously engaging, and you find yourself travelling very quickly indeed. The exhaust gets to breathe more freely in that mode, and the sound is really quite addictive. But, should you wish to get on the side of the many greenies around Los Angeles, you can just row it back and point out to them that the engine isn’t a V8 at that point, it’s just a four-cylinder burbling away. Get round the corner, floor it, and you’re back in high-power V8 mode.

The nine-speed auto, feeding power to all four wheels, seems to have become even more sophisticated than before, doing a seamless job of sliding in the right cog without any hesitation or hindrance. Left to its own devices it will change up early, to better accommodate all that torque and try to improve fuel consumption – a claimed 32.5mpg probably needs some four-pot driving at least in part.

The steering gain weight and feel as you speed up and as you come away from the straight-ahead, and the standard air suspension offers a supremely compliant ride quality, while still keeping full control of the body when you start flinging it round some corners. Turn in is sharp and immediate, there’s very little roll and grip levels are high.

But it’s really at its best at a steady cruise, at whatever speed that might be, making this a wondrous way for two people to cross considerable distances. They’ll certainly be comfy in the uprated cabin, with the driver enjoying a revised instrument cluster as well as a cruise control called Active Distance Control, aided by Active Steering Assist. The infotainment now supports 3D topographical maps and there is a new ‘Car to X’ communication system. This allows cars to talk to each other, warning about potential hazards over the horizon, pointing out their driver appears drunk or tired or both and is a rubbish driver at the best of times, and so on.

There really is a great deal to like here, and not really anything not to like. Mercedes has moved this S-Class Coupe up a notch with this iteration, making it easily as good as the competition, whereas it was fractionally behind in the last version.

Yup this facelift has certainly been a success. Shame you can’t smile about it.

 

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