The facelifted Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet has been spied this week during development testing, giving us a first look at what to expect from this relatively mild mid-life update for the German company’s flagship drop-top.
It appears not much will change visually with the forthcoming update, with revised front and rear treatments the noticeable changes on this lightly-camouflaged prototype.
Up front, the grille and bumper will get a mild redesign to bring the big convertible in line with newer models in the company’s line-up, and while the headlights on this vehicle appear to be the same as the current car, it’s likely the graphics for the final version will get a slight update as well.
At the rear it’s a similar theme, with small changes to the slim tail-lights and the meaty bumper expected considering the light disguise over those components, but expect the overall shape and look of the new S63 Cabriolet to remain largely the same.
The most significant changes for the updated S-Class range – which includes short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase sedans, along with the coupe and cabriolet – will be the introduction of numerous semi-autonomous systems, including the ‘Drive Pilot’ technologies that debuted with the new E-Class last year.
Speaking with CarAdvice at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, head of research and development for Mercedes-Benz, Ola Kallenius, said: “Already in less than six months time we will have Drive Pilot reloaded”.
“The one that we introduced on the E-Class last year already gets a whole heap of additional features”.
“The next-generation Drive Pilot which we’re launching in the S-Class this summer will have an emergency stopping function. This is one of those situations that if you completely ignore all the warning signals on the car – it tells you to put your hands back onto the steering wheel, because for legislative reasons you have to do it: if you ignore that completely, the car assumes that you relinquished your responsibility of the driving situation.”
It’s unknown whether the AMG versions of the S-Class family will see extensive changes under the bonnet – such as the 48V battery system that also acts as booster for the drivetrain supplementing the conventional turbocharger that is planned for the new inline-six engine in lesser S-Class variants – though it’s possible that the 430kW/900Nm 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 could get a power bump, or be switched out for a more powerful version of the new 450kW/850Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in the new AMG E63 S.
Timing for the facelifted AMG S63 and the wider S-Class coupe and cabriolet ranges are still unknown, though Mercedes-Benz’s product roadmap shown during its half-yearly sales results presentation last July indicated the facelifted S-Class sedan will be revealed around mid-2017.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates over the coming months.
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