Mercedes announces 557-horsepower S63 AMG sedan

Mercedes announces 557-horsepower S63 AMG sedan
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC has a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged engine that makes 557 horsepower. It will do zero-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, according to the automaker. (Mercedes-Benz / Wieck)

That was quick. Mercedes-Benz has yet to put its all-new 2014 S-Class on sale, but the automaker has already handed the car over to its AMG performance division to breathe more life into the full-size sedan.

On Wednesday, Mercedes unveiled the S63 AMG 4MATIC. The car is the more meaty version of the S550 that will go on sale in September.

The AMG version will officially debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and roll into U.S. dealerships in November.

PHOTOS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG breaks cover

Though the 2014 model uses essentially the same engine and transmission as its predecessor, the biggest change to the S63 is the inclusion of a standard all-wheel-drive system for the first time.

This follows a trend in Mercedes' AMG vehicles that will see the inclusion of all-wheel-drive as a standard feature in many of its future products.

The hand-built, direct-injected engine moving all four wheels on the S63 will remain 5.5-liters large. But the V-8 is now appreciably more powerful. Horsepower is up to 577, from 536, while torque rises to 664, from 590. A seven-speed automatic transmission handles shifting duties.

Mercedes says it will make a zero-60 mph run in a scant 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 186 mph. That's half a second faster than the previous acceleration time, a result of the grip of all-wheel-drive on the tarmac.

Also making the car quicker is a weight savings of as much as 220 pounds over the outgoing S63. Much of this weight loss comes from using lighter-weight alloy wheels, a two-piece brake system, and swapping the traditional car battery with a lithium ion unit -- a move that saved 44 pounds alone.

The car will also come standard with an adjustable air suspension and sport exhaust. Both systems will vary their performance based on which of the three settings (comfort, manual or sport) the driver has chosen.

Mercedes didn't disclose fuel economy figures on the 2014 S63 AMG, but the company did say the numbers would be better than the previous model's 15/23 mpg city/highway figure.

Also unknown at this time is the cost of this S63 AMG; pricing will be announced closer to its November on-sale date. But don't expect it to command less than the $140,000 price of its predecessor.