The 5.5-litre V8 in this car is living on borrowed time, yet it suits the S 63 so well that you could imagine it finding a home in the car for years to come.
The V8’s creamy balance blends with enough aural character to let you know you’re driving a performance car, but with a lot more torque and mass-defying oomph than its noise level ever conveys.
On a damp day, it propelled this 2.1-tonne luxury grand tourer to 100mph in less than 10 seconds. That’s more than a second quicker than the last W12-engined Bentley Continental we figured and nearly two seconds quicker than the Aston Martin Rapide S. So there’s no need to question the wisdom of accepting eight cylinders when you could have 12 for the same money elsewhere.
Perfectly consistent mid-range performance is the S 63’s strongest virtue. Pulling from 40-60mph in fourth at matter-of-fact crank speeds takes just 3.0sec; in the same gear, getting from 90-110mph takes just a couple of tenths longer. Aston Martin’s just-replaced six-speed Rapide S is no less than 30 percent less flexible – and the new eight-speed version can’t be much closer.