AMG James Bond

Mercedes AMG 63 S

Cars Culture

What if James Bond chose to drive a Mercedes?

Were James Bond to be in the market for a new car today, he’d struggle to look past the Mercedes AMG 63 S Coupe.

This is a car that certainly leaves you stirred, and its mix of rugged good looks, muscular bodywork, incredible but real-world tech and violent brute force are the perfect match for the Daniel Craig-era Bond.

Starting up the 63 S is like smashing a crab shell with a velvet-veneered iron mallet. Under that long, squared-off bonnet (our 2018-plate shoot car was dressed in a matte grey tuxedo with gloss black mirrors and roof) lurks a four-litre twin-turbo V8 which is not very Mercedes-like at all. It’s gruff and growly and shouty and sublime, all at once. While not quite a sonic match for the naturally-aspirated lump that preceded it, this engine and exhaust combination has a charm and power all of its own. The Craig to the nat-asp 6.2’s Brosnan, if you will.

This is a car with multiple personalities, depending which of the gazillion settings you select. It can be an easy-going long-distance cruiser, loping along with long-legged assuredness to match any GT car (looking at you, Aston Martin) and understated looks. Think Bond on his most charming behaviour, the sideways smile of Connery or the dapper grin of Dalton.

But feed in the throttle, select one of the racier driving modes (such as, um, “race”) to make use of the car’s rear-wheel-delivered 500bhp and you’re suddenly in that black and white opening scene to Casino Royale. The one where Craig’s Bond batters a bloke in a lavatory cubicle with his bare hands.

Outside, meanwhile, the exhaust fires away merrily, sounding very like it’s engaged in a firefight all of its own.

That’s not to say that gadget-man Q hasn’t had his way with this £70k vehicle, that it’s a blunt instrument. There are more pages to the owner’s manual than there were to send the first man to the moon. In fact, the computers on board the AMG would be bored with simple rocket science. This machine hits 60mph from rest in less four seconds but it does so while fooling the driver into thinking he or she is the one controlling it. In reality, the safety systems are so advanced that your average supervillain henchman could look good driving it. And, of course, there’s that marvellous hidden reversing camera which pops out from under the boot-lid Mercedes badge like a machine gun: perfect James Bond fodder, that.

It’s not just inside the car – lathered with leather surfaces, chairs with so many functions that Swiss Army knives have gone off on a long holiday to the Costa del Sol and the now-obligatory giant tablet-type screen dominating the centre of the cabin – that the tech magic is to be found. Many of the car’s settings can be operated from the owner’s smart phone, including the engine start. Very Tomorrow Never Dies.

Like there’s an argument to be had about which Bond is best, so there’ll be arguments about this AMG. Some will hanker after the old naturally-aspirated engine, now put out to pasture. Some will prefer the facelifted AMG 63 S which comes with more gears and a weird grille that looks like its wearing braces.

To many, however, this version is the perfect balance of elegant, fit-in-anywhere sophistication and barely-contained, raw predatory violence – and that makes it the perfect match for Craig’s Bond.

Images: Jamie Sheldrick (Spacesuit Media)