These days people are free to go by whatever gender that they feel fits them best and similarly, the auto industry has seen its categories grow exponentially. We now have SUVs that are coupes and coupes that have not two but four doors. Indeed, we are living in era where no niche is unfilled and it’s becoming rather confusing. It seems distinct body styles will no longer be around in the not too distant future which brings me on to this Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe.

Back in my day, it, and its crosstown rival the Porsche Panamera, would be considered a saloon. They’d need to be shoehorned into that class now though because of their coupe-like rooflines. This Mercedes could even be a hatchback — and when you throw in its brutal performance it wouldn’t feel out of place with all those exotic supercars out there. So, what is it actually meant to be classed as?

 

Photos: Stefan Lindeque

Well lets study its beautiful aesthetics a little more closely; the front end — inspired by the AMG GT, the company’s halo sportscar — looks very aggressive but if you thought the rear would get the same treatment you’d be wrong because it’s elegant and understated back there, like the S-Class. Your first impressions will very likely hinge on where you approach this car from, the front or the back, because both ends paint a very different picture as to what you can expect but the very fact that it exists is a little strange when Mercedes-Benz already offers the CLS. But Mercedes-AMG has introduced another four-door coupe in a bid to blend four-door practicality (make that five-door because the rear luggage area is accessed through a hatch...) with the dynamics of the AMG GT. Has it succeeded?

Its hand-built 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and it pumps out 639 horses and 900Nm of torque and even though this car weighs a hefty 2,045kg, it accelerates with true savagery hitting 0-100kph in just 3.2 seconds. Top speed? 315kph. So, it’s quick but what about that other piece of the performance puzzle, handling? You wouldn’t have thought it possible but once on the move and when facing twists in the road, that incredible V8 turns into the supporting act as the chassis comes into its own displaying a sharpness, agility and sense of communication that belies the car’s mass. The tech includes four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, adaptive air suspension and an electronically controlled differential which all combine to deliver a breathtaking mix of lightning quick pace and stability. Yes it is heavy but it still manages to be nimble; it shares little with the front-mid-engined AMG GT and is in fact based on Mercedes’ MRA platform used by the E-class and CLS and boasts strut towers and subframes made from aluminium and a rear bulkhead and boot floor made from carbon fibre. At a far less frenetic pace and the suspension in Comfort there is still much to enjoy and you can carry all three of your passengers in enviable refinement. But this is not a big, cushy S-Class. Yes, it affords ample leg and head room for those seated in the back and it even has a 395 litre boot that’s able to swallow a full complement of luggage and a further 60 litres beneath the boot floor...) but it feels happiest in Sport Plus mode where the power is available everywhere in the rev range and ready to be exploited but the AMG’s attitude can be altered further via the nifty rotary controller on the steering wheel. Are you sitting down? You better be — it has a Drift mode. This sends all of the power to the rear wheels to allow maximum hoonery and boy oh boy does it sound good when you floor it. AMG has once again squeezed thunder-like music from the V8 and that roar from the quad exhaust tips never grows old. Without a doubt, AMG’s top-tier super saloon is able throw its considerable weight around with exceptional capability and provides huge entertainment with it. And you don’t have to enjoy it alone.

 

Photos: Stefan Lindeque

The interior is, as you would imagine, decidedly fresh and boasts an impeccable fit and finish. You won’t find any analogue gauges in here — this car has all eyes on the future and that means a dash panel with big twin, 12.3in digital displays that dominate the sublime Saddle Brown/Black Nappa leather cabin. Indeed the upholstery and all the other materials in there look every bit worth the car’s hefty price tag.

It has everything you would expect from an AMG saloon — bags of style, comfort and an overdose of firepower. It is fast, flashy and ever so fun, but, back to the original question — what can it be classed as? That’s easy, this is a four-door sports saloon/coupe/hatchback/people carrier... Joking aside, it is so impressive that it deserves to assume whatever identity it so wishes.