For those keeping tabs on the AMG flagship sedan, some big changes are coming under the hood of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 with an all-new engine, transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

While the body and design as well as the overall platform of the S-Class remain largely the same for 2018, there have been some major changes for the top-line performance oriented 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63.

There are some visual updates here and there such as revised front fascia and grille details, trims down the side and at the rear, and a newly designed 20-inch alloy wheel set.

But the big changes however are under its hood where the previous generation 5.5 liter twin-turbocharged V8 is replaced by the AMG 4.0 liter twin-turbo mill. While a staggering 1.5 liter smaller in displacement, the AMG built V8 with its hot-vee design offers up more horsepower and torque than before.

Now with 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque which is flatly maxed out between 2,750 and 4,500 rpm, the new engine offers a significant bump in power that now goes to all four wheels through a new transmission.

The seven-speed automatic transmission of before is replaced by a quicker shifting and more robust 9-speed MCT and the all-wheel-drive system is all new. The transmission offers up faster multiple downshifts and rev-matching.

The all-wheel drive system is now fully variable in its torque split which is governed by its myriad of driver selectable modes. With the new powertrain and its “Race Start” launch control feature, the S63 can rip from 0-60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds according to Mercedes and has an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.

It’ll sound good doing it too with a driver controllable AMG Performance Exhaust System with adjustable flaps that can adjust the exhaust note from mild to wild. Depending on drive mode selected the engine can be calm and quiet or raspy and loud for aggressive driving.

Inside however you will enjoy all the trappings the S-Class is known for in terms of luxury but with a sportier tone. A new three-spoke AMG steering wheels has paddle shifters. AMG sport seats are available in a variety of tones and leather colors as well.

Ahead of the driver is a massive dual 12.3-inch wide-screen color display set that gives you the choice of three different themes of information from “Classic,” “Sport” that features an exclusive AMG design, and “Progressive.”

They feature expanded menus and gauge sets that can display the engine and transmission oil temperature, G-force, engine output and torque, boost pressure, and tire temperatures for those long track days in your hotted up S-Class.

We haven’t gotten a definitive on when the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 or its V-12 powered S65 brother will be available in North America just yet, but expect late this year or early in 2018.