By: Jason Woosey
Mercedes-Benz has taken the super-saloon power war to the next level of insanity with the all-new E63 AMG offering up to 450kW, and to ensure it's not too hot to handle, the 4Matic all-wheel drive system is fitted as standard. That's not to say its rear wheels have been completely nannied, however, as the white coats in Affalterbach also thought of creating a drift mode.
But first let's get to the meaty bit
As before the new AMG is available in standard E63 and E63 S guise, and both trade the previous 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 for the performance division's newer and smaller 4-litre unit, also with two blowers. But downsized doesn't mean down rated as the E63 S pushes a monstrous 450kW between 5750 and 6500 rpm and 850Nm from 2500rpm (up from 430kW/800Nm). The 'tamer' E63 is rated at 420kW and 750Nm, and even this is enough to trounce the Audi RS6 (412kW) and standard BMW M5 (with 412kW, although the M5 Competition edition has 423kW). But with BMW's 5-Series having recently entered a new generation (read more here), expect a proper retaliation from the M Division in the not-too-distant future.
How fast then?
According to its maker, the E63 S will sprint from 0-100km/h in just 3.4 seconds and the 420kW version is just 0.1s slower off the mark at 3.5s.
The 3982cc engine has its two turbochargers installed between 'V' of the cylinders, a design that's said to produce greater response and lower exhaust emissions. The engine is mated to a nine-speed 'Multi Clutch' sports automatic transmission featuring a wet start-off clutch and software that allows for quick multiple downshifts and double-declutching.
Standard all-wheel drive
As mentioned, 4Matic+ all-wheel drive is now standard on the E63 models and the system allows fully variable torque distribution. In fact, the E63 S is driven purely by the rear wheels when 'Drift Mode' is engaged via the 'Race' drive program. See it in action below:
As you'd expect at this level, drivers can adjust the engine, gearbox, suspension and steering characteristics through the AMG Dynamic Select system.
To further its dynamic game, AMG completely re-engineered the sports air suspension system and installed a rear differential lock (manual on the E63 and electronically controlled in the case of the E63 S).
More distinctive than before
When it comes to the exterior design, AMG models are known for keeping things on the subtle side, but the latest E63 moves away from that trend with completely redesigned front-end panels (note how the grille protrudes). Its visual arsenal also includes 20-inch wheels on the E63 S (19” on the E63), a spoiler lip and rear apron with diffuser.
Inside its distinguished by a flat-bottomed steering wheel, electroplated flappy paddles and unique nappa leather seat trim that's available in three colour combinations. Attack the options list properly and you'll end up with race-style AMG performance seats with integrated head rests.
The E63 S gets a few distinctive design details of its own, including a leather-covered instrument panel with a chequered-flag design theme.
For those that like to brag about their driving exploits, AMG has developed a Track Pace app that allows owners to share their lap times and so on with other AMG drivers on Facebook and YouTube.
So when can I have one?
Mercedes-Benz SA says the E63 S will be the first to arrive, around the second quarter of 2017. Pricing is likely to be announced before the end of this year.
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