Mercedes’ AMG division has introduced the new generation E63 and E63 S models, with the latter being the most powerful and fastest E-Class of all time.
Revealed on Wednesday ahead of a world premiere at next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show, the duo of 2018 E63 sedans have dropped the outgoing models’ 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 for AMG’s smaller displacement, but more potent, 4.0-liter force-fed V8, and now get standard 4MATIC four-wheel drive across the range.
In the base E63, the eight-cylinder lump churns out 563hp (571PS) and 553 lb-ft (750Nm) for a 0-60mph in 3.4 sec (0-100km/h in 3.5 sec), while in ‘S’ guise, it produces 604hp (612PS) and 627 lb-ft (850Nm) allowing Merc’s M5 rival to reach 60mph in 3.3 sec (100km/h in 3.3 sec). Both models have a restricted top speed of 155mph (250km/h), though the available AMG Driver’s package raises the limit to 186mph (300km/h).
If for any reason you want to show your frugal side by cutting down on fuel consumption, the new V8 can be turned into a four-pot via the cylinder deactivation system that’s available in the "Comfort" transmission program the between 1,000 and 3,250 rpm.
A standard nine-speed Speedshift MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) automatic transmission with steering wheel paddles channels power to all four wheels. While Mercedes doesn’t offer the option of a rear-wheel drive only model anymore, the E63 S 4MATIC does come with a special ‘Drift Mode’ feature that delivers power exclusively to the rear wheels as standard. The mode is activated in the "Race" drive program using the shift paddles, provided that ESP is deactivated and the transmission is in manual mode, and it remains engaged until the driver deactivates it again.
Predictably, AMG has made all sorts of upgrades to the E63’s chassis, which include a specially tuned Air Body Control system, new suspension parts on both ends, a mechanical rear differential lock, three-stage ESP, and an electromechanical speed-sensitive sports steering. Stopping power comes courtesy of a high-performance braking system with 360mm discs sporting six pot calipers up front and 360mm discs with single pot calipers at the back for the E63, and larger 390mm front discs for the ‘S’. Optionally, Mercedes offers ceramic carbon discs measuring 402mm up front and 360mm at the rear.
You’ll be able to tell the E63s apart from their lesser E-Class siblings through the model-specific front grille, bumpers, extended wheel arches that house 19-inch rims (the ‘S’ gets 20-inch wheels), four-pipe exhausts and a discrete rear spoiler, with AMG also spiffing up the interior with unique trims.
After its LA show debut, the new E63s will go on sale next March in Europe and from the summer of 2017, in North America. An estate version will be introduced next year.