When you hear the words Mercedes-Benz or E-class you hear a lot of luxury. But a lot changes when three powerful letters are added to those words. We’re talking about AMG, the performance division of the German luxury car brand. In fact, the company has a very impressive portfolio of AMG branded cars in the Indian market including the flagship GT R and the latest addition to the long list is the E63 AMG, or as Mercedes calls it the most powerful E-class. Recently Mercedes launched the car at its natural habitat, the racetrack giving the scribes a chance to understand the dynamics of this powerful 4-door saloon and just how different it is from the regular E-class.
According to Mercedes, the design elements that you see on the car are there for reasons that go beyond aesthetics. The power domes on the inboard hood, which is familiar from the Mercedes-AMG GT, and the flared wings highlight the power that is on tap in the E 63 S. The particularly low air inlets also provide for a controlled air flow in pursuit of better performance. The rear features the AMG sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated twin tailpipe trim and the AMG rear apron with three diffuser fins and a trim strip in silver chrome. Inside the widescreen cockpit, the AMG Performance steering wheel and the AMG sports seats with optimised lateral support and embossed AMG crest on the front head restraints conjure up an exclusively sporty character. All are there to serve the purpose of an even more intensive driving performance experience. Unlike the E-class the E63 AMG is regular wheelbase and therefore a little short on interior space.
The AMG machines are all about mind boggling numbers and the E63 AMG is no different. It has all the power and torque in the world to satiate the needs of even a race car driver. It is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that generates a stupendous 612 hp of maximum power. It accelerates to 100 km/h from standstill in a mere 3.4 seconds, making it the quickest car in the entire Mercedes-AMG line-up. Peak torque is at a whopping 850 Nm at kicks in between 2500–4500 rpm while the top speed has been electronically limited at 250 km/h. There’s the ultra responsive AMG speed shift 9-speed sports transmission along with paddle shifts something that’s absolutely engaging to use especially on a racetrack. The famed RACESTART function according to Mercedes has been simplified considerably. In the Sport, Sport Plus or RACE drive programs, all the driver has to do is press the brake pedal forcefully with the left foot and simultaneously fully depress the accelerator pedal with their right foot.
Ride & Handling
One of the highlights of the AMG E63 is the drift mode that comes as standard on the car. Thanks to the fully variable torque distribution this new generation of the E 63 S can be experienced in its full glory. Torque distribution on the front and rear axles (which until now was strongly rear-biased) is fully variable for the first time. This ensures optimum traction right up to the physical limit, irrespective of the road conditions. When the drift mode is activated, the E 63 S 4MATIC+ becomes a purely rear-wheel drive vehicle. What also make your ride better are the AMG Sports Suspension based on air body control and a rear differential lock which provides optimal traction, including on the racetrack. The AMG Sport speed-sensitive steering gives direct and clear feedback.
Excessive power calls for even higher safety measures. The AMG E63 S is equipped with active brake assist, which is a radar-based driver assistance system that can help prevent accidents with vehicles ahead and with crossing pedestrians or mitigate the consequences of accidents. It is a combination of proximity warning, collision warning, situation-dependent braking assistance and autonomous braking function. The car also gets as many as 7 airbags. There is an adaptive dual stage airbags for driver and front passenger, side impact air-bags for driver and front passenger and window airbags. Multibeam Intelligent Light System comes with a variable light distribution with cornering function, that helps in adapting to any road conditions during night driving, making the drive safer, and this is complemented by Adaptive High Beam with automatic switching between high and low beam.
The new E 63 S personifies driving performance, whether one wants to dwell in the comfortable rear seats and head to work or take the front seat and boss this beast around. With this launch, Mercedes-AMG has introduced a number of new developments that redefine the performance saloon – innovative powertrain engineering and maximum performance are combined with distinctive design, exclusive equipment and good infotainment features. The E63 AMG does not come cheap at Rs 1.5 crore (ex-showroom) more than double of the E-class but what you’re getting is double fun, excitement & adrenaline.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars