2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 Aims to Retain the Crown [w/ Video]
Since the late 1980s and the V8-swapped, W124-chassis “Hammers,” AMG-enhanced versions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class have been among the most competent and coveted super sedans on this or any other planet. However, the Affalterbach-augmented E’s status as one of the segment’s major domos is under more threat now than it has ever been, with incoming fire from fellow German labels BMW and Porsche, the (Indian-employed) Brits at Jaguar and, yes, even our compatriots at Cadillac and Dodge. Fortunately, the advent of the new W213 series E means the advent of a new AMG version thereof, and it looks to be more than up to the task of defending the family’s honor.
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 and E63 S, making their world debut at next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show and hitting dealers here in North America next summer, look fundamentally similar to the regular E-Class sedans, which in turn look fundamentally similar to the current C- and S-Class sedans. But in typical AMG fashion, there are noteworthy cosmetic differences, including (but not limited to) new, more aggressive front and rear fascias (the latter featuring the factory tuner’s trademark quad rhomboid tailpipes poking out from the diffuser area), wider front fenders and side skirt extensions. Inside, you’ll find such goodies as embossed leather upholstery, carbon fiber trim, and a flat-bottomed sport steering wheel. Of course, true to Mercedes-AMG form, there’s plenty of steak to go with all this added sizzle.
Said vehicular sirloin takes the form of AMG’s new standard-bearer 4.0L twin-turbo V8. In the standard E63, it produces 563 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft of torque, while the E63 S is rated at 603 horsepower and 627 lb.-ft. Both variations send their prodigious power to the pavement through AMG’s multi-clutch SpeedShift 9-speed automatic transmission and a performance tuned 4Matic all-wheel-drive system that, when the driver activates “Drift Mode” (which is only accessible when “Race” mode is selected, ESP is off and the transmission is in manual mode), operates as a rear-drive-only system. Naturally, if you want to hit 60 mph in the astounding 3.3 seconds Mercedes-AMG claims for the S (the base model will take 0.1 second longer and be limited to 155 mph rather than the upgraded model’s 186), you’re going to want all four tires clawing at the pavement. Will this be the last salvo fired in the super sedan arms race? We certainly hope not.