MERCEDES-BENZ E63 S AMG

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Head To Head -

VALUE The just-re­leased, new gen­er­a­tion Mercedes E63 S starts at $239,900 plus on-road costs — un­der­cut­ting the pre­vi­ous model, which was in ex­cess of $250,000. The new one is $253,000 drive-away (of which at least $58,000 is the lux­ury car tax com­po­nent). It comes fully loaded with the lat­est E-Class tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing in­tel­li­gent head­lights with high-beams that don’t daz­zle on­com­ing cars, nine airbags, lane-keep­ing as­sis­tance and plenty more. DE­SIGN Not every­one is a fan of matt grey paint but it suits the men­ac­ing de­sign, with a dra­matic front bumper that looks as if it’s go­ing to con­sume all be­fore it. As with the Porsche, a 360-de­gree cam­era with a high-res­o­lu­tion wide-screen dis­play is stan­dard. The cabin gets a boost with real matt black tim­ber; the sports bucket seats fit more snugly than the Porsche’s pews. EN­GINE The Benz also has a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 un­der the bon­net. But AMG has ex­tracted an epic amount of grunt (450kW/850Nm), giv­ing it more power in a lighter body (1955kg) than the Porsche. Matched to a nine-speed torque con­verter auto and all-wheel drive, it’s quicker than the dearer Porsche (we con­sis­tently matched Mercedes’ claims for the 0-100km/h sprint — a mind­bog­gling 3.4 sec­onds). SAFETY Nine airbags and au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing (from 100km/h) are stan­dard fare. The op­tional ($9900) car­bon ce­ramic brakes wash off speed at an in­cred­i­ble and con­sis­tent rate (100km/h to 0 in 34.6 me­tres, the av­er­age af­ter four emer­gency stops). Many top end sports-cars can’t match this. DRIV­ING The Mercedes E63 S is a car that de­lights the senses but it‘s a work­out ev­ery time you drive it. In cruise mode it feels docile and com­fort­able in iso­la­tion. But af­ter driv­ing the Porsche it feels and sounds more rau­cous. Corner­ing grip is su­perb and pre­dictable — and ac­cel­er­a­tion out of cor­ners is epic. These are highly ac­claimed ve­hi­cles but, if it comes to split­ting hairs, the Benz cedes the slight­est edge when it comes to pre­ci­sion in the bends.

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