The news that Mercedes-AMG will fit its nine-speed Speedshift gearbox to the new E 63 models is good: one criticism of the outgoing car was its slow and slightly dim-witted automatic transmission.
The switch to four-wheel drive is less welcome, but the E 63 S in particular is going to need all the help it can get to transmit 850Nm to the road. Although being able to switch drive to the rear axle only by selecting Drift Mode will satisfy sideways heroes.
Ultimately, we’d like AMG to transfer the involvement and agility it has injected into the C 63 S Coupe to the new E 63. A setup that works and rewards precise driving rather than trying to mask you from the action – a trait the old car had when compared with the likes of BMW’s M5 – would help lift the E 63 to the top of the supersaloon tree. and developing its twist across a larger swathe of the tachometer’s sweep. A pair of new twin-scroll turbochargers are the cause, ramping up both performance and response, while cylinder deactivation is employed to attempt to stem the potential thirst of such a potent engine.
Power is deployed through a nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT ‘multi-clutch transmission’ with a wet start-off clutch. Air Body Control multi-chamber air suspension is standard, albeit tweaked by AMG for a suitable ride and handling balance.
Styling is typical AMG, with beefier arches and a wider track for a more muscular appearance, and a redesigned bonnet more like that of AMG’s coupes. The radiator grille is also new for E 63 models, while front and rear bumpers are more aggressive than those of even the AMG E 43s. Like all E-Class variants, the cabin is also beautifully trimmed and packed with enough tech to make the S-Class look analogue.
If this all sounds a little sensible, we’re pleased to report that the E63’s ability to generate localised, rubber-based weather systems hasn’t disappeared entirely. That tractionenhancing 4Matic+ all-wheel drive has a party trick: for the first time it’s able to fully vary torque between the front and rear axles. Selecting Race mode, deactivating the ESP and putting the transmission into its manual mode activates Drift Mode, rendering both the E 63 and E 63 S rear-wheel drive only. Noise and smoke? We think so…