2018 MERCEDES-AMG E63 S

Automobile - - All - Stars 2018 -

“Re­mem­ber when AMG sedans were ba­si­cally just sick­en­ingly- fastin- a- straight- line lux­ury cars?” Mor­ri­son asked. “The AMG E63 S wouldn’t be rec­og­niz­able to its older fam­ily mem­bers.”

To be fair, Mercedes sent us a car with nearly $40,000 in op­tions, some that com­pro­mise the 603-horse­power sedan. Mor­ri­son’s point was well taken, though: His­tor­i­cally, the E63 has been a some­what un­der­stated, mas­sively pow­er­ful lux­ury four-door with a glo­ri­ous V-8. The ul­tra-hard

$2,500 AMG Per­for­mance seats are the key is­sue here, but the matte black paint along with the gar­ish ex­te­rior de­cals and yel­low in­te­rior stitch­ing ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Edi­tion Com­po­nents pack­age cer­tainly don’t di­min­ish the pure-per­for­mance char­ac­ter. The sus­pen­sion setup fit­ted to all E63s is overly stiff at low speeds, forc­ing you to reach for a nonex­is­tent “ex­tra-com­fort” mode for the ad­justable air sus­pen­sion, but the body con­trol is ex­em­plary. With the stan­dard seats and a less gaudy cos­metic setup, the 186-mph fiveseater does main­tain much of the E63 legacy—and pushes it to new heights.

The twin-turbo V-8 is an ab­so­lute peach. There’s mas­sive low-end grunt, but it still re­wards when revved, both au­rally and phys­i­cally. Plus, its out­put trumps Mercedes-AMG’s own GT R track mon­ster by 26 horse­power and a rather crazy 111 lb-ft of torque. The E63’s nine-speed au­to­matic is a big step up from the old seven-speed, and there’s a new all-wheel-drive system. Even though the car weighs more than 4,500 pounds, the AMG sedan can now dance. Trac­tion is never an is­sue, and the E63 ro­tates im­pres­sively, es­pe­cially when you re­mem­ber that hefty mass.

We’ll soon have to com­pare the E63 to the new BMW M5, but it’s quite a world when there’s now a va­ri­ety of 600-hp sedans avail­able to us Yanks. And don’t for­get MERCEDESAMG of­fers a sec­ond E63—the wagon. Ei­ther way, just make sure to stick with the stan­dard seats.

— Marc No­orde­loos

No More Strad­dling the Line

PRICE: $105,395/$145,160 (base/as tested) EN­GINE:

4.0L DOHC 32-valve twin-turbo V-8/603 hp @ 5,750 rpm, 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm TRANS­MIS­SION: 9-speed au­to­matic LAY­OUT:

4-door, 5-pas­sen­ger, front-en­gine, AWD sedan EPA MILEAGE:

15/22 mpg (city/hwy)

L x W x H:

196.4 x 75.1 x 56.6 in WHEEL­BASE:

115.7 in

WEIGHT:

4,515 lb

0-60 MPH:

3.3 sec

TOP SPEED:

186 mph

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