Let's ignore the visual changes on the new Mercedes E63 AMG for a moment and get straight to the facts. In top-spec 'S' guise, this four-door saloon will hit 62mph in 3.6 seconds.
That's a tenth faster than a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 supercar, and quicker still than Merc's own SLS AMG. The estate is slower – at 3.7sec to 62mph – but is still the new super-wagon king. Take that, quattro-drive Audi RS6, with its piffling 3.9sec sprint time.
Wow, so the 2013 E63 AMG really is the Usain Bolt of executive cars?
In S trim, certainly. For this facelifted model, Mercedes has split the E63 range into two variants. Both use a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8, but opting for an E63 'S' ups power from 549bhp to 577bhp. What can the E63's rivals muster? Audi's new RS6 Avant and BMW's M5 both boast 552bhp from their respective twin-turbo V8s, while the new Jaguar XFR-S lags well behind with 542bhp.
Torque is also mighty in the new E63. Standard cars, which incidentally reach 62mph in 4.2sec, develop 531lb ft from 1750rpm, and S models get a silly 590lb ft. The top speed of the entire E63 AMG family is limited electronically to 155mph.
Mercedes claims the E63 will do 28.8mpg (27.4mpg for the S saloon, 26.9mpg for the S estate) and cough out a between 230 and 246g/km of CO2.
What performance tech is on board the 2013 Mercedes E62 AMG?
A seven-speed dual-clutch paddle-shift gearbox is standard, with four modes of sportiness to choose from, as with the SLS AMG. Adaptive suspension is standard on all E63s, and S models get a standard locking rear differential, which should make for some pretty heroic oversteer antics. Mercedes will offer the new E63 with all-wheel drive in some markets, though it's understood the UK gets the rear-drivers only.
Available on the E63 S are carbon ceramic brakes, measuring 402mm across up front. They're 40% lighter than the steel disc set-up, though be warned: they're a £9300 option on the current E63...
So, how about the new Mercedes E63's tweaked looks?
We've seen most of the alterations on the facelifted E-class family before, like the single-lens LED headlights and reworked side styling. What's new is the in-yer-face front bumper, which Mercedes calls the 'A-wing'. Looks to us like Mercedes is trying to tie in a link with its F1 team, like Renaultsport and its hot Clio/Megane models.
Contrast-colour alloy wheels, fatter side skirts and diffuser-inset quad exhaust pipes are the other main E63 clues. Higher-powered models get a subtle 'S' badge on the rear.
Inside, you'll spot the typically AMG part-Alcantara steering wheel, alloy pedals, bolstered seats and 200mph speedo. Contrast stitching and seatbelt colours are optional on the E63 AMG S.
When can I buy this most super of super-saloons?
The Mercedes E63 AMG will launch in April 2013, as a saloon or estate. Orders for the uprated E63 S, in either saloon or estate form, will follow in June 2013 and we expect prices to stretch from £75-85,000)
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