Mercedes has announced the hottest E-class you can buy, the E63 AMG S, will cost from £83,470 in the UK from June 2013. In uprated 'S' guise, the 577bhp/580lb ft exec saloon monster can only be ordered with 4Matic all-wheel drive in left-hand drive markets, but the UK gets only rear-drive cars. CAR has already tried the E63 AMG S in 4Matic form: click here for our full review.
Rationalise those E63 AMG S numbers for me
The E63 AMG S gets 28bhp more than a regular E63, and hits 62mph in 4.1sec. The estate model takes 4.2sec: S models outperform non-S E63s by a tenth of a second apiece. The £83,470 base price (£85,530 for the estate) is £10,095 more than the similarly rear-drive, (but saloon-only BMW M5), which has 552bhp and a 4.4sec 0-62mph time.
If you want an all-wheel drive AMG, for now you're stuck with an A45, CLA 45 or one of the super-SUVs in Merc's range. Next-gen C-, E- and S-class saloons will be engineered with all-wheel drive and right-hand drive in mind, so you'll actually be able to extract decent performance in typically grim British weather.
Mercedes claims the S model scores the same economy stats as a regular E63 AMG: 28.5mpg and 232g/km of CO2 (28.3mpg and 234g/km for the estate). The lower driveline friction is one benefit of losing the front driveshafts, though any fuel savings you make will probably end up spent on rear tyre bills...
What 'S' trinkets can I show off to mere E63 AMG owners?
Above and beyond the usual AMG bodykit, S variants get a high-gloss black front apron with 'silver-shadow' splitter, side sills and rear trim strip with silver inserts, an AMG spoiler in body colour, 19in matt grey alloys, red brake calipers, and 'S' badging. You can also spec an E63 AMG S in either natty matt white or matt grey paint finishes.