► Mercedes-AMG E63 4Matic+ and E63 S 4Matic+ revealed
► Top-spec S version capable of 0-62mph in 3.4sec
► New E63 on sale at the start of 2017 for upwards of £75k
The term ‘super saloon’ has never been more appropriate – this, the new flagship Mercedes-AMG E63 4Matic+, is capable of 0-62mph in just 3.5sec.
Despite being a fully fledged luxury five-seater, this – on paper, at least – will just nudge ahead of the likes of the 568bhp Jaguar F-type SVR in the benchmark sprint.
That’s before you dive into the options, too; go for the even higher-performance S version and the hefty Mercedes will get from 0-62mph in a fractionally quicker 3.4sec.
That’s seriously quick. How powerful is the E63?
Under the bonnet you’ll find AMG’s now-familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8. In the E63, the force-fed V8 puts out 563bhp and 553lb ft. Need more? Then go for the S version, the V8 of which cranks out a mighty 604bhp and 627lb ft; both deploy their power through a nine-speed automatic.
In a departure from the norm, however, the new E63 is all-wheel drive. Besides making it far more tractable in inclement conditions, and appealing to those regularly driving around in colder climes, having four driven wheels will allow the high-performance saloon to make best use of that twin-turbo V8’s punch.
You’ll not be left wanting on those clear stretches of derestricted autobahn, either. The top speed of both is limited to 155mph, but opt for the AMG Driver’s package and the limit gets raised to a supercar-bothering 186mph.
What other highlights are there?
The E63, with its new engine, benefits from cylinder deactivation. This should boost its efficiency and grant it a better range, but we’ll find out for sure when the full specifications are published. Otherwise, you’ll benefit from all the high-tech kit and luxury accoutrements offered in the regular E-class.
Air suspension is standard for in the E63, and – taking a few cues from Ford, here – the new high-performance E-class will pack a dedicated drift mode.
What does the drift mode do?
Mercedes’ all-wheel-drive system can shuffle the engine’s torque between the front and rear axles to any degree.
You won’t have to go won’t have to go pulling fuses, or flashing ECUs, however, to get all the drive to the back axle – and keep it there. Simply activate Drift Mode, which is standard-fit, and the E63 will become a purely rear-wheel-drive car. Rejoice!
Drift mode will remain engaged until you disengage it, too, so you needn’t fear it annoyingly – or alarmingly – cutting out without warning. Don’t forget to wave goodbye to those chunky Michelins, though!
Any other upgrades?
There are lots of predictable cosmetic tweaks, including wider arches to accommodate a wider track, a large front splitter and an AMG-bespoke grille. There are several AMG-specific details inside, including a performance-oriented view for the digital instrument cluster.
Exact specifications and equipment lists will be made available, however, closer to the car’s on-sale date.
Will there be an estate variant?
There will be, sating the needs of those who need to move their new wardrobe from point A to point B at breakneck speed.
When is the new Mercedes-AMG E63 on sale?
Sales of the new E63 are expected to being in January 2017, and deliveries should start around the middle of the year. There’s no formal word on the estate version’s timeline, but we’d expect it to arrive several months later down the line, based on Mercedes’ recent product scheduling.
Official pricing hasn’t been announced yet but we’d be surprised to see much movement from the outgoing E63’s £75k list price.
You’ll pay a fair whack extra for the flagship S, however; if the price difference between the current C63 and C63 S is comparable, the E63 S will likely cost in the region of £82k.
Regardless, the upcoming BMW M5 – which will also be offered with all-wheel drive – is going to have a serious fight on its hands...
Read more about the new Mercedes-Benz E-class