In Depth

Mercedes AMG E63 and E63 S: Reviews, specs and prices

E-Class-based station wagon beats hardcore AMG GT R in 0-62mph dash

Mercedes-Benz's latest E-Class has been a hit with critics and won a reputation as the quiet, comfortable and refined entry to the executive saloon market.

However, the latest addition to the range, the E63, has turned that easy-going image on its head.

Mercedes has delivered the E-Class petrolheads crave – an AMG-fettled version that comes suited and booted with styling tweaks and a monstrous twin-turbocharged engine.

Here are all the details and what the experts think.

 Design

Cloaking the tremendous power and clever drivetrain is a svelte new E-Class body, but with more aggressive-looking bumpers, a slightly wider track and carbon fibre trim, such as a little lip spoiler.

The optional matt black colour and black multi-spoke wheels add to the E63's aggressive stance, along with the double bulges on the bonnet - a design feature dating back to the 300SL. 

Inside, the E63 features the base model's vast dashboard with digital instruments, with optional carbon fibre in place of the wood finishing. The occupants sit in "low-set, deeply bolstered sports bucket seats" and have access to AMG-specific drive options through the digital centre console, says Car.

Performance

The E63 uses the 4.0-litre twin-turbo "hot vee" V8 engine found in many other Mercedes wearing AMG badges. For the E63, it's available with two different power outputs – 563bhp in the standard version and 604bhp in the extra potent E63 S.

Despite the gulf in power, both versions promise to be suitably rapid ways of transporting five people. Each has electronically limited top speeds of 155mph, which can be lifted to 186mph with the AMG Driver's package, and 0-62mph times of 3.5secs and 3.4secs respectively.

That makes the S version quicker to 62mph from standstill than the AMG GT-R, the hardest version of Merc's AMG GT super-coupe, partly because the E63 S is more powerful, but mostly because the nine-speed gearbox sends power to all four wheels.

The 4MATIC+ system has fully variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles. "The idea is that when you want limpet-like grip you can have it, but when you're in the mood for destroying tyres, the E63 is happy to oblige," Top Gear says. Simply alter a few settings and the car becomes 100 per cent rear-wheel drive.

Reviews

Auto Express gives the E63 a full five-star rating, calling it "the most advanced fast saloon car in the world" and "as close as you'll get to an executive jet on wheels". It's very dynamic and with the press of a button, can go from handling like a regular E-Class to a "fast responding, ultra precise sports saloon", the mag says.

It also impresses inside thanks to its "great seats" and "top notch build quality," says Auto Express, which adds the E63 also has lots of room in the cabin and enough space for three occupants in the back. 

"It's fast, capable and refined," Evo says, and it can be "brutally overpowered" like AMGs of old - if you want it to be. The 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system is intuitive and deals with understeer better by sending most of the power towards the rear wheels, the magazine adds.

The only negative Evo touches upon is that the E63 will "inevitably" feel out of its depth on circuit. However, it feels it can be rewarding once you take into account the time it can take to get the front end into a corner.

Price

Prices for the entry-level AMG E63 4Matic+ start at £78,935, for which you get a nappa leather interior along with AMG ride control suspension and a set of 19ins five twin-spoke wheels. There's also an array of driving configurations to distribute torque between the front and rear axles. 

Opting for the range-topping E63 S ramps the price up to £88,295. This super-saloon gets driver-focused drift mode, which sends all of the car's 604bhp to the rear axle to help slide the wheels, plus a set of 20ins five twin-spoke wheels and AMG performance seats.

Mercedes is also offering a limited-run E63 S Edition 1, priced at £106,585, featuring 20ins cross-spoke wheels and the AMG Night Pack, which adds black gloss highlights around the car. 

For an extra £6,995, E63 S and Edition 1 buyers can have AMG ceramic brakes fitted, while a performance exhaust system can be added to all models for an extra £1,000. 

Mercedes has yet to confirm prices, but expect to pay more than the £57,405 needed for the E43 Estate. 

Orders are open now and cars are expected to reach customers in June.

Mercedes-AMG E63 Estate breaks cover ahead of Geneva debut

2 February

Mercedes-AMG's has unveiled its new E63 Estate – and it's the fastest station wagon to date, boasting a zero to 62mph time faster than an AMG GT R sports car.

Based on the E-Class, it comes with the twin-turbo 4.0-litre "hot vee" V8 engine found in many AMG-fettled models.

It also matches the saloon for power and is available with two outputs: 563bhp for the regular model and 604bhp for the range-topping S variant. Both are electronically limited to 155mph - although this can be raised to 180mph with the optional AMG driver's package - and can do 0-62mph in 3.6secs and 3.5secs respectively.

Go for the S form and you'll find the E63 Estate is 0.5secs faster than an AMG GT and 0.1secs faster than the hardcore GT R

Mercedes is offering the E63 Estate exclusively with its 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system, allowing drivers to distribute the torque between the front and rear axles from inside the cabin. There's even a drift mode on S models to direct more power to the rear axle, making it easier to slide.

The E63 Estate incorporates many design queues from the saloon, including the sculpted vents on the front bumper and quad exhaust layout at the rear. It does, however, have longer tail lights, similar to the coupe. 

It's also practical, with a boot size of 640-litres with the seats up - 70-litres more than the recently announced BMW 5-Series Touring - and 1820-litres with them down.

Mercedes-AMG are debuting the E63 Estate at the Geneva Motor Show in March ahead of it going on sale in April. There's no word on prices yet, but expect it to cost more than the £57,405 needed for an E43 Estate.

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