Mercedes-Benz has given the E63 AMG saloon and estate a bold new look and increased output along with other performance enhancing upgrades as part of a comprehensive mid-life facelift that aims to keep them in the hunt against powered up luxury car competition.

Due to reach the UK in April at prices close to the £74,920 and £76,710 of their predecessors following today's public premiere at the Detroit motor show, the heavily revised E63 AMG saloon and estate preview a radical change in direction for the styling of all future AMG models with a distinctive exterior treatment that aims to provide both greater differentiation from standard Mercedes-Benz models together with improved aerodynamic properties.

Included is a more aggressive front end that combines the twin headlamp treatment of the newly facelifted E-class with a unique grille and bumper – the latter distinguished by huge air ducts and a central splitter that is claimed to improve air flow underneath the car. The exterior mirror housings have been given a new carbon fibre look and the side sills are altered with a new two tone treatment. The rear sports a more unique looking bumper that houses a revised diffuser element and quad trapezoidal shaped tail pipes.

Mercedes-Benz’s latest performance model runs a lightly retuned version of AMG’s twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine. It now develops 549bhp in standard trim and 577bhp in combination with an optional performance package – increases of 31bhp and 28bhp respectively. This performance package is now badged 'S-Model'.

Torque loading has also increased, with the standard engine now delivering an added 15lb ft at 531lb ft and the performance package specification unit remaining at 590lb ft but developed across a 750rpm broader range of revs between 1750rpm and 5000rpm.

The heady reserves continue to be channeled through AMG’s seven speed Speedshift MCT automatic gearbox to the rear wheels. It offers four different driving modes:  C (Controlled Efficiency, S (Sport), S plus (Sport plus) and M (Manual) as well as automatic stop/start and brake energy recupation. The performance package option also adds a differential lock.

Mercedes-Benz claims the standard E63 AMG saloon now boasts a 0-62mph time of 4.2sec, with the optional performance package at just 3.6sec – improvements of 0.1sec and 0.6sec respectively. Top speed remains at a limited 155mph and 186mph.

The increase in straight line performance comes without any change in fuel economy and emissions, with the standard E63 AMG saloon offering combined consumption of 28.8mpg and 230g/km. The performance package option is rated t 27.4mpg and 242g/km.