"It is the biggest step forward from one generation into the next."
Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate revealed as fastest wagon yet
Indeed, the new E 63 is the fastest-accelerating model ever produced by Mercedes’s burgeoning performance car division with an official 0-62mph time of 3.4sec in range-topping S 4Matic+ guise.
The new E 63 also holds the distinction of being the most powerful series production four-door model from AMG to date.
Fitted with AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, the new E 63 will continue to be sold in two distinct versions. In standard E 63 4Matic+, it has 563bhp and 552lb ft of torque. The most popular model, however, is expected to be the range- topping E 63 S 4Matic+, which has added turbocharger boost pressure and other power enhancing tweaks, allowing it to produce a stout 603bhp and 626lb ft.
The recently unveiled BMW M5 Competition Edition’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine serves up 592bhp and 516lb ft, while the Audi RS6 Plus’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 gets 597bhp and 553lb ft.
The E 63's new engine, which is mounted on dynamic mounts in the E63 S 4Matic+, replaces the older twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 used in the outgoing second-generation car, providing the standard model with an added 14bhp and 29lb and the S with an extra 26bhp and 37lb ft over its predecessor.
For the first time, AMG has fitted its 4.0-litre V8 with a pair of new twin-scroll turbocharger for use in the E 63, which claimedly will improve induction boosting properties and further enhance throttle response.
In its most extreme state of tune, as fitted to the E63 S 4Matic+, this new engine develops a specific output of 151.4bhp per litre – some 16.6bhp per litre more than the engine powering the M5 and 2bhp per litre more than the RS6 Performance's engine.
This endows the new 1880kg E 63 S 4Matic+ with a power-to-weight ratio of 321bhp per tonne, an improvement of 12bhp per tonne on the old 1865kg E63 S 4Matic it replaces.
The engine also has AMG Cylinder Management for added fuel savings on part throttle loads. In city driving, four cylinders are deactivated between 1000 and 3250rpm when the engine is switched to comfort mode.
As in other recent AMG models, the driver can choose between four driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual, via a Dynamic Select button on the centre console. In Comfort mode, a coast function decouples the engine from the gearbox on extended periods of trailing throttle at speeds between 37-100mph for better fuel efficiency. A fifth driving mode, Race, is also included on the E63 S 4Matic+.
The gearbox in the new E 63 is a nine-speed Speedshift MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) automatic, featuring a so-called wet start off clutch and steering wheel mounted shift paddles. Further driveline developments include a mechanical differential lock for the E63 4Matic+ and faster acting electronic differential lock on the E 63 S 4Matic+.
Both models will be available only with AMG's Performance 4Matic+ four-wheel drive system, which offers fully variable distribution of drive between the front and rear wheels for the first time.