As a result, power has increased a further 33bhp beyond the base unit, providing the E43 4Matic with a sturdy 395bhp at a higher 6100rpm. Significantly, the revised engine delivers a higher specific output than the 502bhp version of AMG’s dedicated twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 at 132bhp/litre versus 126bhp/litre.
With an official 1765kg kerb weight, this endows AMG's latest model with a power-to-weight ratio of 224bhp/tonne. Torque, meanwhile, remains the same as other new AMG models fitted with the V6 engine, peaking at 383lb ft between 2500rpm and 5000rpm.
In comparison, the Audi S6 saloon’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 delivers 444bhp and 406lb ft of torque.
As on the C43 Coupe 4Matic and C43 Convertible 4Matic revealed at the Geneva motor show earlier this month, the E43 4Matic channels its reserves through a standard nine-speed automatic gearbox with a column mounted shift lever and a specially developed version of Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic four-wheel drive system with a nominal 31:69 front-to-rear drive split.
The gearbox has been given AMG-specific software mapping, providing it with a claimed reduction in shift time over the standard unit used by other new E-Class models, as well as the ability to hold gears at the redline rather than shifting up. It also provides a multiple downshifting and a double declutching function in Sport and Sport Plus modes – two of a total of six modes that also include Eco, Comfort, Individual and Manual.
Official performance claims put the E43 4Matic’s 0-62mph time at 4.6sec – the same figure Audi quotes for the S6. As with its closest four-door rival, top speed is limited to 155mph. The official combined cycle fuel consumption is 34.0mpg and average CO2 emissions are 189g/km.
The E43 4Matic is underpinned by a re-tuned version of the new E-Class’s Air Body Control suspension. It uses multi-chamber air springs that provide adaptive damping properties in three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. Among the changes to the standard geometry are new steering knuckles and load bearing joints for the four-link front suspension, greater negative camber on both the front and rear wheels and stiffer spring and damper rates.
The variable ratio electro-mechanical steering system has also been retuned and, in combination with the adaptive damping, it offers the choice of two modes: Comfort and Sport.