Mercedes has taken the wraps off the new range-topping E-class: the E63 AMG.
Despite talk from within AMG about ending the horsepower war between German car makers, this new model has more power than the car it replaces — although at 11bhp, it’s a modest gain.
But thanks to a number of efficiency-enhancing measures, the 518bhp Mercedes E63 AMG drinks 12 per cent less fuel than its predecessor. It now returns 22.4mpg.
The 6208cc V8 produces the same power and 465lb ft of torque as the SL63’s unit. Performance is practically the same as the old E63, but still impressive, with a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec and a top speed limited to 155mph.
The new car gains the SL63’s Speedshift MCT seven-speed ’box with a wet start-up clutch. The unit is lighter and more efficient than the old torque converter, as well as giving better response.
The transmission has four driving modes: Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual. In Manual the system will switch cogs in 100 milliseconds, while in Controlled Efficiency there are early upshifts to keep revs low and optimise efficiency.
To improve handling, the E63 AMG has been fitted with a newly developed front axle with more negative camber, a 56mm wider track, new control arms, a tubular stabiliser and revised wheel bearings. The rear axle also has extra negative camber and a new subframe mounting for greater stability on the limit.
New front spring struts improve responsiveness, while the rear air struts have automatic level control to keep the rear at the same height irrespective of the load.
Mercedes claims that its ‘AMG Ride Control’ system, which automatically varies the damping characteristics, ensures that the car is equally at home on a race track or the autobahn.