What is it?
The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate might well be the car to dethrone the Audi RS6 as the quintessential modern-day super-wagon.
The Audi’s appeal lies in its handsome styling, massive grip, faultless stability and enormous straight-line performance. If the AMG can add some level of agility and on-the-limit precision to that set of attributes, it’ll swiftly unseat the Ingolstadt charger and assume the role of king of the super-estates.
The booted Merc uses the same drivetrain and underpinnings as the E63 S Saloon, which is probably, all things considered, the fastest and most dynamically competent four-door there has ever been. The engine is basically the same 4-litre twin-turbo ‘hot-vee’ V8 that powers great swathes of the AMG line-up these days - although not the dry-sump unit that’s found in the AMG GT sports car - offered here in 604bhp and 627lb ft guise. Mercedes quotes a frankly absurd 0-62mph time of 3.5sec.
The E63 is four-wheel drive now, of course, but it’ll still bonfire its rear boots in three-and-a-half seconds flat if you activate Drift mode, which simply decouples the front axle and disables the driver aids. The gearbox is a nine-speed automatic, rather than a twin-clutch, but the gearshifts are every bit as quick as you need them to be, given that this is a fast estate and not a dedicated sports car. The advantage of the E63’s transmission over a twin-clutch item is that it’s smoother in auto mode and much lighter too.