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Mercedes-AMG has announced not one but two brutally powerful all-wheel-drive E63 variants for Australia with power boosted up to 450kW and claims that they feature the biggest-ever generational changes.
It is the first time the E63 has been available in Australia with the "4MATIC" all-wheel-drive system and the first time that a less-powerful E63 version has been offered here alongside its potent sibling.
The pair of AMG sedans, both having near-identical 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engines and nine-speed multi-clutch automatic transmissions, will be launched separately with the first – and more powerful S version – arriving in June.
The Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic+ is here mid-year with a stonking 450kW/850Nm – up 20kW/50Nm on the previous model – for a 0-100km/h sprint time of only 3.4 seconds and a pricetag of $239,900 plus on-road costs.
The slightly less intimidating E63 drops the "S" for a 420kW/750Nm output and a $209,900 plus on-road costs pricetag.
Mercedes says they are among the most powerful production luxury saloons in the world.
Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers said the new AMG E63 "represents the biggest step forward we've ever taken from one generation to the next".
The S engine has cylinder deactivation to reduce fuel consumption or, alternatively, increase fuel use by allowing the drive to use the "Drift Mode" to "deliver the driving experience of an exclusively rear-wheel drive vehicle".
There has also been upgrades to the Speedshift MCT nine-speed transmission that now includes a wet start-off clutch. Mercedes says this feature allows for more agile response times.
The MCT multi-clutch transmission is not a dual-clutch unit and instead is similar to a conventional automatic but uses multiple clutches instead of a torque converter. The new wet-clutch minimises off-the-mark slippage.
Both cars also have the AMG sports suspension that is based on the Mercedes-Benz "air body control" air suspension system which uses a three-chamber air spring that can be adjusted via transmission modes that alter the air pressure within the chambers.
Standard equipment for the Mercedes-AMG E63 4Matic+ includes 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, a mechanical rear-axle limited slip differential, AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system with a nine-speed sport transmission, AMG-specific analogue clock in IWC design and chrome exterior trim.
The E63 S adds 20-inch forged wheels in matte black, AMG Night Package external styling, an AMG electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential, AMG Performance selectable exhaust system, AMG Performance seats, AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather and microfibre, red-painted brake callipers, active dynamic engine mount, digital TV tuner, Nappa leather for the dashboard and door trim, and wireless charging for mobile phones.
The "S" will also be available with the optional Edition 1 package that adds special grey paint, ceramic-composite brakes, Nappa leather sports seats with yellow stitching, AMG Performance steering wheel and carbon-fibre trim. It costs an additional $18,900, bringing its price to $258,800.
Both variants join the AMG E43, C43 and GLC43 variants that have been launched in Australia as late as last month. The E43 entered the country three weeks ago with a $159,900 plus on-road costs price.
They are part of an ongoing AMG onslaught on Australia that cements this country as having one of the highest percentage of AMG sales in the world compared with passenger cars and SUVs badged with the Mercedes-Benz star.
AMG sales now represent 20 per cent of Mercedes-Benz sales in Australia, ahead of all major markets including Germany, Japan, the US and the UK, but just behind New Zealand.
The sub-brand sold about 5000 AMGs in Australia in 2016 and the new models are expected to rocket that to 6000 units in this calendar year.