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Mercedes E63 2013 Review

In Europe, the E63AMG S gets all wheel drive -- ensuring the mountain of power and torque percolating from its bi-turbo, petrol V8 engine is held in check

In Europe, the E63AMG S gets all wheel drive -- ensuring the mountain of power and torque percolating from its bi-turbo, petrol V8 engine is held in check. But what fun would that be?

The E63AMG S is all about driver involvement and we think the way the Aussie outpost of Mercedes-Benz went -- rear wheel drive only, is the way to go. It commands drivers to take hold of the car and drive it... with huge rewards as a result.


But you have to be careful. There's a monumental 430kW/800Nm output trying to escape from the bi-turbo, 5.5-litre petrol V8 engine, so you have to keep your wits about you.

Electronic modulators will help and can make an average driver look good but enthusiasts will possibly opt for the minimal amount of "interference" to get a deep drink from the ballistic Benz.


It sells for a hefty $249,900 and scores all the 'Sport' goodies previously only in an option pack. This includes the tenacious locking diff that helps drive the big sedan through turns like it's on rails. It also means race-size brakes and the complete parts bin of AMG fettled goodies for style, comfort and performance.

Like the Speedshift | MCT7 transmission with throttle blip on the down change, like the subtle body aero kit, the light alloy 19-inch wheels, the barking, blatting exhaust, and the luxury interior with just about every driver assist feature in the Benz catalogue. There's even an AMG instrument cluster and wheel - connected to AMG fettled steering.

We are total converts to driver assist features and the E63AMGS has some doozeys including a 360 degree camera, blind spot warning, lane keeping assist, attention assist, collision prevention, radar cruise control, reverse camera, brake assist and Pre-Safe crash preparation.

We particularly like the LED intelligent headlights that look around corners and flick automatically from low to high beam among other things. The active seats were also a hit as a side bolsters presses in to your body holding you through corners. Safety? Pretty much everything going. Luxury kit? The same.


They had a bunch of V8 Supercar drivers along for the ride at the Australian launch and to the last one, they loved the Benz equating the drive feel to a "civilised" version of their race cars. We would have to agree from a distance with that description -- not having driven a V8 Supercar -- but the E63 AMG S is, to mix metaphors, a sledgehammer in a velvet glove.

It could almost drive itself and we actually did this for a short period as the car took control of road speed and steering through the various systems included. They won't let you go the whole hog though. That's a bit down the track yet.

Race-start adds another dimension to the beefy sedan helping to stop the clocks in 4.2 seconds for a 0-100km/h sprint. But that's only scratching the surface here. This car is all about grunt on the move and in this regard, would have very few peers. Plant the right foot at 80kmh and it lights up the rears as the handsome sedan launches forward at a tremendous pace. Overtaking is achieved in a blink.

All this to the accompaniment of a stirring rumbling beat from the quad exhaust tips. And, get this, we were in 'Econ' mode most of the time due to inclement weather. When we did stir things up in full sports mode for everything, performance became extremely engaging to say the least.

Then, once you've drunk from the performance cup, you can tone things right down and adopt luxury cruiser mode and drive, in comfort, across the country if you want. Turn up the multi-outlet climate control, the premium audio, switch on all the lazy-boy driver assist functions and away you go -- with a boot full of luggage, two adults in the back and ticking over at around 10.5-litres/100km. Incredible.


This is the ultimate E-Class, and an absolute stunner in every respect.

Mercedes Benz E 63 AMG
Price: from $249,900
Engine: 5.5-litre 8-cylinder, 430kW/800Nm
Transmission: 7-speed auto, RWD
Thirst: 10L/100km, CO2 234g/km
0-100kmh: approximately 4.0 seconds

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Peter Barnwell


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