MERCEDES-BENZ has taken the wraps off its newest load-lugging bahnstormer, unveiling the 2010 E63 AMG Estate to the press at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.
Revealed alongside the rest of the E-Class Estate range, the E63 AMG Estate shares its 386kW 6.2 litre V8 powertrain with the E63 AMG sedan, as well as the same seven-speed AMG Speedshift MCT automatic gearbox.
Power is taken to the rear wheels (a limited slip differential is optional), and the zero to 100km/h sprint can be run in 4.6 seconds - only two-tenths slower than the lighter E63 AMG sedan.
Top speed, like all other high-performance Benzes, is electronically limited to 250km/h.
An AMG-tuned suspension gives the E63 AMG Estate sharper handling and uses conventional steel coil springs on the front axle and AMG-specific air springs at the rear. The use of air springs allows the E63's ride height to be maintained over undulating tarmac, and can also compensate for heavy loads carried in the back.
The front suspension crossmember is unique to the E63 AMG, as is the suspension geometry on both axles.
The E63 AMG Estate's dampers are electronically adjustable, and drivers can select from three suspension modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus.
Each mode applies varying degrees of damping force and adapts to the driver's inputs to sharpen up handling. The steering ratio is specific to the E63, and at 14:1 is 22 percent more direct than the standard E-Class estate's rack.
Braking hardware is comprised of 360mm rotors all around, with bigger (and lighter) carbon-ceramic discs an optional extra.
Being based on the wagon, the E63 AMG Estate also boasts a great deal of utility compared to its sedan sibling. The load area can accomodate 695 litres of cargo with the rear seats up and 1950 litres with them folded down, and a split-level floor and collapsible crate add extra versatility.
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate is slated to go on sale in Europe in February next year, however a local release date is unclear at this stage.
The regular E-Class Estate range will enter Australian showrooms in the first quarter of 2010.