For the first time the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 sedan is exclusively all-wheel-drive. The latest-generation AMG Performance 4Matic+ system is now fully variable (it was previously very rear-biased) which AMG says delivers optimum traction up to the limit regardless of the road conditions.
But for the range-topping E 63 S, a ‘Race’ mode allows 100 per-cent drive to the rear wheels.
Drive is via a new version of the AMG Speedshift multi-clutch nine-speed automatic transmission which uses a wet start-off clutch. Combining with all-paw traction, this propels the all-new Mercedes-AMG E 63 from zero to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds. That’s nearly a second better than the previous generation’s 4.3 seconds and good enough to claim best-in-class according to Mercedes-Benz.
That significant gain in performance does not come with a fuel consumption penalty - in fact, thanks mostly to active cylinder de-activation, consumption is down from 10.0l/100kms in the superseded model to 8.9l/100kms.
Unique AMG styling touches include 17mm wider wheel arches and a reduced ride height but perhaps less obvious is that the E 63 actually unique from other E-Class models from the A-pillar forwards.
Note the bonnet which, in a first for AMG sedans, is inset between the bumper and the fenders like we expect from a coupe design.
The front also features a large front splitter, black flics and complex cooling intakes derived from motorsport - including two outboard louvres to direct air into the wheel arch coolers.
Another new look is the silver chrome/black struts twin louvre grille with AMG lettering.
Side profile sees an updated ‘V8 Biturbo 4Matic+’ emblem and sporty side sills (silver chrome insert for the E 63 S).
The rear is identified by a diffuser look insert and a rear spoiler which has been designed and tested in conjunction with front and underbody aero packages to minimize drag and provide what AMG is calling “performance-oriented lift balance” intended to keep the rear-end on the deck at speed.
Regular Mercedes-Benz E 63 models ride on 9.5 x 19-inch front wheels and 10 x 19-inch rears - a 10-spoke alloy in titanium grey. Tyres are 265/35 ZR 19 (front) and 295/30 ZR 19 (rear).
The S model steps-up to 20-inch alloys of the same width - a five twin-spoke design in matt titanium grey. On the options list are cross-spoke forged 20-inch alloy wheels which look like a racing central-lock design.
Inside is the expected AMG sporty opulence (a choice of three colours for the seat leather) and neat highlights like a chequered flag look and distinctive graphics for the instruments.
Under the bonnet, the hand-built AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 fitted to the Mercedes-Benz AMG E 63 S delivers 450kW of power and peak torque of 850Nm between 2500rpm-4500rpm, that’s up from 430kW/800Nm in the outgoing E 63 S.
For the first time AMG has used twin-scroll turbochargers and two separate exhaust ducts for improved cylinder charge and mixture - hence more torque at low revs and faster throttle response. As well as revised software, other features include new pistons, an optimized air intake and charge air cooling.
Cylinder de-activation thanks to the AMG Cylinder Management system (as we know from the SLK 55) debuts on a turbocharged engine and on partial throttle when ‘Comfort’ mode has been selected shuts-down cylinders two, three, five and eight.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz AMG E 63 S debuts a much simpler ‘Racestart’ function, in ‘Sport’, ‘Sport Plus’ or ‘Race’ mode you simply fully press the brake pedal while simultaneously smashing the accelerator to the floor and the various computer system do the rest - when ready you simply release the brake pedal and enjoy a massive surge of acceleration.
Underneath AMG has re-engineered the Air Body Control suspension with forged aluminium components for the four-link front-end, stiffer rear end, wider tracks front and rear, AMG-specific wheel carriers and a hollow rear anti-roll bar similar to that used under the AMG GT R.
The regular E 63 runs a mechanical rear differential lock while the E 63 S scores an electronic version.
The S variant also picks-up larger brakes with a Carbon Ceramic version on the options list.
And, as per previous editions, a special ‘Edition 1’ version E 63 S (a black look with carbon-fibre highlights) will be available for around 12 months following market introduction which starts next March.