Mercedes E63 AMG Review
Car Tested: 2013 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,55,10,730/-
The Mercedes E63 AMG does warp speeds which can leave you spellbound.
It’s not often that you can get the best of both worlds – comfort of a luxury saloon and performance of a sports car but with the E63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz wants to do exactly that. Say hello to Mercedes’ Jekyll and Hyde, the E63 AMG which retains the creature comforts of the regular E-Class while flinging you forward with rocket-ignited javelin sort of performance. The Stuttgart based automaker facelifted the E-Class earlier this year and the E63 AMG gets a comprehensive update as well. Offered in two variants, Standard and S-Model, the latter gets more power and all-wheel drive but isn’t offered in India. We get the standard rear-wheel drive E63 AMG which itself is too hot to handle.
Motor Quest: AMG started off as an independent engineering company in 1967 and was taken over by Mercedes-Benz in 1990. In 1986, AMG launched the AMG Hammer, a vehicle based on the W124 E-Class which was very quick for its time.
Exteriors – The styling of the Mercedes E63 AMG is very sober which isn’t a good thing considering it packs a real punch under the long hood. Minor tweaks to the appearance distinguish the car from the regular E-Class and the white colour of our test car is in no way an eye-catchy shade. The E63 gets changes to the grille, bumpers and wheels which do make it look meaner but only just. There is a body kit as well and the car is lowered which gives it a very sporty appeal when viewed from the side. “V8 BITURBO” is stamped on either side near the front wheel. The quad exhausts are square in shape and give a subtle hint of what powers this monster. The 18-inch wheels look a tad small for a performance saloon such as this, more so because the E-Class launch edition also comes with similar profile tyres mounted on 18-inch rims. However those who like the sleeper look will appreciate the E63 AMG for not being flamboyant.
Interiors – Things are quite similar once you step inside. The dashboard is familiar to the regular E-Class but the interior is finished in all black and gets carbon fibre inserts for that sporty feel. The analogue watch on the centre console is different and so is the centre console which gets a small gear lever instead of transmission controls on the right stalk on the steering. There are an array of buttons right next to the short gear selector but more on that later. The steering gets a flat-bottom along with the leather treatment while the instrument cluster gets a black background instead of white found on the regular E-Class.
The changes don’t end here as Mercedes-Benz has also given the E63 AMG some really awesome seats. The front seats can be adjusted in multiple ways and can be cooled or heated too, as per need. What is even more interesting is that you can adjust the lateral support and alter the cushioning around your back according to your frame. It also gets lateral support so when you corner, the seat cushion moves to support that side of your body which moves into the seat. The buttons to control the seats are placed right next to the seat belt lock. Rear seat passengers get their own LCD screen (behind the front seat headrest) with multiple connectivity options. Space inside the cabin is very generous but you do sit very low.
Performance – Till now, the E63 AMG has just flaunted it’s good personality. Now it’s time for the evil one. Powering this E-Class isn’t your run of the mill 4 or 6-cylinder engine but instead a 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 which belts out an impressive 557 HP of power (32 HP up on its predecessor) and 720 Nm of torque. All this monstrous output is channeled to the rear wheels and that’s why stability systems in this car are your life saviour. Start the engine and the 8-cylinders come to life with a throaty roar. The E63’s sound track is amazing and the car is very vocal with a bassy tune. In fact the sound is so good that we kept going inside tunnels, opening the windows and revving the nuts out of the E63’s motor in first and second gear, pure aural bliss. There is a kickback sound from the quad pipes at up-shift, pure muscle car like.
In the previous E63 AMG, Mercedes ditched the 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V8 for a bi-turbo unit. The same isn’t being missed much on the new E63 AMG because there is ample amount of thrust from the hand crafted mill. The E63 AMG is so fast, it simply blurres scenery at a pace you will find hard to keep up with. Get on the throttle and this performance 4-door saloon immediately lunges forward with a missile like velocity, it’s insanely quick and dispatches the 0-100 km/hr in just 4.2 seconds, 0-160 km/hr in around 8.5 seconds while 0-200 km/hr takes just 14 odd seconds, fast, brutally so. In fact reaching the vehicle’s top speed from standstill takes less than 25 seconds! There are quite a few modes on offer C, S, S+, M and RS. In C mode (comfort), the engine is all easy going with the cog swapping happening in a relaxed manner. With the S and S+ (Sport and Sport+) the transmission becomes all the more eager and keeps the motor on the boil, shifting gears very quickly. In M mode, you can manually control the gearbox using the steering mounted aluminium paddles which are longer and sleeker than what’s found on the regular E-Class. The 7-speed transmission is quick and responds instantly to throttle inputs but isn’t the quickest to downshift.
Then there is the RS model, which is launch control. Getting the car into launch mode isn’t as simple as turning the knob to the right, there’s more to it. Turn the ESP into Sport Handling mode, engage the brake and turn the knob to RS, pull the right paddle to confirm Race Start, stand on the gas and you are off in the horizon (you can time this as there is a timer on the console). Redline comes in at 6500 RPM but the ESP will make the AMG Speedshift MCT upshift at even 5000 RPM if it senses lack of traction. The rear tyres are just fighting every time you stand on the big pedal. The E63 AMG redlines at 63 km/hr in first, 105 km/hr in seconds, 149 km/hr in third, 212 km/hr in fourth and hits its electronically limited top whack of 250 km/hr in fifth, so once the limiter is off, this car should zip past 300 km/hr with ease. The up-shift warning pops up at 6000 RPM, 500 RPM before so that you can plan your shifts quickly as the engine is just quicker than the tachometer.
So the Mercedes E63 AMG is as quick as a thunderstorm but when you want to relax (and I bet you will want to after seeing the car demolish distances in no time), you can always rely on this vehicle. Simply get into comfort mode and use 20% throttle and the E63 AMG won’t let you realize about the monster which is lurking right ahead of you. You can comfortably cruise, keeping the car in seventh gear at 100 km/hr with the RPM needle just ticking in at 1500 RPM. Should you feel the need, the need for speed, you don’t even have to bother to downshift, just bury your right foot and the car darts ahead with terrific in-gear acceleration. The mileage we got on our test was 4.05 km/l but one can stretch that to 6 km/l under sane driving, but why would you even think of driving this machine in a sane manner when you have such mind numbing performance on tap!
Driving Dynamics – The E63’s twin-turbo engine weighs just 204 kgs but the overall car still tips the scale at a hefty 1.8 tonnes. The AMG ride control lets you choose between three modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport+. In comfort mode, the E63’s ride quality is good although it still feels a bit stiff and you have to be extremely careful over bad roads because the car sits very low and can scrape its underbelly on the smallest of speedbreakers. In S and S+ modes, the ride is properly stiff, transferring quite a bit to the inside on uneven roads. At high speeds, the car stays firmly glued to the road and maintains its composure terrifically. Brakes are splendid offering the right pedal feel and terrific stopping power. They did not show any signs of fade and do the job very well as you have to haul the car down from insane speeds so often.
There is an AMG button on the centre console, engaging it puts the engine and transmission in S+ mode, suspension in Sport+ and ESP activated. The handling is excellent, the car doesn’t let you feel its weight and darts into corners with precession. But try to enter a corner too fast and the ESP will cut in quickly to keep the vehicle right on its tracks. With the ESP off, the E63 AMG is a very tail happy machine and there is so much torque going to the rear wheels that power slides are very easy to pull-off. With the ESP on, smack the throttle and the E63 tries to pull to either sides with the tyres fighting for traction and the ESP intervening by cutting power with an upshift at as early as 5000 RPM. The steering is light at low speeds and weighs up decently at high speeds. It is very quick but not as feedback rich as its immediate rival.
Verdict – The Mercedes E63 AMG pulls of both its characters very strongly. At one end, it offers all the comfort you would want when heading to office while at the other end, it is all ready to flame the tarmac with its monstrous power. Sure, it shares many parts with the standard E-Class (the engine is completely different though), after all it’s based on it. Being a CBU, it costs more than twice the cost of the top spec E-Class but it is more than double the fun and that’s something very hard to argue with for a petrol head. The Mercedes E63 AMG is pure exhilaration and as I conclude this review, the sound of those quad pipes shrieking the tunnel in terror continue to ring in my ears.
The Mercedes E63 AMG is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you simply have no idea what’s in store until you step on the throttle, it’s properly fast in a way which can scare you silly.
* V8 engine performance
* Front seats
What’s Not So Cool
* Sleeper looks