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REVIEWS 2017 Mercedes-AMG E 63 4MATIC+ and E 63 S 4MATIC+ Reviews

Discussion in 'Mercedes-Benz AMG E-Class' started by donkeykong, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. donkeykong

    donkeykong Well-Known Member


    The new Mercedes-AMG E63 S is the most powerful E-class ever. It stands as a monument to what defines a big AMG saloon car in 2016 – turbocharged power, four-wheel drive and class-leading driver assistance technologies – but, cleverly, it also remains true to the time-honoured values that made AMG the celebrated performance division it has become.

    It’s fast, capable and refined, then, but it’s also capable of being just as wantonly excessive and brutally overpowered as any AMG that’s gone before it.

    Engine, transmission and 0-60 time
    The 4-litre twin-turbo V8 is familiar from the AMG GT super coupe and the smaller C63, but for the new E63 S it gets uprated internals and twin scroll turbochargers. This is the most potent version of the ‘hot-vee’ engine yet – 603bhp and 627lb ft of torque from 2500rpm.

    The transmission is a newly-developed nine-speed automatic – rather than a twin-clutch – that uses a wet clutch instead of a torque converter. Power is distributed to all four wheels – there’ll be no rear-wheel drive version – with 100 per cent of torque sent to the rear axle until the computers detect any slip, at which point up to 50 per cent can be send forwards.

    Despite weighing in at 1880kg the E63 S still sprints to 62mph in 3.4 seconds. The top speed is 155mph, but that can be raised to 186mph by opting for the AMG Driver’s package.

    Technical highlights?
    The four-wheel drive system is perhaps the most intriguing component in a fiendishly complex drivetrain. Called 4Matic+ it keeps the front wheels unburdened by the need to deliver torque to the road on the way into a corner by sending all drive to the rear axle, thereby leaving the front tyres free to deal with the lateral turning force only. That improves turn in and reduces understeer.

    The centre clutch only closes to send drive forwards when the throttle is applied away from the corner and the system senses a loss of traction at the rear tyres. The E63 can therefore combine the agility of a rear wheel drive car with the traction of a four-wheel drive car.

    A more controversial feature is the drift mode, the sort of function you might expect to see on a hot hatch but hardly on an expensive super saloon. In fact, unlike other drift modes the E63’s simply locks the centre clutch closed, effectively making it a purely rear-wheel drive car.

    What’s it like to drive?
    Refined and comfortable around town and civilised on the motorway. The cabin is superb, too, with a very modern design, excellent materials and a very high standard of fit and finish.

    The change in character when you select the Sport or Sport Plus mode is akin to Bruce Banner’s metamorphosis. Despite the sheer mass of the car it suddenly becomes supremely agile with a very responsive front axle, huge mid-corner grip and, of course, vast traction, too. With tight-fisted body control and quite remarkable damping the E63 overcomes its weight to navigate its way down a twisting stretch of road with the manners of a much smaller, lighter sports saloon.

    The four-wheel drive system allows just the faintest suggestion of oversteer, at least with the electronic stability control switched back a notch, before calling time by sending drive to the front axle. Whereas a similarly powerful rear-wheel drive car would be sat at the exit of a corner turning its tyres into smoke, the E63 gets up and goes, stretching its lead with every twist and turn.

    Mercedes claims the electric steering system delivers ‘optimum steering feel’, which is a stretch, but this is certainly one of the most direct, natural and intuitive variable-ratio systems we’ve come across. It doesn’t drip with feel, but somehow it gives an unspoken sense of how much grip is in reserve across the front axle, and that’s really all you need to place the car right on the limit corner after corner.

    Responsive, linear in its delivery and furiously powerful the engine is a masterpiece. It endows the AMG with prodigious straight-line performance –perhaps more than any other super-saloon – and despite its use of a pair of turbochargers the soundtrack is very evocative, too. The gearbox, meanwhile, is every bit as quick and responsive as you could need in a car of this type, only giving up anything to a twin-clutch unit in upshifts called right at the limiter.

    Inevitably the E63 feels less at home on circuit, but if you’re patient enough with the front end on the way into corners there is enough control, precision and agility – not to mention power – to have some fun. The drift mode, too, is hugely entertaining, giving the car all of the over-powered, oversteer-in-any-gear character of any AMG you care to mention.

    That’s the new E63 S’s greatest trick – combining ultra-modern dynamics and performance with the sense of mischief that we’ve come to love AMG for.

    Price and rivals
    Mercedes is yet to confirm the UK list price of the E63 S, but expect to pay in the region of £85,000.

    A new BMW M5 will arrive in the next 12 months – with more than 600bhp and a four-wheel drive system, too, it seems – and on the evidence of this first drive it will need to find significant improvements over the car it replaces just to be competitive.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2016
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    • Frankie G

      Frankie G Active Member

      2017 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S review
      The E 63 is back, and it’s remarkable, with the broadest range of abilities and performance it has ever had

      What is it?
      The Mercedes-AMG E 63 S comes a long time after the wider world had its first Lotus Carlton moment. I wonder if it will have another, when will it sit up with a start and say: “A 600bhp, 190mph family saloon car? Are you completely mad?”

      Anyway, here is a 600bhp family saloon. There are so many new cars. So many new Mercedes cars. You’d almost be forgiven for patting it on the head gently, knowingly, as it passes. Another new AMG. Welcome to the world, son, we know your brothers: dominated by their engines, lots of tyre smoke, that sort of thing. Sit yourself in that little niche over there, the one marked ‘hot rod’.

      Well, don’t. This car isn’t like other recent AMGs. Well, it is, but it’s not only like other AMGs. There’s a bit more to it than that.

      Mechanically, there’s a fair degree of what you know. The basis is the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon. The design has been given the expected tweaks: it’s subtle, muscular, more pumped up in the wheel arches, where it’s 11mm wider to accommodate a wider track and 265/35 front and 295/30 rear 20in tyres. There’s a diffuser, big exhausts and a lip spoiler on this saloon. An estate will follow late next year.

      Under the resculpted bonnet is the latest iteration of AMG’s 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8. New for this E 63 is that the ‘hot’ turbos, which sit within the vee rather than down by the sides of the cylinders, where the centre of gravity would be lower, are twin-scroll units. So they have two tubes through them, each one putting air to two cylinders. So yes, while the centre of gravity is higher (bad) and the air perhaps hotter (also bad), the paths from turbo to cylinder are much shorter, which makes for improved throttle response times (good). It keeps the engine more compact, too. There are also two power outputs: 563bhp as standard, or 603bhp in the S version.

      The V8 drives through a nine-speed automatic gearbox, the first time Mercedes’ nine-speed ’box has been engineered to cope with this much torque. And if the E 63 S makes a lot of anything, it’s torque: 627lb ft of it, from 2500-4500rpm. It’s an automatic transmission rather than a dual-clutch unit, but instead of a torque converter, it gets a wet clutch.

      In right-hand-drive versions of the last E 63, power went only to the rear wheels, but in other markets the car was mostly four-wheel drive; in fact, globally, 90% of all E 63s sold drove through all four wheels. This time they all will, even the right-hookers. At the back of the gearbox is a clutch, through the middle of which runs a propshaft to the back wheels. In everyday mooching, the E 63 is rear-wheel drive. But as the clutch starts to engage, as much as 50% of the power will go to the front. Theoretically, were the rears tyres on ice and the front tyres on fly paper, all power would go to the fronts, but practically, 50/50 is the maximum split.

      At the back, meanwhile, there’s a limited-slip differential, which is mechanically controlled on the non-S variant but electronically controlled on the S. There are also a number of drive modes, culminating in Race, after which you can switch out the stability controls to either Sport mode or all off, and after you’ve done that you can enter Drift mode, which basically always disconnects the front wheels, to let the E 63 do what AMGs have been doing for years: smoking up tyres.

      Other things to note, before we move on? The bodyshell has been stiffened with the addition of a couple of braces. AMG won’t say exactly by how much; apparently it’s not as simple as that, because it depends where you measure it. And there are air springs all round. Prices won’t be announced until early next year, but an S is likely to be around £83,000.

      What's it like?
      Most buyers opt for the saloon, impossibly cool though fast estates are. And all in, this four-door’s kerb weight is 1955kg. Yet still this is a car with a 3.5sec 0-62mph time and a top speed of 186mph if you spec the AMG Driver’s Package. Exactly how much is too much?

      Not this much, I’ve decided. I’m trying to make ‘the power of a McLaren F1’ an accepted unit of measurement, like the length of a double decker bus or an area the size of Wales. Anyway, the E 63 has it, more or less. Chances are it’ll deliver more torque to the wheels, more of the time, than the McLaren.

      But you don’t have to use it all, and the E 63 is a rather lovely thing on the road even if you choose not to. The engine’s response is good even in the less angry driving modes and the steering is weighty and accurate, while the suspension is firm enough that in the UK it might be approaching (if I can use this word) nuggety.

      It’s good fun, in other words, and certainly comfortable and controlled enough. There’s insurmountable grip and traction for all road conditions, but like all things performance these days, you’ll be wanting a circuit to get the best out of the E 63.

      On track, I’m expecting it to be a hot rod like the previous-generation E 63 was at its launch. Manage the front end so it doesn’t understeer, get back on the power, feel it squirm and you’re away. Something less agile than the C 63, at any rate.

      But it turns out that the new E 63 is genuinely remarkable on a circuit. Astonishingly. Not because of the power – you expect that, if not the quickness of the throttle response for a turbo – and not because of the way the brakes (if carbon-ceramics are fitted) just don’t give up. No, the exceptional thing is how agile it is for a car that, with a couple of options on it, must tip the scales at two tonnes.

      You can turn in at a rate that would make most big front-engined cars just wash outwards. A lot of small front-engined cars too, come to that. But the E 63 turns really pleasingly, and if you play with the throttle, easing it on or off, there’s a genuinely lovely balance. With the 4Matic four-wheel drive system on, and because its bias is mostly to the rear, the E 63 will still steer at the back like a rear-driver. But the pace it can maintain around a track is extraordinary – and seriously good fun.

      And then, of course, there’s Drift mode. Funny old phrase, drift mode; it’s not like there’s some clever electro-mechanical trickery going on with the four-wheel drive system. It just disconnects the clutch for the front wheels and leaves the E 63 in the kind of form to which right-hand drive buyers have been accustomed for ages. And in that form the E 63 drifts and drifts and drifts for Germany. Puerile. Stupid. Silly. Yes, I know it is. But flippin’ entertaining.

      Should I buy one?
      The dynamic experience suggests you ought to be interested in one, if you’re in the market for a car like the E 63 S, which means you might also consider an Audi RS6, Porsche Panamera Turbo or BMW M5.

      What about some prosaic and more relevant E 63 points though? The interior feels lovely, as it does in regular E-Classes. There’s a digital instrument pack, and although one or two of the dials look a bit too much like a dartboard for my taste, there’s no denying you can put a shedload of information up there. Then there’s the massive central screen, which displays one of the best infotainment systems on the market, and the front seats, which are exceptionally supportive yet very comfortable. Plus it’s big in the back seats and in the boot.

      More prosaic things again? On light throttle openings the V8 becomes a V4, and if you just pootle around the automatic gearbox soon shifts into top (albeit marginally less smoothly than a torque-converter auto), so combined fuel economy is 31mpg.

      And that, let’s face it, is how you’ll drive it most of the time. A large executive saloon that’s marginally less refined than a big diesel executive saloon but still one that’ll cosset and nurture and ease your troubles away with a gentle woofle at the end of a long day. And sometimes, just sometimes, it’s a 603bhp supercar. More than you need, of course, but there are times when too much is just enough.

      Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4matic

      Location Portugal; On sale March; Price £83,000 (est); Engine V8, 3982cc, twin-turbo, petrol; Power 603bhp at 5750-6500rpm; Torque 627lb ft at 2500-4500rpm; Gearbox 9-spd automatic; Kerb weight 1955kg; 0-62mph 3.5sec; Top speed 186mph; Economy 31.0mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 207g/km, 37% Rivals Audi RS6, BMW M5

      Source: Autocar
      • Like Like x 2
      • HUTSUTAo

        HUTSUTAo Well-Known Member

        This is a statement car from Mercedes. A slap down to Audi’s RS6 and BMW’s M5. This is Mercedes-AMG laying down the challenge

        3.4 seconds to 62mph, right?

        Er, no. Just for a lark I took our Racelogic timing gear out to Portimao. With photographer Simon Thompson in the car with me, plus probably 40kg of kit, it hit 60mph in 3.2 seconds and 100mph in 7.3secs. The fastest we’ve had out of an Audi RS6 is 3.3secs and 7.5secs and that didn’t have the extra bloke and kit in it.

        Standing quarter in the Merc was 11.42secs at 124.3mph. These are near identical numbers to the new Honda NSX. In a few months time Merc will announce an estate version of this car. Calls for a drag race, don’t you think?
        Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
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        • donkeykong

          donkeykong Well-Known Member

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          • Amat46

            Amat46 Well-Known Member Premium Member

            Tobias Moers do not mess around! The chassis tuning seems flipping brilliant. Excellent reviews so far. Another winner from AMG!!!!!!


            Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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            • Amat46

              Amat46 Well-Known Member Premium Member

              Pros: Huge performance, dynamic quality, cabin, character

              Cons: It’s far from cheap

            • Mick Briesgau

              Mick Briesgau Well-Known Member

              Excellent quality never has been cheap...
              Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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              • Amat46

                Amat46 Well-Known Member Premium Member

              • WAND

                WAND Active Member

                • Like Like x 4
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                • Laurent T

                  Laurent T Active Member

                  Ouch, that's quick !
                  • Agree Agree x 1
                  • Soup

                    Soup Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

                    • Like Like x 3
                    • Soup

                      Soup Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

                      • Like Like x 4
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                      • Soup

                        Soup Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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                        • Amat46

                          Amat46 Well-Known Member Premium Member

                          BLISTERINGLY FAST!
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                          • klier

                            klier Member

                            So when you do it, it is ok to talk about BMW and Audi in an MB thread? You just don't want others to talk about them, amirite?
                          • MBRulz

                            MBRulz Member

                            Goodness me that is bloody fast
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                            • Rolf

                              Rolf Well-Known Member

                              • Winner Winner x 3
                              • WAND

                                WAND Active Member

                                I thought that rocket engine is forbidden for street legal car. :D
                                God this monster is sick fast.
                                • Funny Funny x 2
                                • Amat46

                                  Amat46 Well-Known Member Premium Member

                                  He is a class act!
                                  • Agree Agree x 3
                                  • Merc1

                                    Merc1 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

                                    Question is would I want this or a Panamera S/Turbo?


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