2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4MATIC – First Drive


We all know Mercedes-Benz has some pretty amazing technology but there’s no chance they could read my mind, right? And yet the facelifted E-Class, and the E63 AMG specifically, seemed to have addressed question I’d ever enduredabout the table; I’d previously felt Mercedes could improve its steering feel and weight, handling balance and composure, plus the overall sportiness of its sedans. And would you believe the 2014 E63 AMG has addressed each issue!

Until our drive was cut short by police intervention (see Editor’s Letter in this issue), I was enjoying the experience enormously. With the 4MATIC all-wheel drive fitted standard to all US cars, the E63 was far more composed than before. And while it’s not quite the wheel-spinning traffic light champion it once was, the greater control and hard launches were greatly appreciated. In fact, we rarely saw the traction control light even flicker, which will be a novel experience for owners of the RWD E63.

It uses a 33/67% front/rear bias, making it essentially RWD for better balance though with a sniff of power oversteer to help keep it entertaining.

A-wing grille plus larger ducting to aid cooling, the new E63 has more power than before and will be identified by its redesigned front-end with integrated star. This applies to both the Wagon and Sedan, so we took an E63 AMG Wagon for a spin because we love the cargo-hauler’s proportions. It’ll simply be available in The United States in the “”””S”””” specification, which implieshelps make the Wagon incredibly flexible and contains only one drawback – it weighs a whopping 4508 lb (when compared to the 4276 lb Sedan). This dulls the -60mph sprint by only .1sec, so in real life it has every one of the performance of its sibling. Actually, we bullied our way past several Sedans on the tight roads around the Montserrat region, feeling no detrimental affects.

Everything we noticed during such maneuvers was the complete lack and stability of body roll. It really is carries itself with poise, thanks to some extent to a standard five-point IRS set-up with airbags that’s used across the entire E63 AMG range.

Regardless of this, the E63 AMG driving experience is entirely dominated by its biturbo 5.5-liter V8. In this new guise it boasts 550hp and 531 lb-ft (up from 518hp, 516 lb-ft), which happens to be close to the optional Performance Package offered together with the previous E63. The new S model takes even that to a stratospheric 577hp at 5500rpm and 590 lb-ft at 2000rpm, thanks partly to 14.5psi boost pressure rather than 13.1psi on the regular E63.