2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Review

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New Mercedes AMG E 63 S 2020 2

This is the new Mercedes-AMG E 63 S. It’s the latest edition of Mercedes-AMG’s super sedan that’s locked in a unrelenting battle for supremacy with the BMW M5.

Picking a favourite between the AMG’s and M division’s ultimate four-doors is like choosing your favourite pizza – you might state a preference, but there really isn’t a wrong answer. For 2021, however, the E 63 gains some fresher ingredients which might make the comparison even more tasty.

From the cosmetic side of things, the outside gets the same restyle as the rest of the E-Class range; the front gets smaller, less droopy headlamp units which flank a new upturned grille which, in AMG trim, looks more than ever like the huge front air dam on the AMG GT.

New Mercedes AMG E 63 S 2020 6Compared to the standard E-Class, the wheel arches flare 27mm outward on each side to accommodate the E 63’s wider track. They house 20-inch alloy wheels, themselves giving enough space to equip front brake discs which measure 390mm in diameter – that’s larger than the alloy wheels fitted to an entry-level Volkswagen Polo. Carbon ceramic items are optional, and measure 402mm.

New Mercedes AMG E 63 S 2020 5Around the back meanwhile, the new horizontal light units bring the design closer in line with the likes of the CLS and the new S-Class. AMG-specific features include a carbon fibre lip spoiler and quad squared-off tailpipes and black trim surrounds; onlookers are left in no doubt that this is the hottest E-Class money can buy.

Inside, E 63 gets the latest iteration of the brand’s MBUX infotainment setup, which is presented as a pair of 12.3-inch widescreen displays stretching across the top of the dash. The central touchscreen unit controls the infotainment functions – including the nifty augmented reality navigation system, a 360-degree parking camera and media controls for the Burmester sound system.The second display sits ahead of the driver. The digital instrument panel can be customised with a AMG-specific functions like a G-meter, lap timer, and live power and torque readouts.

New Mercedes AMG E 63 S 2020 9The dash is trimmed in carbon fibre panels, while almost anything else is trimmed in leather or carpet – there’s barely a single plastic surface in sight. The AMG electrically adjustable sports seats seat the driver in a low-slung sporty position and offer great side support, yet remain more than comfortable enough for long journeys.

New Mercedes AMG E 63 S 2020 10The new steering wheel takes a leaf out of the AMG GT’s book. A pair of extra dials are added to either side of the lower spoke, which control both general driving mode settings – ranging from Comfort to Sport Plus – and specifics like the active exhaust system and adaptive dampers. The aim is to move all of the most driver specific functions to a position that negates the need for the driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel – and they feel very intuitive in practice.

New Mercedes AMG E 63 S 2020Plenty of welcome improvements, then, but the E 63’s main event remains the same. AMG engineers saw no need in messing with E 63’s spectacular powerplant – the 4.0-litre, twin turbocharged unit still produces the same 450kW and thumping 850Nm of torque.

Unsurprisingly, then, the way that the E 63 accelerates is just as devastating as ever. Officially, it’ll cover the 0-100km/h time in a scarcely believable 3.4 seconds and onto a limited 300km/h top speed. The M5 Competition pips both of those figures – by just one tenth and 6km/h (the latter again dictated by a speed limiter), but the Mercedes is a clear winner when it comes to character. The noise is pure muscle car with the deep gargling tone at low revs grows into a full-bodied bellow towards the red line.

New Mercedes AMG E 63 S 2020 4And the fun doesn’t stop on the straights. Grip levels are immense and the stability is largely unflappable, yet the E 63 is no blunt instrument. The steering retains a detailed level of feedback and is both well-weighted and precise. The neutral chassis balance and seemingly limitless traction allow you to exploit that huge shove almost anywhere; slingshotting you out of one corner and relentlessly towards the horizon.

Thanks to a recalibration of the adaptive suspension system, Mercedes-AMG says that the E 63 S now offers a broader spread between its most comfortable and most focused settings. In practice, the changes are still very subtle: all three rates of response feel firm at low speeds – though never uncomfortable – but keep the car’s mass well under control when pushing on. At high speeds, this translates into brilliant stability at motorway speeds and well beyond.

New Mercedes AMG E 63 S 2020 7In summary a largely cosmetic spruce-up for 2021 adds further appeal to what was already one of the finest super saloons ever created. The Mercedes-AMG E 63 S manages to wrap genuine supercar straight-line speed and unbeatable continent-crushing pace within a refined, beautifully appointed four-door body. The looks, the noise and the option of an even more practical estate shape make the E 63 one of the great all-rounders of the automotive world.

Model: Mercedes-AMG E 63 S
Price: Approx. $250,000
Engine: 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol
Power: 450kW/850Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-100km/h: 3.4 seconds
Top speed: 300km/h (limited)
Economy/CO2: 12.17L/100km’s / 277g/km
On sale: 2021

Alex Ingram

Final Verdict:

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