The Mercedes-Benz C63 Coupé wasn’t the only new AMG model launched last week. Say hello to the obscenely rapid E63 saloon – now rippling with some serious BiTurbo muscle
What is it?
It’s the E63 you know and love fitted with a different engine. Borrowed from the CLS63, a 5.5-litre V8 BiTurbo replaces the normally aspirated 6.2-litre lump of old. It might not sound as good but with 386kW/700Nm (410kW/800Nm with the optional R82 000 AMG Performance package), it makes this BMW M5 rival noticeably faster. Fuel consumption is, bizarrely enough, better too – Mercedes claiming 9.8l/100km on the combined cycle.
How does it look?
Parked next to the old model you’ll be hard pressed to notice any significant cosmetic differences. In fact apart from some new 10-spoke light alloy wheels and the boastful ‘V8 BiTurbo’ lettering flashed down its flanks, they’re almost identical. Not a bad thing really, because we’ve always liked the E63’s subtle AMG work over. A Q-Car of the highest order.
What’s it like to drive?
Utterly insane! The outgoing model was quick enough but the presence of Merc’s new BiTurbo engine transforms the E63 into a veritable supercar (the zero-to-one-hundred dash takes just 4.3 seconds in the standard car). Equipped with the firm’s proven AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed gearbox, power delivery is smooth and utterly seamless right up until soft engine limiter kicks in at 250km/h. Handling wise it’s not as sharp as the new BMW M5 but that’s not to say the E63 disappoints – treat it like the point and shoot muscle car that it is and you’ll love every second spent behind the steering wheel.
Any special features?
Yes. Despite the presence of more power and torque, Mercedes-Benz claim that the new E63 uses up to 22 percent less fuel thanks to clever stop/start engine technology and the gearbox’s all-new ‘Controlled Efficiency’ mode that short-shifts whenever possible. We also liked the optional AMG Drivers package (R34 000) that does away with electric governor and allows you to reach a maximum top speed of 300km/h.
Should you buy it?
If you want a comfortable and luxurious über-saloon endowed with humbling levels of straight-line performance then the R1 257 000 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is worth a closer look. Track-day junkies would, however, be better off garaging the more engaging and far more dynamic BMW M5 that will be launching in South Africa early next year.
Wow… nice looking ride. One has to wonder though, since we don’t (officially) have an autobahn in SA, what the point would be to get a car with 386KW of power under the hood? Wasted potential buying this in South Africa I think!