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Future models - Mercedes-AMG - E63 - S

Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic detailed in full

Manic: The Mercedes-AMG E63 S will feature 4Matic all-wheel drive for the first time in Australia.

The goal was to move the Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic sports sedan to the next league

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Mercedes-AMG logo30 Nov 2016

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

DAIMLER AG is throwing down the gauntlet against the BMW M5, Audi RS6 and Lexus GS F with what it says is one of the fastest production four-door sedans in the world.

Out in Australia sometime late in the second quarter of next year, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic heralds a new era for the high-performance division’s large sedan, thanks to downsized powertrains, all-wheel drive and semi-autonomous driving technology.

While pricing has yet to be finalised, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific senior manager public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy said pricing will be in the same ballpark as its predecessor, which retailed from $250,000 plus on-road costs.

“We’re working towards matching the old one, even though the new version has many more features,” he told Australian journalists at the press launch of the E63 S 4Matic in Portugal this week.

Delivering 450kW of power and 850Nm of torque from a variation of the 4.0-litre biturbo V8 found in the Mercedes-AMG GT S coupe, the four-door five-seater sedan is capable of hitting the 100km/h mark in just 3.4 seconds, slashing 0.8s off the previous rear-drive E63 S discontinued earlier this year. That was powered by a 430kW/800Nm 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8.

The performance gains also breaks the W213-based sedan into the rarefied 300km/h club if buyers elect to spend an extra few thousand dollars on the optional AMG Driver’s Package, up from the standard version’s 250km/h (and the previous model’s 280km/h V-max).

Free of any electronic limiters, we hear that in excess of 320km/h is possible, although nobody at Mercedes-Benz would confirm this.

A less-expensive 420kW/750Nm E63 4Matic (with no ‘S’) that takes a whole 0.1s more to reach 100km/h may arrive later if there is call for it.

According to Mercedes-AMG overall vehicle development manager Mathias Schoettle, raising the bar into the supercar sphere while maintaining exceptional control, comfort and efficiency were the goals.

“We have redefined the performance sedan with the E63 S 4matic,” he said. “As a result, it is the greatest development change AMG has ever made to a regular Mercedes-Benz model.”

The heart of this Mercedes-AMG super sedan is a 4.0-litre 32-valve aluminium V8 with direct-injection and new-to-series two twin-scroll turbochargers (located between the vee bank for reduced lag/quicker responses and compactness), helping to generate 450kW from 5750-6500rpm and 850Nm between 2500-4500rpm.

‘Half engine mode’ disconnects cylinders two, three, five, and eight by shutting off their relevant intake and exhaust valves, to make it a four-cylinder car during light throttle or when coasting (it works between 1000-3250rpm) and helps achieve a startling 8.8 litres per 100km, and as little as 199 grams/km of carbon dioxide emissions. Idle-stop is also present. The previous car averaged 10.0L/100km.

Unique to the E63 S, ‘Dynamic Engine Mounts’ vary their stiffness according to driving conditions and requirements, for added precision and comfort as needed.

This is obvious on a racetrack, thanks to the reduced inertia when they’re as firm as possible.

Drive is sent to all four wheels via an all-new in-house developed AMG Speedshift MCT Multi Clutch Technology nine-speed Sports Transmission, defined by extremely short shift times with fast multiple downshifts a wet start-off clutch replaces a torque converter.

Meanwhile, the permanent, completely variable 4Matic AWD system employs an electromechanically controlled coupling – so it can switch from AWD to RWD.

Mercedes-AMG says it has beefed up the E-Class body for improved dynamics, handling, and comfort, with additional front-end bracing, as well as four struts designed to reinforce the bodyshell.

Also over the regular W213 is the inclusion of higher steering precision, as part of a four-link front axle featuring forged aluminium components with wishbones, struts and springs, to help cope with greater lateral acceleration forces while minimising torque steer.

The rear axle has also been re-engineered for this application, with a strengthened multi-link setup using an AMG-specific rear axle carrier for the wider tracks. The elastokinematics have been retuned to attain greater comfort.

New mounts curb noise paths while adding strength, as do additional bracing and welds.

A tubular anti-roll bar first seen on the AMG GT R reduces weight. Combined, all these items help improve camber stability by 30 per cent compared to the outgoing E63.

Both ends also feature Mercedes-AMG’s Air Body Control multi-chamber air suspension. There are three chambers that switch according to which of the Driver Modes are chosen – Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Race, or the mix-‘n-match Individual. Altered are the engine, transmission, suspension, AMG-specific variable-ratio electromechanical speed-sensitive steering tune, three-stage ESC (On, Sport, Off) and the AWD system responses.

Plus, there’s a drift mode select Race, disengage the ESC, press manual mode, then using the shift paddles simultaneously, the E63 S turns into a hoon mobile, and remains in that setting until the driver deactivates it.

Specific to the S is an electronically controlled rear differential lock, offering greater sensitivity and control to driver inputs than the mechanical item on the non-S E63.

Neither rear-drive nor manual models are in the pipeline for now.

On the braking front, the E63 S uses 390 x 36mm vented and drilled compound brake discs up front with six-piston fixed callipers and 360 x 24mm single-piston floating brake calipers on the rear axle. AMG Carbon Ceramic brakes are available in 402 x 39mm and 360 x 32mm front and rear axle sizes respectively.

Every body panel from the nose to the windscreen is unique to the E63, with an inset bonnet and twin-louvre grille that are meant to evoke a coupe. The bumpers are redesigned, with wide air inlets and a large front splitter to help with engine cooling and aerodynamics. The wheel arches have been widened by 27mm to accommodate the fatter wheel and tyre package (265/35ZR20 up front and 295/30ZR20 in the rear, sheathing five twin-spoke light-alloys, while there is an arrow-shaped gill just before the front door.

A lift-reducing bootlid spoiler is fitted, below a restyled bumper with what the company refers to as “diffuser-look” inserts, and two big fat exhausts.

Much work has also gone into underbody airflow, to help optimise lift as well as aerodynamic efficiency.

Moving on to the cabin, all Australian-bound E63 S models will have the racing-style sports seats, Alcantara-clad three-spoke AMG steering wheel with paddle shifters, AMG three-mode instrumentation cluster (Classic, Sport, and Progressive), IWC-designed analogue clock and Nappa leather for the dash top and beltlines. A head-up display with Race Timer is also available.

Additionally, as with some W213 models, the Drive Pilot intelligent semi-autonomous technology is standard, providing lane-keep control, adaptive cruise control and a host of other active safety kit.

More Australian-specific information, including pricing, final specification and option availability will be announced closer to the E63 S 4Matic’s launch.

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