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Future models - Mercedes-AMG - E63 - S

Mercedes-AMG E63 S gets 450kW/850Nm

Rift mode: Mercedes-AMG’s new E63 Drift mode could divide the community as the identically-named system in Ford’s Focus RS did when it launched earlier this year.

Mercedes matches BMW M5 with twin-turbo V8-powered 4WD AMG E63 S

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Mercedes-AMG logo26 Oct 2016

JUST days after GoAuto revealed that the next-generation BMW M5 would be powered by a turbocharged V8 and grippy four-wheel-drive transmission, Mercedes-AMG has weighed in with the first details of its arch-rival – the E63 S.

With the official announcement, the German car-maker has confirmed that the mighty Merc will counter the BMW’s performance punch with a similar package of twin-turbocharged V8 and its established 4Matic AWD transmission, for a smoking 0-100km/h dash of just 3.4 seconds.

With massive peak power and torque outputs of 450kW and 850Nm respectively, the new E63 S is the most powerful E-Class to date, exceeding the previous E63 S’s output by 20kW and 50Nm.

Despite this, its engine has been downsized by a significant 1.5 litres to an even 4.0L.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific has confirmed that the ballistic new E-Class flagship will arrive in the third quarter of 2017, with local specification to be confirmed closer to launch.

The company is yet to make a final decision on whether to bring only the most potent S version to Australia – as it did with the W212 E-Class – or offer the sub-S E63 which uses a 420kW/750Nm detuned version of the V8.

Mercedes-Benz Aust/Pac public relations, product and communications senior manager David McCarthy said the company was leaning toward only the higher-performance version at this stage.

“We’ll definitely have the S,” he said. “We haven’t decided on the non-S yet but history tells us it is likely to be just the S, but it’s still a way away so no call yet.”

In the previous generation, right-hand-drive layout restrictions limited Australian-spec E63s to rear-drive only, but the new version will be the first time an AWD transmission will be offered locally.

Mercedes has tailored the 4Matic+ transmission specifically for the newest E63 which is coupled to the company’s AMG Speedshift MCT automatic transmission, which has nine ratios and introduces an oil-immersed primary clutch.

Torque distribution to front and rear axles is described as “fully variable” which suggests power can be sent exclusively to either end depending on the circumstances and which of the various drive modes has been selected.

In addition to the more orthodox comfort and performance-focused modes, the new E63 introduces a Drift mode, which allocates all torque to just the rear axle for tyre-shredding burnouts and power oversteer.

The transmission setting is complemented by the latest iteration of the Air Body Control air suspension which is tuned with an AMG emphasis for a balance of comfort and dynamics.

At the front end, the new V8 uses a pair of twin-scroll turbos for improved response and reduced lag, while cylinder deactivation has boosted fuel efficiency in addition to the capacity downsize.

The full-fat AMG version of the E-Class has a unique design from the A-pillar forward when compared with the rest of the E-Class range and a 17mm wider stance, it runs on wider 20-inch wheels and its nose is dressed in a wide-bar grille with large vents.

Its bonnet is styled with four purposeful fins and is “inset like on a coupe”.

Pumped wheelarches flank the unique bonnet to accommodate the beefier wheels, which house racecar-like six-piston brake callipers painted in gold.

While more details are expected to emerge as the official reveal draws nearer, BMW is remaining tighter-lipped on the specifics of its forthcoming M5, with no power, performance or engineering details yet revealed.

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