Some particular vehicles that come once in a blue moon embody what car enthusiasts really desire from a vehicle. They excite, serve the needs of the many (be it driver, father, mother, child), act as a daily driver, family hauler, and beast of a car—like a Swiss army knife that executes its multi-faceted roles with precision.
That car is none other than AMG E63s, a blunt force hammer and precise scalpel that fits this category of vehicles that come few and far between. Now I must qualify my assessment of the E63s as this all-powerful tool is limited to the Wagon/Estate. I don’t believe that the highfalutin honors I have been espousing would be equally applicable to the sedan/saloon. Now don’t get me wrong, the E63s sedan/saloon is every bit a capable machine. However, it lacks that something…that Je ne sais quoi. By extending that roofline and eliminating the boxed-off trunk, the lines of the E63s just become right, and everything just seems to be exactly as it was meant to be.
Now enough pontificating. Let me tell you about what makes the E63s Wagon what it is. It begins with a hand-built 4.0L V8 Biturbo. It produces a mindboggling 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Its shoehorned under a bulging yet sculpted hood can launch the E63 to 100km in 3.2 seconds. That’s faster than an Audi R8 V10. It’s an engine that has a soul and a character. It produces the most intoxicating V8 rumble and spits overrun pops and burbles like only a V8 can. It gives this vehicle a muscle car characteristic that only a German automaker could endow. However, this glory story has a sad ending. In all likelihood, 2021 will mark the end of the venerable V8 Biturbo due to emission regulations, microprocessor chip shortages in a significant portion of the Mercedes V8 lineup. This closes off a chapter of history that will be well remembered by many enthusiasts and me and sadly places another nail in the coffin: the internal combustion engine (ICE).
The driving dynamics of the E63s are spot-on for sport luxury estate/wagon. The steering is precise and quick, and the updated meaty flat-bottom AMG wheel adds to the experience. The brakes bite hard, and the pedal feel is solid thanks to nearly 16inch rotors up front with six-piston calipers (optional carbon ceramics can be had at a premium). Suspension dynamics, unlike the standard E-class, are sport orientated even in the softest settings. Under the standard form, all the power is routed through a nine-speed automatic and all four wheels via the Mercedes AMG 4matic+ system (the + allowing for AMG magic). The system utilizes air suspension combined with AMG Ride Control + to adjust the suspension characteristics to your needs. In addition, the big Merc uses active engine mounts that adjust depending on your driving needs. The most exciting of the E63s features is the AM’s electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential that can fully disconnect the 4matic+ system to ostensibly turn the E63s into a rear-wheel-drive hooligan.
The inside of the E63s is as opulent and comfortable as in the standard E-Class. Upgrades come in the aforementioned upgraded AMG flat-bottom wheel, AMG performance seats, and AMG accents throughout the interior.
The cabin is quiet and roomy for all occupants, and as you would expect, the cargo space is ample, coming in at 1,820 liters or 64 cubic feet. That’s more than the GLC and just 200 liters shy of the GLE. Information and entertainment come via dual 12-inch screens combined in the seamless display, all powered by Mercedes’s latest MBUX system. MBUX is exceptionally advanced yet easy to use and understand. The system is highly immersive for the technologically inclined drivers and allows for extreme configuration and fun (hell, you can pick from 64 different color interior accent colors).
The E63s is no bargain. With a price tag starting at $127,900.00 with an additional premium package and Intelligent Drive package coming in at $7,900 and $3,000, respectively, you are hovering near $140,000.00 before taxes. Add on items like carbon-ceramic brake packages and carbon fiber trims only make it worse. That stated, the E63s represents an icon of sorts. It is the pinnacle of internal combustion design—fitting our technologically advanced society, everything we have created with metal, computers, and fuel. It also marks a significant change and shift in car design and engineering ethos of the value of environmental consciousness and responsibility that makes the E6s becomes a remarkable thing. It is the last great hooray for what the V8 was, is, and could be, combined into a vehicle that thrills, excites, and rewards its driver and family all at once.