What is it?
Superman as Clark Kent. Because at first glance, the Mercedes-Benz E63 S AMG is all E-Class. Look closer and the chiselled body reveals itself – the large air-dam upfront with a splitter, the breathing vents on the muscular fenders and the massive 20-inch alloy wheels with the choicest rubber – especially in this shade of satin grey.
Move to the back and the rear diffuser with the quad exhaust setup tells you about the fire-breathing monster lurking under that hood. The yellow brake callipers shout out performance. This is Mercedes’ answer to the BMW M5. We got our hands on the E63 for just a couple of laps around the BIC and here are the first impressions.
How is it on the inside?
Well, it is the top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG E-Class. The first thing you notice when you get inside is the duet of large display screens like the S-Class. The infotainment screen is in the centre of the dash and the instrument cluster is perched behind the AMG-spec steering wheel.
The racing bucket seats are wrapped in nappa leather and so are all the trims. The carbon fibre inlays shout out sportiness along with the brushed aluminium accents. The E-class is already known for its abundance of cabin space and despite being the standard wheelbase version, the E63 is nothing different. It gets four-zone climate control, electric seats, panoramic sunroof and all the bells and whistles that you expect from a top-end Mercedes-Benz with the AMG badge. Intelligent LED headlamps, seven airbags and radar-guided collision mitigation system are all standard on the E63 S.
There is absolutely minimal noise seeping into the cabin, except for the lovely V8 burble (we will come to this later). Overall, you feel that the car is worth its price tag of Rs 1.5 crores when you get into it.
How does it drive?
We would have loved to go into all the details, but only a couple of laps around the fast Buddh International Circuit in a machine of such potency isn’t enough for a mere mortal like me to judge the car. But what I can tell you for sure is its brutal acceleration. The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 is the same one that powers the AMG GT and in this setup, it pumps out a massive 605bhp of power and 850Nm of torque through the AMG-tuned 9-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
Every bit of this power is felt when you floor the pedal. The wrench of the gut tells you that you have been accelerating too fast for your own good. And when you brake hard into the first right hander and chuck it in, the faint-hearted might feel a tad dizzy with the adrenaline rush. Add the raucous burble of the V8 to the mix and there is very little left to desire from the E63 AMG.
The 295 section rear rubber and 275 section in the front struggle to keep up with the barrage of horsepower, braking, weight and steering. The carbon ceramic brakes are brilliant especially when you realise that the E63 AMG is almost a two-tonne barge. If you go a little hot into the corner, the E63 tends to understeer. All you need to do is modulate the throttle and get back into shape. You kind of feel the weight when you go through chicanes and you have to be careful about the speed that you are carrying when you flick it.
Of course, there is the AirMatic adaptive suspension to assist along with the smart 4Matic all-wheel drive working in sync with electronic the stability control program. Otherwise, I would never have dared to be this brave. And that is where you start wondering what the Race mode would feel like. But for that, I need more time and of course, much more talent. There is a Drift mode which can be activated only in the Race mode, but just like the race mode, we haven’t explored it yet.
Apart from the Sport, Sport+ and Race modes, it also has the Comfort and Dynamic modes for everyday driving. The suspension softens up, the steering lightens and the gearbox shifts up earlier. It also gets the active cylinder management system which cuts fuel supply to some cylinders to save fuel while cruising or coasting. And we shall bring this to you in detail when we drive the E63 S on regular roads.
Should I buy one?
The E63 S is the perfect blend between everyday practicality and overwhelming power. The space and the utilities of the E-Class have been perfectly retained. On the other hand, its performance might put many a sportscar to shame.
We still haven’t even scraped the surface off the E63’s potential but its Superman abilities were pretty evident leaving us wanting for more. Who wouldn’t like playing with Superman on your side?
Where does it fit in?
The Mercedes-Benz E63 S AMG fits right in the slot with the BMW M5 and the Audi RS6 along with the RS7 in the Indian market. Although there are luxury saloons like the BMW 7 Series or the Mercedes S-Class or the Lexus LS in a similar price bracket, none of them pack as much performance as this one.
Photography: Kapil Angane