May 29

Driven: Mercedes Benz E63 AMG

For 2012 Mercedes updates the E63 AMG with some new styling cues, a new engine, and that same old AMG awesomeness that makes us love these cars. Gone is the old 6.3L engine (actually a 6.2) and in is a 5.5L bi turbo torque monster. The new engine featuring direct injection makes 518hp in standard form but with the optional sport package you’ll get 550hp thanks to a bump in boost from 14.8 to 18.9 psi. You’ll also get a big kick in the pants in the torque curve bringing it up to 590lb-ft that comes in right at 2000 RPMs. The E63 comes equip with AMGs 7 speed automatic transmission featuring a wet clutch as opposed to a torque converter. You can shift with paddles behind the steering wheel or let the car do it for you.

Hit the jump for the full review.

The E63 kind of has love/hate styling, it’s not as pretty as E class AMGs of the past with it’s blunt nose but it’s certainly muscular looking and I think it works. It has a great aggressive profile and it sits quite low. The front end looks down right mean in a rear view mirror. Sort of a get out of my way with your average car, I’m in an AMG! It has curb appeal too. In a brief stop for lunch I couldn’t help but notice the people rubber necking it to get a glimpse of the big Merc. It will turn heads, especially those of the police. You’ve been warned.

You’ll get all the goodies you expect from an AMG like HIDs, LEDs, giant brakes, and stylish rims. If we move into the interior it’s more of what we’d expect. Fantastic sporty seats await you, a nice beefy steering wheel, and a beautiful digital gauge cluster housing all the information you need. Like most cars these days you do not need the key to start the car, you merely need it in your pocket which is a nice feature to keep you from fumbling with keys.

Firing up the 5.5L engine reminds you why you bought an AMG instead of Lexus or Infinity. Instantly the rumble of that amazing engine sends tingles up your back and it just invites you to give the throttle a quick kick. Be warned, while this is still a refined Mercedes this car is capable of waking the neighbors so you may not be on their good list if you give it too many revs in the driveway.

As is par for the course with a modern car you’ll get all kinds of settings from eco to Infinite Garage errrr race… these settings change things in the gear box, ride, and engine mapping to make the driving experience what ever you want it. Of course you’ll want the full Infinite Garage setting. Just a note, when you set the car to eco mode the engine has a rather clever start stop feature which shuts the engine down at stop signs and then turns it back on when you hit the gas. Under normal acceleration this works great and is quite smooth, but if you need to get away hard from the light it’s pretty jerky. Again, just leave it in the fun modes. Unless fuel economy is your thing and if it is you bought the wrong car. We managed about 23mpg on the highway but a pretty dismal 19 in mixed driving. That’s probably due to the huge amount of fun it is to bury the accelerator.

As we set off on our drive through the neighborhood the E63 feels down right docille. It’s smooth, quiet, and very easy to drive. It’s all you want from an AMG. Get it out on the open road though and the beast with in comes alive. The car feels sharp, nimble, and nothing like a car with a 4200lb curb weight should feel. The car goes right where you want it and exudes confidence. It begs to be pushed harder, right until the back end comes around and trust me it will if you go to far. The good news is you can get it back before you hurt yourself. Just beware.

The real stars here are the 5.5L bi turbo and the 7 speed transmission as they work together in perfect harmony. The engine emits a glorious noise on hard acceleration and when downshifting the throttle blips are heavenly. There is this gurgling sound that will just make you want to giggle like a school girl. For added fun you can use the “race start” feature which is a sort of launch control that rockets you off to flawless starts. 0-60 comes up in 3.8 seconds and the quartermile goes bye in 12 seconds flat. Those are super car numbers from a family sedan. Yep it’s that good.

The bottom line here is this is one impressive sedan. Of course you pay for all that awesome with the base price well over 80k and a well optioned one will get you to six figures. It’s something special though. You just don’t get that combination of practicality, drivability, and that sound track in any thing else. Except maybe a C63 AMG or a Cadillac CTS-V. If it were my money to spend I’m not sure how I’d choose, but I know I’d never regret the E63 if it were at home in my garage.

photos by : Mercedes Benz