What Is It?
2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
What's Special About It?
Yep, you've heard right. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG sedan and wagon will be all-wheel drive only when they go on sale in July 2013.
Although demand for rear-wheel-drive E63s has always been strong in California, Florida and Texas, Mercedes is hoping to make inroads with customers in the Northeast and Midwest who will only buy performance sedans with four driven wheels.
Then there's the traction benefit. The standard E63 sedan now makes 550 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque (up from 518 and 516, respectively). Meanwhile, the E63 AMG S-Model sedan and wagon (which collectively replace the optional Performance package) are rated at 577 hp and 590 lb-ft, thanks to higher-pressure injectors, a bump in boost for the direct-injected 5.5-liter V8's twin turbochargers and an updated ECU map. With the seven-speed automatic driving all four wheels through an AMG-tuned 4Matic all-wheel-drive system with a 33/67 rearward bias, 0-60-mph times will come down from the low 4s to the mid-3s, AMG Product Manager Rob Moran tells us.
What about the fringe E63 buyer who wants to smoke the car's summer tires as he runs through the gears?
"At the end of the day, we wanted to simplify the choices for the customer and simplify it for our dealers," Moran says. Besides, he adds, the AWD system, which weighs all of 154 pounds, will reduce understeer as you're carving up a back road with tight turns.
Note that the E63 wagon is available only as the more potent S-Model. "E63 wagon buyers are super enthusiasts, super collectors and all in as far as performance," Moran says. "The take rate on the old E63's Performance package was over 60 percent among wagon buyers."
In a nod toward America's limited appetite for wagons, though, the E63 S-Model wagon will be special order only in the U.S. — just like AMG's V12 models.
What Edmunds Says:
It's a bittersweet day in the Land of AMG. We certainly won't mind a better-handling E63, but we'll miss doing burnouts.
Base Price: TBA
Engine: 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V8
Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic
Power: 550 hp at 5,500 rpm, 531 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm (standard E63), 577 hp, 590 lb-ft (E63 S-Model)
0-60 (manufacturer estimate): 3.6 seconds (standard E63), 3.5 seconds (S-Model), 3.6 seconds (S-Model wagon)
Top Speed (manufacturer estimate): 155 mph (standard E63), 186 mph (S-Model)
On-Sale Date: July 2013