Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
Mercedes-Benz shocked and confused the world when, at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, it announced that the 2014 E63 sedan and wagon would be available with all-wheel drive exclusively.
The last Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG was pure madness. The tires fought for traction at every application of the go pedal and, even when it turned to turbocharging, the engine's wail was life-affirming.
To help temper the fear that it had gone soft, Mercedes upped the output from the twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 to 550 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. And because that's just not enough, Merc also added an S-model (which effectively replaces the Performance package) that kicks out 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. All of a sudden AWD isn't sounding like such a bad idea. And let's not forget that this hyperactive powertrain isn't in some carbon-bodied doorstop of a supercar. No, it's in a 4,720-pound station wagon. Even if the rear-facing jump seats have been removed for the AMG version, this thing is cool.
Cool is easy on the auto show floor. But does the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model Wagon manage to put it all together where it really matters? We took it to the track to find out.
Vehicle: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model Wagon
Driver: Mike Monticello
Drive Type: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Seven-speed automatic
Engine Type: Twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V8, gasoline with auto stop-start
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,461/333
Redline (rpm): 6,400
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 577 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 590 @ 1,750-5,000
Brake Type (front): 14.2-by-1.4-inch two-piece ventilated cross-drilled cast-iron discs with 6-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 14.2-by-1.0-inch one-piece ventilated cross-drilled cast-iron discs with 4-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, pneumatic springs, variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 255/35ZR19 (96Y)
Tire Size (rear): 285/30ZR19 (98Y)
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: ContiSportContact 5P MO
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,720
0-30 (sec): 1.8 (2.1 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 2.9 (3.2 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.0 (4.4 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 3.7 (4.0 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 5.6 (6.0 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.1 @ 117.8 (12.3 @ 117.4 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 107
Slalom (mph): 65.2 (66.2 w/ ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.88 (0.87 w/ ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,700
Acceleration: Even with 577 horsepower, the all-wheel drive keeps commotion to a minimum. Who cares? This thing is a rocket and has a ripping exhaust note as it goes through the gears. Race Start mode was fairly easy to engage; it brought revs to 3,800 rpm at launch, and this was quickest. Upshifts were super-fast in this mode. On the third run we got our quickest 0-60 but lowest trap speed by over 4 mph, as the Merc for some reason lost power partway down the strip. It was a hot day, and trap speeds did decrease slightly from first run to last. Manual shifting is via paddle shifters. Blips throttle on downshifts, and holds gears to 6,600-rpm limiter.
Braking: Firm, confidence-inspiring pedal with short travel. Car tracks dead straight with little nosedive. Fourth stop was shortest at 107 feet. Fifth and final stop was longest at 109 feet. Oddly, the left front heat/dust shield expanded during our panic stops and started rubbing on the rotor. So we pushed/bent it back with a screwdriver and had no further problems with it.
Slalom: Considering there's 4,700 pounds of station wagon here, this is a pretty good performance. The steering is quick and taut and there's decent grip from the tires. The stability control system isn't overly intrusive and gives you some freedom to toss the car around. We tried medium-stiff and full-stiff suspension modes and got similar times. I prefer the tauter feel of the firm setting, but it gets a bit more skittish as our course isn't perfectly smooth. The 4Matic AWD means there's no slalom-exit oversteer and everything is well-controlled.
Skid Pad: The steering was on the light side here, not a ton of feel. Plenty of understeer. The throttle isn't overly linear, so it wasn't as easy to use small adjustments to control the car's attitude as in some other cars. Regardless, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG never gets out of shape.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.