The engine of the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG fires with a roar before settling into a smooth idle underpinned by a deep exhaust note. We're at Southern France's Paul Ricard racing circuit, where we hope to get some laps in before some standard driving loops on the highways and two-lanes surrounding the rural track.
For our first laps, we set the shocks to full firm and dial up Sport Plus on the trans, then let the car think and shift for itself from there. A good call because this thing is ungodly fast. There's no lag, lumps or bumps in its lionhearted power curve, and it pulls hard, fast and long, never out of breath. Mercedes claims a 0-60 time in the low 4-second range, which we don't question.
This 4,000-pound luxury sedan loves the track, accelerating without strain, cornering reliably and bleeding off speed with authority when we toe the brake pedal. The first supercharged E55 AMG of a decade ago didn't turn in all that well. Not so this one. It turns in with clarity, quick response, meaty weight in your hands and legit feedback through the steering. Yep, this 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 is still very much a super sedan.
Fixing What Isn't Broken There was never anything wrong with the previous E63 AMG. It was a world-class performer with a hand-built, normally aspirated 6.2-liter screamer of a V8. Why replace it? "It's all in the name of efficiency," replied several AMG engineers and product types when we posed this question.
The new engine, known internally as the M157, is a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8. Have no fear; the new engine outguns and outruns the outgoing 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8, and shouldn't take any crap from the BMW M5 or Cadillac CTS-V.
AMG's new biturbo V8 packs every tech trick in the book: all-aluminum construction, direct injection, double overhead cams, four valves per cylinder with adjustable cam timing, air/water intercooling, generator management (to reduce parasitic losses when max battery charging is not required) and a stop/start system, much like that on most hybrids.
The result is a bit more of everything. Horsepower is a wash; the old car was rated at 518 horses, as is the new one. Torque leaps from 465 pound-feet to 516, but there's a Performance Pack option that bumps output to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.
The outgoing naturally aspirated 6.2-liter E63 drew a 13/20 mpg rating from the EPA. The 2012 car's ratings have yet to be finalized, but Mercedes engineers expect something in the 15/22 range for the sedan, and perhaps 14/21 for the wagon — yes: the wagon lives.
Enough Motor Talk We wish we could tell you that the groovy new power plant was backed by the SLS's slick dual-auto-clutch seven-speed gearbox, but it's not. The cost/benefit ratio of fitting that expensive transaxle into the sedan ruled that move out.
So instead, the only choice offered, or needed, really, is the AMG Speedshift seven-speed automatic. It may not be as trick, but it gets the job done just fine. In Comfort mode shifts are optimized for smoothness and fuel economy. Beyond that, there are two Sport modes that deliver more performance-oriented upshifts at higher rpm points, and fairly aggressive downshift programming — including a satisfying throttle blip to match revs. There's also a full manual mode via the steering-wheel-mounted shifter paddles.
The steering setup is of the electrohydraulic speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion variety with a fat AMG-specific wheel at the driver end. The E63 also features driver-adjustable adaptive damping and an adjustable stability program that'll keep you safe and straight. Or it can be completely deactivated for monstrous burnouts or lurid tail-out slides.
It's hard to imagine why you would feel the need to pop the extra $12 grand for the carbon-ceramic brakes. The stock AMG binders will take anything you can give them with no measurable evidence of fade.
On the Road The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG exhibits something few brands deliver as well as AMGs do, and that's high-speed stability. Explore the far right side of the speedo and this elegant sledgehammer tracks straight as a string.
This is hardly a compact sedan, yet it's so linear and responsive that out in the real world, it shrinks around you a bit on the relatively small two-lanes. Considering the ultralow-profile tires and sport-minded suspension, the ride quality remains pleasantly comfortable.
If there's anything we miss, it's the outgoing car's exhaust note. It's relatively quiet and well-mannered under all conditions, yet really lights up when you awaken all that horsepower. The new engine has a strong, throaty rumble, not unlike that of a Riva speedboat on the open water. But the old V8 had an intoxicating silken blare that was just so pure. We always thought it would be hard to top and it still hasn't been.
The interior materials are outstanding, and always look and feel luxuriously sporty. Power everything is standard, plus a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, 14-way power-adjustable seats, a central controller function with a high-definition 7-inch screen, buttery leather upholstery and your choice of Black Ash or Burl Walnut wood trim.
The Numbers Game You may wonder why a Mercedes with a 5.5-liter engine is still badged as an E63. We asked the same question, and got a somewhat psychobabbular answer. "Going forward, don't expect Mercedes model nomenclature to relate directly to the engine displacement like they used to."
Why not? Mercedes perfected that system decades ago, and it made sense for nearly 100 years. AMG executives replied that "since E63 is now established as a brand, we didn't want to be seen as going backward to the E55 label from the car a few generations back."
We doubt anyone will accuse the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG of taking a step backward. It's essentially the same super sedan it's always been, with a touch more efficiency and better handling thrown in for good measure. Might have been cool if Mercedes figured out a way to charge less for it, but it looks as if its roughly $90,000 price will remain. Can't have it all.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class listings and inventory: Shop Edmunds' used car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million pre-owned vehicles to find a cheap used and certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Classs for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 1,507 used and CPO 2012 E-Classs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 13,895 and mileage as low as 19,988. Simply research the type of used car, SUV, or truck you're interested in and then select a vehicle from our massive database to find cheap pre-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Then select Edmunds' special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 1,500 on a used or CPO 2012 E-Class available from one of 2,806 dealerships in your area.
What's a good price on a used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class ?
Save up to $300 on one of 95 used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Classs for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $13895 as of Jan 23, 2018, based on data from 18 dealers and 128 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 1 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class trim styles:
The used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E550 Sport 4MATIC is priced around $23870 with average odometer reading of 68430 miles.
The used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 Sport is priced around $14900 with average odometer reading of 83812 miles.
The used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 Luxury 4MATIC is priced around $16625 with average odometer reading of 85174 miles.
The used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 Sport 4MATIC is priced around $18885 with average odometer reading of 72674 miles.
The used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 is priced around $25196 with average odometer reading of 54952 miles.
The used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E63 AMG is priced around $37773 with average odometer reading of 48750 miles.
The used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 Luxury is priced around $23599 with average odometer reading of 38511 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
What options are available on the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?
Available Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2012 Submodel Types: Sedan, Diesel, AMG E 43 4MATIC, Convertible, E63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, Coupe, AMG E 63 S 4MATIC, Hybrid, E55 AMG, E63 AMG, AMG E 63 4MATIC S-Model, E 63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, Wagon, E63 AMG 4MATIC
Available Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2012 Trims: E 350 Sport 4MATIC, E 400 4MATIC, E 300 Sport 4MATIC, E 350 Luxury 4MATIC, E320, E350 Luxury 4MATIC, E320 4MATIC, E 400, E350 Sport 4MATIC, E350, E550 4MATIC, E500 4MATIC, E 300 AMG Line 4MATIC, AMG E 43 4MATIC, E500, E63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, E320 BLUETEC, E 300 Sport, E 350 Luxury, E 300 Luxury 4MATIC, E 350 Sport, AMG E 63 S 4MATIC, E320 CDI, E 250 Sport BlueTEC 4MATIC, E250 Luxury BlueTEC 4MATIC, E250 Sport BlueTEC 4MATIC, E300TD, E350 Sport, E430, E55 AMG, E63 AMG, E 400 AMG Line 4MATIC, E 400 Sport 4MATIC, E 550, E320 BlueTEC, E350 Luxury, E400 Sport Hybrid, E550 Sport 4MATIC, AMG E 63 4MATIC S-Model, E 63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, E250 Luxury BlueTEC, E250 Sport BlueTEC, E300D, E350 BlueTEC, E400 Hybrid, E430 4MATIC, E 400 Luxury 4MATIC, E 400 Sport Hybrid, E350 4MATIC, E350 Luxury BlueTEC, E420, E550, E63 AMG 4MATIC
Exterior Colors: Polar White, Lunar Blue Metallic , Selenite Grey Metallic, designo Diamond White Metallic, Black, Diamond Silver Metallic, designo Silver Metallic, Arctic White, Capri Blue Metallic, Palladium Silver Metallic, Quartz Blue Metallic, Cardinal Red Metallic, Indium Grey Metallic, Pewter Metallic, Desert Silver Metallic, Indigo Blue Metallic, Brilliant Silver, Dune Silver Metallic , Flint Grey Metallic, Iridium Silver Metallic, Lunar Blue Metallic, Midnight Blue, Platinum Blue Metallic, Steel Grey Metallic, Alabaster White, Granite Grey Metallic, designo Cardinal Red Metallic, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Dolomite Brown Metallic, Pearl Beige Metallic, Diamond White Metallic, Tectite Grey Metallic, designo Mocha Black Metallic, Aspen Green, Glacier White, Mars Red, Desert Silver, Piedmont Green Metallic, designo Mocha Black, Bordeaux Red, Everest Green Metallic, Obsidian Black Metallic, Pewter Silver Metallic, designo Selenite Grey Magno Matte, Barolo Red Metallic, Black Opal Metallic, Bordeaux Red Metallic, Cuprite Brown Metallic, Dakota Brown Metallic, Dolomite Brown Metallic (SPC), Dune Silver Metallic, Iridium Grey Metallic, Jade Green Metallic, Obsidian Black, Sienna Black Metallic, Smoke Silver Metallic, Tectite Gray, designo Graphite, designo Mystic Brown
The used 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is offered in the following submodels: Coupe, Convertible, Sedan, E63 AMG, Diesel, Wagon. Available styles include E350 Sport 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 7A), E350 Sport 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A), and E350 Luxury 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 7A). Pre-owned E-Class models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 302 hp, depending on engine type. The used 2012 E-Class comes with rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed shiftable automatic.