With the release date of the new BMW M5 getting closer, Mercedes-Benz is gearing up to retaliate with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG Saloon and Estate.
The updated models have been enhanced with the company’s new 5.5-litre biturbo V8, replacing the much-loved 6.2-litre V8. In ‘standard’ guise, power remains at 386kW whilst torque has increased from 630Nm to 700Nm. Prices for the new E 63 AMG remain the same despite the engine update (from $240,985).
If you’re buying a Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG, chances are you want a seriously fast but practical Saloon or Estate. In which case you’re unlikely to resist the optional AMG performance package. Yes, it’s a relatively expensive option ($17,900 for saloon and $16,900 for estate) but that gets you past the magic 400kW mark to a very healthy 410kW. Torque is also substantially increased to 800Nm.
For those that are happy with ‘just’ 386kW and 700Nm, your E 63 AMG Saloon will push its power to the rear-wheels and take you from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds (4.4 seconds for Estate) but if you absolutely must have the best, the near 20g AMG performance package will cut those times down by 0.1 seconds respectively. So you can either buy an AMG performance package enhanced E 63 AMG or a ‘standard’ E 63 AMG and a Suzuki Swift for the same coin! We’d still pick the AMG performance package.
From the outside you can pick the new biturbo E 63 AMG thanks to its V8 BITURBO badging, wider front wings and new 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 10-spoke design (255/R35 R 19 front and 285/30 R 19 rear). The interior gains a few updates here and there but the new three-spoke AMG performance steering wheel with a flattened top and bottom (taken from the CLS 63 AMG), is sure to be a hit. The CLS 63 AMG also donates its three-dimensional full-colour TFT display for the updated E 63.
It’s pretty obvious that Mercedes-Benz wants to take a bit of fire out of the M5’s unveiling. The new 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 in the BMW M5 has 412kW and 680Nm of torque, performing the 0-100km/h dash in 4.4 seconds. Making these two rival German super-saloons almost identical in performance capability.
Fuel consumption has also been noticeably decreased in the new E 63 AMG, with the figure dropping to 10L/100km (down from 12.7L/100km), about the same as the new M5. That’s partially due to the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission and the car’s start/stop system (standard).
What the M5 is not going to offer at launch is a wagon variant. Since the last Audi RS6 Estate left the showrooms, families in need of a ballistics family wagon have been left hanging – but Mercedes-Benz has answered their cries with the E 63 AMG Estate, offering practicality and extreme performance in one package.
Additional new feature in the updated E 63 model include AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension and electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering. Ride control sees a redesigned front axle that widens the E 63’s track by 56mm for better front negative camber. There is also the addition of steel suspension struts on the front axle and air suspension struts for the rear. The auto dampening system will adjust to driving conditions based on road quality and selected mode (comfort, sport, sport plus). The new steering system has a 14:1 direct ratio with power assistance that is adaptable based on the suspension mode selected. It’s also smart enough to save battery power when unused.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG with the new 5.5-litre bitrubo will be available for sale at the beginning of November.
Read our review of the previous model: Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG Review