Mercedes-Benz Reveals Most Powerful E-Class Yet

Okay, give me a sec to calm down from that maniacal laughing fit and heavy breathing. Yup, Mercedes-Benz ain’t kidding – do German auto engineers strike you as the joking type?

This forthcoming 2018 E-Class has tons of power.

How much? Here, I’ll quote directly: “the 4.0L V8 biturbo engine generates up to 603 horsepower, making this the most powerful engine to have ever been installed in an E- Class.”

Hey. Hey buddy? You okay? You back with us?

Okay, take it easy. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. You want a towel? A smoke maybe? See, I wasn’t kidding: Over six-hundred ponies squeezed out of a twin blower 4-liter V8? Impressive, no? Mercedes-Benz does not mess around when it comes to engines.

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For the first time on an AMG sedan, the hood is inset between the fenders and bumper for a unique styling enhancement. The new radiator grille features twin louvers in silver chrome, with vertical black struts and “AMG” lettering. The wide front bumper was inspired by jet wings, with black flics and a large front splitter. Ultimately, designers were seeking a font end appearance that complimented the powerful engine under the hood. Photo: Mercedes-Benz.

Model Variants

The upcoming E63 comes in two basic flavors. The “normal” (or normal for AMG at least) E63 version and the E63 S version. If, for some reason, you must make do with the, a-hem, basic E63, you will have to put up with a measly 563 horsepower (5,750 rpm) and a woeful 553 lb-ft. of torque at 2,250 rpm. I know, I know. That some poor, unfortunate people have to make do with so very little is a sad testament to the inequality of the human condition.

If, on the other hand, you are of the anointed, and you can cough up the Deutschemarks for the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, then you get 603 horsepower (5,750 – 6,500 rpm) and 627 lb-ft. of torque (2,500–4,500 rpm) to play with.

Which is roughly the power and torque of an ocean going tug.

4MATIC Fortitude

All of that power and grunt is put to the water with twin 13 foot props of … wait, what am I saying, I mean that all of that power and grunt is put to ground via an AMG Performance 4MATIC+ permanent all-wheel drive system with variable torque distribution and drift mode.

Which makes tons of sense, since, jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, imagine sending that much clout to the pavement via just the back wheels? Done laughing at the thought of how much fun that would be until you die a few seconds later?

Good, me too.

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The AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine utilizes two turbo chargers but in a unique way. They are not located outside the cylinder banks, but rather between them, and in the “V” of the cylinders. Advantages of this “hot inner V” design include an immediate response from the twin-scroll turbochargers and low exhaust gas emissions. There is more optimum air flow too, especially with the close-coupled catalytic converters. Other enhancements include new pistons, an optimized air intake and charge air cooling, and extensive software developments. Photo: Mercedes-Benz.

Drift Mode

Ah, yes, “variable torque distribution and drift mode.” What on Earth is “Drift Mode?”

Ah, here it is, directly from Mercedes-Benz regarding the new E-Class: “It is still possible to drift thanks to fully variable torque distribution. This is where drift mode, part of the standard specification for the E63 S, comes into its own. This can be activated in the “Race” drive program using the shift paddles, provided that ESP is deactivated and the transmission is in manual mode. When drift mode is activated, the E63 S becomes a purely rear-wheel drive vehicle. Drift mode remains engaged until the driver deactivates it again.”

Oh, so you can send all 600+ ponies to the rear wheels alone. And, I’m assuming here, not die after drumming the Brandenburg Gate hard enough to shift it three feet off its foundation.

See, this is why German cars are a special kind of fun. It’s not that they utterly prevent you from being stupid, they just make it a little harder to be stupid, and somehow manage your stupidity into you living to see another sunrise.

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Both E63 models are exclusively available with the newly engineered AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. It provides the advantages of multiple drive configurations in one package. For example, torque distribution on the front and rear axles is fully variable for the first time. This ensures optimum traction and better handling and stability, regardless of whether conditions. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and back again is seamless, because intelligent control technology is integrated into the vehicle architecture as a whole. In addition to traction and lateral dynamics, longitudinal dynamics are improved for more powerful, responsive acceleration. Photo: Mercedes-Benz.

Blinding Speed

That said, Mercedes-Benz says the E63 S does 3.3 seconds from nothing to freeway speed (62 mph) and this mid-sized ogre tops out at 186 mph (electronically limited).

You got to love that parenthetical element. “Hey, lass uns nicht zu weit vor uns sein, bitte.” 50% more than the take off speed of a 747 should be quite enough for you.

It does make me wonder why they limit it to 186 though. Sure, that’s 300 kph, a nice round number, but you have to figure the chassis can handle more than that, so … tires? Nah, they make tires for rides like La Ferraris and stuff like that, so … oh, I know, probably the nut behind the wheel is the limiting factor.

Tire Setup

Speaking of tires, get a load of the boss meats they lug onto the E63. Standard, the E63 comes with 9.5 J x 19 (front) and 10 J x 19 (rear), with 10-spoke wheels mounted with 265/35 ZR 19 (front) and 295/30 ZR 19 (rear) size tires. And those are little ones. The E63 S runs on rubber sized 265/35 ZR 20 (front) and 295/30 ZR 20 (rear) wrapped onto 9.5 J x 20 (front) and 10 J x 20 (rear), with 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels.

They must cost a mint to replace, so it’s a good thing there’s traction control standard because I’d burn them down to the chords in no short order.

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The high cornering speed of the new E63 and E63 S come from the completely re-engineered AMG sport suspension. It is based on the AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension. It creates very high camber stability for impressive cornering speeds, especially when combined with the steering and suspension design. The electromechanical speed-sensitive sport steering features a variable ratio for a confident feel, regardless of how fast the car is moving. Photo: Mercedes-Benz.

Pricing & Availability

The 2018 AMG E63 Sedan makes its auto show world premiere at the 2016 Los Angeles International Auto Show. The U.S. dealer launch for the E-Class is planned for the summer of 2017.

Mercedes-Benz makes no mention of what you’re going to pay for this much velocity with leather seating for four adults. Which is probably a tasteful move, because the bill will probably have you muttering something along the lines of “Heilige Scheiße, warum gebe ich dir nicht nur meinen linken Hoden?”

But you know, you can’t take it with you, so open up that bank account and sign zee papers. It is, after all, just a sedan we’re talking about here.

You know, it’s practical.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life around racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Gallery

Photos & Source: Mercedes-Benz

About The Author

Tony Borroz grew up in a sportscar oriented family, but sadly, it was British cars. His knuckles still show the marks of slipped Whitworth sockets, strains to reach upper rear shock bushings on Triumphs, and slight burn marks from dealing with Lucas Electric "systems." He has written for a variety of car magazines and websites, Automoblog chief among them. Tony has worked on popular driving games as a content expert, in addition to working for aerospace companies, software giants, and as a movie stuntman. He currently lives in a secure, undisclosed location in the American southwestern desert.

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