Mercedes says their new AMG E63 S Wagon is sportiness meets space and intelligence. Sure, fine. Spin it however you want. All I know is that when I saw this beast puts out over 600 horsepower, all I could think of was, “gas pedal, meet my right foot.”
Station wagons in America are a forgotten segment of the automotive world. Through the 60s and 70s, you had a family, you had a wagon. How else were you supposed to take your wife, 2.3 kids, and all your stuff on a two week driving vacation?
But then Lee Iacocca came up with the minivan. And, let’s face it, from a perspective of pure utility, a minivan is the answer. But then, minivans became the symbol of middle class suburban conformity, and potential buyers became nervous about even being near them, let alone driving one.
American SUVs to the rescue! Now you could have the utility of a minivan, with the added style that shows you are a rugged, prepared for anything Man with a capital “M” baby! The fact this demand to show ruggedness and preparedness was largely driven by a subconscious need to counteract deep seated fears of inadequacy rather than any real vehicular need was beside the point.
Who cares if you were never going to drive the thing up 13 miles of bad logging road in the middle of a rainstorm? You might! And that was the whole point.
Pity the poor station wagon. Forgotten to the dust heap of history.
At least in America, but not in Europe. You go to Europe, and you see a lot of wagons. A lot of them. And let’s face it, if you’re a dad from, oh, Frankfurt with a Geschwindigkeit but a burgeoning family, you won’t take any old people hauler off of the rack.
Oh my no. You’re going to take one that can haul buns down the bahn like a Panzerfaust. And if that’s your bent, then let me introduce you to the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon. And even better, if you’re an American with that sort of bent, then you’ll be overjoyed to learn that Mercedes-Benz is bringing this brute of a ride to our shores.
The new AMG E63 S Wagon combines the Mercedes-AMG art of performance-inspired driving dynamics with modern utility. The wagon is propelled by a hand-crafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, cranking out 603 horsepower (5,750–6,500 rpm) and a stump pulling 627 lb-ft. of torque (2,500–4,500 rpm).
I’ll let those figures percolate for a bit while you consider coming across some knot-head in a brand new Mustang. He with his trollop-of-the-moment beside him, and you with your wife and kids. Traffic light goes green and you blow his butt so far into the weeds you don’t stop smiling for the next 7 miles.
All this moron humiliating power and torque is put to the tarmac via a fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. An electromechanically controlled coupling connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. Since the best possible torque distribution is calculated continuously, the wagon can transition from all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive, yet still provide a sound and solid feel for the occupants.
The fact Mercedes-AMG have finally started putting their 4MATIC system into performance cars is a wonderful thing. It puts to rest one of the main arguments, usually hurled by Audi owners, that although the AMG cars are nice, they were only offered in rear drive. Also, if you live in someplace with less than stellar weather, you can now be a lot more happy and secure Mercedes-Benz owner.
All this powertrain tech is enough to hurtle the wagon from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds. Mercedes-Benz says the vehicle “sets a new record in this class.” It will be very interesting to see if Audi or BMW can top it. Speaking of top, the AMG family hauler tops out at an electronically limited speed of 180 mph.
“Dad? Are we there yet?” “Yes!”
Hallmarks & Heavy Right Feet
The new wagon features an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) 9-speed sport transmission mated to a wet clutch. This means smoother power application and less grabbiness than a dry plate scavenger clutch.
“The new AMG E63 Wagon combines our brand’s hallmark driving dynamics with high everyday practicality. It is not for nothing that the model has been a permanent fixture in the AMG portfolio for 40 years,” said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “The powerful engine and the intelligent all-wheel drive underpin our claim to always be at the forefront of development when it comes to performance.”
And we at Automoblog are not going to argue with him. We might not all have growing families, but we all have heavy right feet.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life 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.