Competes with: Audi RS7, Tesla Model S P90D, Volvo V60 T6 Polestar
Looks like: The E63 S sedan got back, baby — it’s long, strong and it’s down to get the (road) friction on
Drivetrains: 603-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission
Hits dealerships: Fall
If you’re in the market for a luxury vehicle equally suited for hauling groceries and hauling ass, your options are fairly limited at the moment. But come March at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, things are gonna start goin’ your way — and fast — as the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon makes its world debut ahead of its expected arrival in the U.S. this fall.
This fire-breathing family car is so fast, it appears to have skipped the 2017 model year entirely and blazed straight into 2018. This time around the track, the high-performance wagon’s engine loses a liter and a half of displacement but more than makes up for it in horsepower and torque, while also adding a couple of gears to the transmission. It’s the same setup as the 2018 AMG E63 S sedan we saw in November at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Up front, the wagon hews closely to the new sedan’s exterior styling, largely concerned with exhibiting power. Mercedes says that for the first time on an AMG wagon, the hood is inset between the fender and the bumper, similar to that of a coupe. Width expands by 1.1 inches, with larger wheel arches and front wheels to match. Side sill panels, Mercedes says, create a longer, lower-slung appearance, while the muscular rear end projects performance with a diffuser-like bumper insert and a pair of high-gloss, chrome-plated twin tailpipes.
Inside, the E63 S boasts what Mercedes claims to be the largest cargo capacity in the performance-wagon segment (for what that’s worth), at 35 cubic feet with the second row up. The rear seats also fold in a 40/20/40 split.
With cargo concerns covered, it’s onto the exciting side of the E63 S’ split personality — to which end the cabin abounds with performance cues. These include Nappa-leather-wrapped AMG sport steering wheel, front sport seats (AMG performance seats with integrated head restraints are optional), Nappa trim on the dashboard and beltlines, and available Crystal Gray seat belts and steering wheel with a “12 o’clock” marking.
A standard 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster displays speed, safety and performance info, and offers the driver three distinct design options. Gauges are adorned with a carbon-fiber look and sporty typography. The driver can also select Drive Pilot, a semi-automated function that can take over driving duties in the tedium of stop-and-go traffic.
Under the Hood
The wagon’s 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 puts out a massive 603 hp and 627 pounds-feet of torque, propelling the car from zero-to-60 mph in a 3.4-second sprint on its way to an electronically limited 180 mph — getting you to grandma’s house before your kids can say, “Are we there yet?” The engine is mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The outgoing 2016 model was powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 good for 577 hp and 590 pounds-feet of torque, and mated to a seven-speed automatic.
Power is distributed to all four wheels via the new AMG all-wheel-drive system that enables fully variable torque distribution, which the automaker says optimizes traction on any surface. In addition, the driver can choose from five driving modes ranging from cruising comfort to max performance, including Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Race and Individual, as well as M for manual shifting mode via steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The E63 S wagon also features electromechanical speed-sensitive steering and larger, high performance brakes.
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