Launched: Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
The tyre-shredding version of the new E-Class goes on sale in India
After launching the facelifted E-Class a month back, Mercedes-Benz has now launched its AMG-fettled twin, the E63 AMG in India. As opposed to the soothing, laid-back attitude of the standard E-Class, the E63 is a luxury sedan that has grown a set of venomous fangs. And apart from the aggression dripping off its special AMG kit-equipped bodyshell, it shows in the numbers too.
Get this: the 5.5-litre, twin-turbo AMG V8 puts out 550bhp and 720Nm of torque. All this power is channeled through a 7-speed AMG Speedshift MCT auto 'box, and is directed solely at the rear wheels. The gearbox offers different driving modes - 'C' (Controlled Efficiency) for normal driving, "M" (Manual) for when you want to take charge, "S" (Sport) to have some fun and "S+" for when you want to wet yourself. The engine offers stop-start functionality as standard, but it doesn't work when you're in M, S or S+ mode. It's even got Launch Control. Mmm.
Mercedes claims the E63 will crack the ton in 4.2 seconds, and when you've got this much power in a rear-wheel-drive supersaloon, you need to put it on a leash. Which is why the E63 is restricted to a top whack of 250kph. Merc says the E63 only needs 9.8 litres of unleaded to travel 100 kilometres, but with all that mind-bending torque on tap, you should be more worried about tyre expenses than fuel bills with this car.
All of this doesn't however affect its "luxury" aspirations. Inside, you find AMG sports seats upholstered in Nappa leather with some Alcantara sprinkled around the all-black cabin. The instrument binnacle houses a 11.4 cm TFT multifunction display that features a racetimer, the AMG start-up menu and the speedo. You can even have individual LCD screens to entertain the rear passengers, if they're not too amused with the drama that the E63 can unleash.
For all its mildly scary power figures, the E63 carries quite a bit of safety kit - 8 airbags, an Intelligent Light System with cornering function and Adaptive High Beam with automatic switching between high and low beam modes. Attention Assist also makes an appearance on the feature list, to make sure you don't nod off while you're at the wheel. Merc really needn't have bothered with this, that gurgly V8 would more than ensure you stayed on your toes all the time.
To the price - the new E63 can be yours for Rs 1.29 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi). The other options that you've got are the BMW M5 and the recently-introduced Audi S6. Which one gets your vote, TG.commers?