01 April 2009

Hammer time

Mercedes reveals the monster new E63 AMG. It’s not in the mood for your frivolous April Fool’s japery

Mercedes E63 AMG

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Roll up into the midst of that angry, baying mob coagulating in the City of London today in, say, a BMW M6 or a Porsche Cayenne and you'd be dismembered faster and more efficiently than a KFC chicken bound for the bargain bucket. 

But pitch up in the new E63 AMG - the monster new E-Class announced today by Mercedes - and you might just escape unnoticed... despite the fact that it's packing 518bhp.
 
That's a lot of power: 18bhp more than the BMW M5 and 11bhp more than the previous-gen E63, thanks to a revised version of Merc's monster 6.2-litre V8, which now puts out the same power and torque (465lb ft, since you ask) as the SL63 AMG.
 
Which means fastness, and plenty of it. The E63 will hit 62mph in 4.5 seconds - 0.2 quicker than the M5 - with top speed limited to 155mph.
 
Good news on the transmission front, too. The E's old torque-converter auto 'box has been ditched in favour of the SL63's quicker ‘Speedshift' seven-speed unit, which helps to improve the E63's efficiency: with a combined figure of 22.4mpg, economy is up by a mighty 12 per cent on the old E63, making it veritably green. Hmmm.
 
AMG has gone to work on the E's handling, of course: the track has been widened by a full 56mm, there are new struts and control arms all round, and the front and rear axles have more negative camber for, er, important technical reasons that we don't have time to go into right now.
 
Visually, well, it's what we've come to expect from AMG: understated enough to sneak through an angry crowd of eco-protesters, but plenty of hints for those in the know. Check out the LED daytime running lights, big rear diffuser and quad tailpipes. Eighteen-inch alloys are standard - though you're looking at the optional 19s here - while the front wings have been pushed out by 17mm and are festooned in AMG badging.
 
We'll see the E63 AMG in the UK this September. Though prices are yet to be announced, expect to pay something in the £70,000 region.

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