- Twin-turbo, four-litre, V8 makes 450kW
- Cylinder shutdowns save fuel in cruise
- Maximum fun and traction at track days
AFFALTERBACH, Germany – Mercedes has turned its “most intelligent” executive saloon into two of the most powerful E-Class units yet – the E63 4Matic+ and E63 S 4Matic+.
The automaker says it is also setting benchmarks with technology: its “intelligent drive strategy”, it explains, raises the limits of the E-Class AMG dynamics “to a new level”.
The four-litre, twin-turbo, V8 engine – itself a miracle of packaging beneath the car’s sculpted bonnet – is capable of 450kW which makes it the most powerful yet installed in an E-Class.
Peak torque is 750Nm from 2250-5000rpm one the 4Matic, 850Nm from 2500-4500rpm on the S model but each has an AMG Speedshift nine-speed sport transmission.
Though its buyers might not be worried by the price of fuel, ‘greenness’ is acknowledged with a system of cylinder shutdowns when cruising – a tech introduced to the world by Chrysler many years ago but now being adopted by several modern automakers.
With all eight pots firing, the acceleration of the AMG E63 will be one of the fastest on the planet at 3.4sec to 100km/h and 300km/h with AMG Driver’s package. ‘Standard’ cars are electronically limited to 250km/h.
The completely new AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive combines the advantages of various drive configurations, AMG says. Torque distribution front/rear, until now strongly rear-biased, is now fully variable “for optimum traction right up to the physical limit, whatever the road conditions”.
The cars, the automaker says, will have developments that “redefine the performance saloon”. Innovative power-train engineering and maximum performance, it adds, have been combined with distinctive design, exclusive equipment and the latest infotainment features / multimedia applications.
Tobias Moers, chairman of the Mercedes-AMG board, told The Corner in a media release: “The cars are the biggest step forward we’ve yet taken from one generation to the next.
“Vehicle dynamics were especially important. We opted for fully variable all-wheel drive system which, combined with the advanced performance of the twin-turbo V8, reaffirms our brand’s ‘Driving Performance’ claim.”
For the first time on an AMG sedan, the bonnet is inset between the wings and bumper as on a coupé and the over width has been increase by 17mm to accommodate a wider track and larger wheels on the front axle.
“Overall,” AMG says, “the front section exudes exceptional power to convey, at first glance, the strong forward thrust of the new sedan.”
As standard, the E63 4MATIC+ comes with 9.5Jx19″ front) and 10Jx19″ rear 10-spoked alloy wheel rims finished in high-sheen titanium grey and wrapped with 265/35 ZR front tyres and 295/30 ZR at the back.
The S 4Matic+ has 20″ five-spoked alloy rims with the same finish but shod with 265/35 ZR and 295/30 ZR rubber. A new design of 20″ cross-spoked forged rims, which looks as though they’re centrally locked, are an option.
The muscular rear end provides the finishing touch in conjunction with the clearly defined spoiler lip in the colour of the vehicle on the boot lid, the rear apron with diffuser-look insert, and the two bright chrome-plated twin tailpipe trim elements on the selectable sports exhaust system. The E 63 S 4Matic+ also features a trim strip in silver chrome on the rear apron.
The cars’ developers, AMG said, put great importance on cutting slipstream noise and achieving minimal aerodynamic drag while ensuring “thermal robustness” for all systems. “The complete package of measures,” it added, “involves a number of details on the front and underbody. Adapted to the saloon’s airflow and topography, a clearly defined rear spoiler eliminates lift on the rear axle.”
Despite the high-tech transmissions and traction controls, for those who want to it is still possible to drift the car “thanks to fully variable torque distribution”. So, a ‘drift’ mode has been incorporated as standard for the S 4Matic+.
It can be invoked through the “Race” drive program using the shift paddles, provided that traction control is deactivated and the transmission switched ton manual. AMG explains: “When drift mode is activated the S 4Matic+ becomes a purely rear-wheel drive vehicle.
“Drift mode remains engaged until the driver deactivates it.”
The AMG Speedshift nine-speed sport transmission has been tuned to meet the needs of both models though the re-engineering hardware and software. The changes, AMG says, enable very short shift times, fast multiple downshifts and double-clutching.
“This,” AMG says, “results in a highly emotive gear-shifting experience. A wet start-off clutch has replaced the torque converter to save weight and optimise response times to the driver’s right foot, particularly when accelerating and during load changes.”
The cars have four AMG Dynamic Select drive programs: Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. Why? To let the driver extensively influence the car’s haracteristics. Key parameters have been modified – among the responses of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, traction control and all-wheel drive.
Or changes can be locked to the paddles on the steering-column.
Suspension stiffness and reaction times can also be programmed. “Comfort” not only gives the smooth, quiet, ride one expects from a luxury automobile but also invokes cylinder de-activation and engine stop/start, makes the engine quieter and decouples the transmission for ‘gliding’ (read free-wheelng) from 60-120km/h to save fuel.,
The control logic for Racestart has been simplified. In Sport, Sport Plus or Race drive programs. All the driver has to do (contradictorially) is press the brake pedal forcefully with hisher left foot and flatten accelerator pedal with their right foot AT THE SAME TIME.
The cars electronics will set the optimum engine speed according to manual gear choice and as soon as the driver lifts off the brake the car will launch “with optimal traction”. The S model, on an optimal surface, will reach 100km/h in 3.4sec, the ‘standard’ car in 3.5.
VARIABLE STEERING ASSISTANCE
That done (or just when you’re heading off to work) the AMG Sport speed-sensitive steering will deliver sensitive responses through the AMG-specific rack-and-pinion ratio with “precise, highly authentic, feedback”. Power assistance can be varied through Comfort, Sport or Sport Plus settings. At low speeds the driver need provide minimal steering input; at high speeds heshe “can rely on solid straight-line stability”.
The standard high-performance brakes are fade-resistant and use internally vented and perforated compound brake discs, 360x36mm at the front with six-piston fixed calipers; the rear has 360x24mm discs with single-piston floating brake calipers.
The E 63 S has 390x36mm compound discs up front. Or the customer can specify carbon-ceramic discs, 402x39mm front and 360x32mm rear.
‘INTELLIGENT DRIVE’ JUST MAKES TRAFFIC EASIER
An AMG instrument cluster is central for the driver, its dials with a chequered-flag look and a distinctive typography. A “vivid” widescreen multifunction display with two monitors is part of the standard equipment for the E 63 S 4MATIC+, an option for the E 63 4MATIC+. Customers with a passion for motorsport will be pleased with the Racetimer for driving on defined racetracks.
“Intelligent Drive” functions can support the driver during disagreeable routine tasks such as driving in heavy traffic and n addition to the standard Mercedes Me connect functions such as eCall, accident recovery, breakdown assistance or after-sales service, Remote Online has convenience features (via smartphone) such as tracking to locate the parked vehicle, control of the heater while parked, locking and unlocking, and retrieval of various items of information, such as kilometreage, fuel level or range.
The new performance sedans will be officially launched on November 16 at the Los Angeles, California, auto show. The sales release will be on January 16 2017 and market launches will start in March 2017.