Mercedes-AMG E63 S: Is this the ultimate super-saloon?

A few months ago, we reported on a new range of V6, bi-turbo-powered junior AMG models with "43" pasted on their rumps

Now the company has expanded the list with an E43 AMG version which also makes a bit more power at 295kW and 520Nm.

However, park that cutesy sedan for a moment and get a load of this. Alongside it, Mercedes-Benz SA has unleashed the all-new Mercedes-AMG E63 S; essentially a 100-page booklet comprising all Earth’s swear-words. From page one to around about page 62, it’s a consortium of mind-boggling and clever new-age tech connected within the confines of its beautifully appointed cabin with swathes of leather, and all the convenience and safety systems you can imagine. All of this is accessed via the longest display screen I’ve encountered since the production of the first car. This thin-base digital tray is as long as three full-size iPads welded together end-to-end and spans nearly half the length of the dashboard.

This crisp, colourful and three-screen display pod is where most of the E63’s internal features, such as the ability to adjust the main theme colour of the cabin, semi-autonomous driving parameters, navigation, plus a thousand more features, are gathered and accessed, not through a single mouse controller, but three selectors – the traditional option between the seats and a pair of smaller, thumb-operated iterations on both sides of the steering wheel spokes. It’s a digital marvel with an over-abundance in computations wired to its mainframe.

Things start to get simpler and more fiery from page 63; perhaps entitled How to Grow Mechanical Habanero! The 4,0-litre, bi-turbo, V8 engine is the same mill found in other high-end AMGs, but for the E63 S, the engine benefits from strengthened pistons and beefed-up internals along with a 9G-tronic automatic gearbox to better deal with an eye-watering 450kW and 850Nm output – the most frightening numbers ever to be associated with an E-Class. To put it into context, this is only a measly 13kW and 150Nm shy off the 4,2 seconds, 467/1 000Nm, V12-powered S65 AMG. The E63 S’s performance credentials? The 0-100km/h in a staggering 3,4 seconds. Top end is limited to 250km/h, as per gentlemen’s agreement.

Incredibly, my very first encounter with the new E63 AMG S 4Matic is on a wet skid pan – the big idea being to initiate with abandon, the biggest, showiest drift I can muster. Mind the 4Matic on its nameplate. The E63 S is attached to a new adjustable all-wheel drive system, which, when used under normal conditions, powers all four wheels and keeps both ends – particularly its happy rear – on the straight and narrow.

If you want to liberate it from that Audi-esque comatose state, you’ll need to perform a number of pushes, deletes, presses and pulls around the cockpit before it returns to rear-wheel drive AMG glory for sideways antics. With this new car, Tobias Moers’ charges have successfully created the absolute law in super-saloonery. It’s a family car, a bionic wonder, a rocket ship and a drifting weapon all rolled into one delightful and addictive package. The ball is in your court, BMW.

Pricing

Mercedes-AMG E 43 4MATIC                    R1 165 800

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+              R1 868 400