Preview: Mercedes-AMG E63 and E63 S AMG
The AMG versions of the new E-Class were unveiled recently and there are two choices- the E63 AMG and the E63 S AMG. Both variants are powered by a 4-litre, direct injection, V8 motor with twin turbochargers, however in a different state of tune. The standard E63's motor is tuned to produce 571PS between 5,700 and 6,500rpm and 750Nm at 2,250rpm and 5,000rpm.
The E63 S' motor on the other hand develops 612PS between 5,750rpm and 6,500rpm and a tyre shredding 850Nm between 2,500 and 4,500rpm. The engine is mated to the new AMG Speedshift MCT 9-speed sports transmission. It also has a wet start up clutch that replaces the torque converter, thereby saving weight. Mercedes says the new gearbox offers short shift times, quick multiple downshifts.
The claimed performance numbers indicate that the E63 sprints from 0-100kmph in 3.5 seconds while the S is faster by 0.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250kmph which can be increased to 300kmph if one opts for the AMG Driver's Package.
The company adds that the twin-turbos are placed in between the V of the cylinders, a hot V. The advantages are a compact engine, swifter response from the twin-scroll turbochargers and low exhaust gas emissions. The E63/E63S engine also gets cylinder bank deactivation in the interest of better fuel economy. Cylinder two, three, five and eight are deactivated during low engine loads.
Both E63 models get the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. For the first time, torque distribution to the front and rear wheels is fully variable. An electromechanically controlled coupling connects the permanently driven rear axle to the front axle. Torque distribution is calculated based on the driving conditions and the driver's inputs.
The E63 S gets a special drift mode that makes it purely rear wheel drive car. Selecting the Race mode, switching the transmission to manual and turning off ESP will result in a long streak of darkies across the pavement, and a new tyre bill at the end of all the sideways action!
In addition to the Race mode in the E63S, both E63s get Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual drive modes that alters the engine response, steering, suspension, ESP, all-wheel drive system and transmission.
The new E63 and E63 S also gets a re-engineered AMG sports suspension that features a multi-chamber air-suspension that alters the rigidity of the dampers. This is done by activating or deactivating the individual air chambers. The tuners at AMG have defined three spring tuning settings depending on the drive program that's selected and the actual driving conditions. For example, during high load conditions such as fast cornering or heavy acceleration and braking, the spring rate is automatically made harder on the front or rear axle, which reduces roll and pitch.
In order to improve traction and dynamics the E63 gets a mechanical differential lock while the E 63 S gets an electronic diff-lock. The differentials reduce slip on the inside wheel wile cornering which facilitates quicker corner exists. Besides the advantage of improved traction, the rear differential also helps reduce lap times. The electronic differential is even more sensitive which makes it easier to drive the car at the limit.
The E63 AMG also gets segment first dynamic engine mounts. The dynamic mounts instantly and variably adapt their stiffness to the driving conditions and requirements. These measures enhance the vehicle's precision.
Braking duties are handled by fade-resistant, AMG high-performance brakes. The brakes are internally ventilated and perforated with the S variant featuring larger discs. There's an option to fit Carbon Ceramic discs too.
The Electronic Stability Programme includes three stages-On, Sport Handling Mode and OFF. In the On setting, the ESP is at maximum intervention while the Sport Handling Mode allows for significant yaw movement before intervening. ESP off is the all-out mode, lending the driver complete control. However, it comes on temporarily during hard braking, aiding stability.
Design wise, the E63 looks striking and quite sporty with prominent creased lines along the length of the bonnet. The new radiator grille is quite large with sporty vertical black struts. The large air-dams are purposeful and are inspired by the design of a jet-wing, says Mercedes. The rear end looks even more purposeful with the quad-AMG exhaust pipes and a neat spoiler lip.
The interiors also highlight the sporty nature with a nice, flat-bottomed steering wheel, electroplated shift paddles and a steering wheel bezel with the AMG logo. The seats feature additional bolstering for the driver and front passenger.
The E63 S features nappa leather covering on the instrument panel, beltline as well as the sports steering wheel that gets a crystal grey 12 o 'clock marking. There's an AMG crest in the headrest and contrasting crystal grey stitching for the seats. The instrument panel features a multifunction TFT display, with two monitors. The feature is standard on the E63 S and optional on the E63. There's a Racetimer function too that records lap times when driving on closed circuits.
The Mercedes-AMG E63 and E63 will premiere at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Sales will begin next year and expect Mercedes-Benz India to get the car to our shores soon after the international launch.
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