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First look: Benz goes ballistic with new E63 AMG

M5 eater: The new Mercedes E63 AMG can blast from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz drops AMG V8 into all-new E-class sedan to create cracking new E63

2 Apr 2009

MERCEDES-BENZ has issued full details and images of its redesigned E63 AMG sedan, the day after they were released on to the internet by a US source.

The electrifying new E63 will make its global public debut at the New York motor show on April 8 before being launched in Europe in July and in Australia in January next year.

It will top the redesigned E-class sedan range that debuted at January’s Detroit show and arrives here in August.

While there’s no sign of an AMG version of the all-new E-class Coupe, which debuted at Geneva in March and goes on sale here alongside the new W212-series sedan upon which it is based in August, the E63 Coupe could also emerge next week at New York.

Taking some of the gloss off our first look at the 2010 E63 sedan is the fact that Geneva also hosted the reveal of an AMG bodykit for the new E-class, but there’s no denying the latest AMG model’s more aggressive wide-track stance and purposeful quad exhaust outlets, as well as its heavily massaged interior.

Of course, there is also a host of new technology, with much of it borrowed from the $400,000 SL63 AMG roadster.

The new E63, which will replace a model that was among the earliest recipients (in 2006) of Mercedes-AMG’s first exclusively in-house engine, again employs the 6.2-litre M156 V8 that also sees duty in the C63, CLK63, CLS63, S63, SL63, CL63, ML63 and (overseas) even the R63 people-mover.

The ballistic big-bore (6208cc or 379 cubic-inch) V8, which carries a misleading ‘6.3’ badge to meet German car tax laws that require engine marketing names to be rounded up to the nearest 100cc, is claimed to be the world’s most powerful naturally-aspirated V8. Featuring a unique block design with different bore spacings, it owes nothing to Merc’s 5.5-litre M155 V8.

4 center imageThe oversquare (102.2mm bore x 94.6mm stroke) V8 will also motivate the first ‘Gullwing’ Mercedes model since the 1950s in the SLS AMG, which was also confirmed at Geneva. In this (dry sump) application it will deliver 420kW at 6800rpm and 650Nm of torque from 4750rpm.

Of course, the 2010 E63 does not match those numbers, but it does eclipse the performance outputs of the C63 (336kW/600Nm), the CLK (354kW/630Nm) and its (373kW) Black Series special, the ML63 (375kW/630Nm) and, crucially, the current E63 (378kW/630Nm), by matching the 386kW/630Nm peaks of the current S63, SL and CL63 AMGs.

While there’s a new water-cooling system to handle the extra oomph, headlining the list of technology that has filtered down from the top-shelf SL63 is the AMG Speedshift MCT version of Mercedes-Benz’s seven-speed automatic transmission which swaps the standard gearbox’s conventional torque converter for a compact, wet start-up clutch.

Apart from offering four selectable drive modes – including C (for “Controlled Efficiency”), S (Sport), S+ (Sport plus) and M (Manual, which offers 100-millisecond gearshifts) – it features throttle-blipping and ‘Racestart’ launch control functions.

Top speed is limited to 250km/h, but the Speedshift tranny helps the new E63 to blast to 100km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds, officially making it about as quick as the C63 AMG sedan and, more importantly, quicker than its most direct rival, BMW’s V10 M5 sedan.

The latter sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 4.7 seconds and can return average fuel consumption of 14.8L/100km (ADR81/01), but Benz says that thanks to the use of recuperative braking energy technology, the new E63’s fuel consumption has been reduced by almost 12 per cent to 12.6L/100km (NEDC).

Apart from the C63 and SL63’s three-stage electronic stability control (ESC, or ESP in Benz-speak) system, the E63 also features electronic damping control – AMG Ride Control – which also offers three switchable suspension modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus.

AMG Ride Control is fitted to a bespoke E63 suspension system that comprises unique steel spring-struts up front and AMG-specific rear air springs. “The front spring struts ensure more sensitive responses while the rear air struts with their automatic level control system keep the vehicle at a constant height irrespective of the load,” says Benz of the exclusive AMG set-up.

In addition, the E63 has a dedicated new front axle arrangement that features a 56mm-wider front track, a tubular anti-roll bar, new control arms, new wheel bearings, new elastokinematics and increased negative camber. Combined with more negative camber and new subframe mountings at the rear, Mercedes says the result is increased high-speed cornering grip.

The E63 also has a specific speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering system with a 14:1 rack ratio – 22 per cent more direct than garden-variety E-class variants – while 360mm vented and perforated brake discs are fitted at all four corners.

Rounding out the mechanical changes are 18-inch AMG alloy wheels measuring nine inches wide at the front and 9.5 inches wide at the rear, with 225/40 and 285/35-section tyres respectively.

In the cosmetic department, the E63 gets a more aggressive front bumper with ‘AMG 6.3’ lettering and specific LED daytime running lights, plus tinted headlights, AMG side skirts and an AMG rear bumper with black diffuser and twin chromed exhaust outlets.

Exclusive interior features include the dedicated power-adjustable AMG sports seats, a four-spoke AMG steering wheel with paddle shifter and, adjacent to the AMG gearshifter with “one-touch logic”, controls for the MCT transmission, ESP stability system and selectable damping system.

In Europe, there will be three standard leather colours, in addition to the standard AMG instrument cluster and stainless steel AMG door sills and pedals.

The E63’s optional Performance package will comprise 19-inch alloys and tyres, an even firmer ‘Performance’ suspension setting, a limited-slip differential, AMG bootlid spoiler, three-spoke ‘Performance’ steering wheel, AMG floor mats, illuminated AMG door sills and interior and exterior carbon-fibre trim packages.

The current E63 AMG sedan is priced at $232,956.

Read more:

Detroit show: New E-class revealed

First look: Mercedes bends E-class into shape

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