New models - Mercedes-AMG - E63 - S
Driven: Mercedes-AMG E63 blasts in
Mercedes-AMG E63 expected to make up about 10 per cent of E-Class sales
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25 May 2017
MERCEDES-BENZ Australia/Pacific says it is targeting more than 200 annual sales for its E63 and E63 S, or about 10 per cent of booming E-Class sales, after the price of entry to the two-tier performance sedan line-up has dropped by $40,000.
The $209,900 plus on-road costs E63 will not arrive in Australia until December, but the $239,900 E63 S flagship, which is just landing in dealerships, is expected to be the more popular of the flagship E-Class duo.
Speaking at the launch of the E63 S in Victoria’s Yarra Valley last week, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy told GoAuto that the launch of a ‘base’ E63 was a worthwhile experiment after several years of selling only E63 S.
“We think the biggest seller will be the S,” he said.
“The non-S doesn’t arrive until later in the year. I think existing E63 S owners will go for the S again (and) to be honest, we don’t know exactly who’s going to go for the non-S. We haven’t offered a non-S E63 for a while. When we did everyone went for the Performance Pack which is now called the S.
“Demand wasn’t huge, I think it was probably between 10 and 15 per cent. (But) we decided to put it in there because we think there’s incremental volume.”
The non-S E63 was also designed to close the gap between the recently launched $159,900 Mercedes-AMG E43 and the E63 S, with some buyers expected to make the leap to the new entry version.
“Look I think at $210,000 yes, it’s a $55,000, $60,000 stretch (from the E43),” Mr McCarthy continued.
“I think potentially you’ll see E43 buyers stepping up, perhaps even C63 buyers. Reality is it (E63) is significantly more powerful. It’s all-wheel drive, over C63. We’ve put it there because we firmly believe in stepping the AMG model range and providing price points at different levels.”
Last year the Mercedes-Benz E-Class range hit 1271 sales, which was made up of the previous-generation car and the new model that started to roll out in August.
To the end of April 2017 the new E-Class has already tallied 691 sales, up 123 per cent on the same period last year and placing it on track for a 2000-plus haul.
Of that, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific has forecast at least 10 per cent of volume will be for the E63 and E63 S pair – and within a 10-tier E-Class range if the newly introduced E220d All-Terrain wagon is also included.
“I think the previous-gen I’m pretty sure it was over 200 per year,” Mr McCarthy said of the former single E63 S model grade’s best annual sales performance.
“This car with the price point and the extra features, I think there will be initially a lot of interest (and) with the two models I wouldn’t be surprised if it did over 200 in a full year.”
Both AMG model grades feature a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 producing 420kW in the E63 and 450kW in E63 S, both between 5750rpm and 6500rpm.
Torque of 750Nm between 2250rpm and 5000rpm is raised to 850Nm from 2500rpm until 4500rpm in the more expensive model, which gets its turbo boost pressure raised from 1.3 to 1.5 bar.
With a standard nine-speed automatic (featuring a wet-clutch replacing the torque converter on start-off) just one-tenth separates the 0-100km/h claims of the E63 and E63 S – at 3.5 seconds and 3.4s respectively.
Both claim combined-cycle fuel consumption of 9.3 litres per 100 kilometres.
Compared with the twin-turbo V6-engined E43, the E63 gets a 52mm wider body housing a 21mm wider front track with unique front suspension components and a totally redesigned multi-link rear suspension setup.
It further includes a mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential (LSD) and an all-wheel-drive system that is 100 per cent rear-wheel-driven until slip is detected, when up to 50 per cent of drive can be portioned to the front wheels.
The E43 system is fixed, sending 69 per cent of drive rearwards.
The E63 S swaps silver 20-inch alloy wheels for lightweight forged items of the same diameter (but still with 265mm-wide front and 295mm-wide rear tyres) painted black to complement the standard AMG Night Package incorporating black wing mirrors and other grille and vent details.
Inside it also gets bucket performance seats – standard seats are a no-cost option – and a microfibre-clad sports steering wheel.
Mechanically, the E63 S raises the E63’s top speed from 250km/h to 300km/h, gains larger 390mm front brakes (up from 360mm), a switchable sports exhaust system, dynamic engine mounts, and an electronically controlled LSD with Race mode and Drift Mode functionality.
The latter modes are in addition to the Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings for the Airmatic air suspension and drivetrain aggression, which can also be tailored in Individual mode with the sports exhaust on or off and the three-mode electronic stability control (ESC) in on, Sport Handling Mode or Off.
In Sport and Sport+ the all-wheel-drive system more frequently prioritises drive to the rear wheels, while the vehicle must be in Race, with manual paddleshifter automatic transmission mode selected and ESC Off to access Drift Mode – which in the case of the Mercedes-AMG does not aid a driver to powerslide but rather disconnects the front axle to become 100 per cent rear-wheel driven.
Otherwise, both E63s absorb the standard equipment list of the E43, including 20-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, a 13-speaker 590-watt Burmester audio system, head-up display, Nappa leather with heated front seats, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, satellite navigation, tri-zone climate control and keyless auto-entry.
Safety-wise a 360-degree camera with automatic park assistance and front/rear sensors, plus a Driver Assistance Plus package incorporating autonomous emergency braking (AEB), active cruise control, active lane-keep assistance, evasive steering assistance and blind-spot monitor, are also standard.
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