First Drive Review: Mercedes-Benz E 63 S AMG track experience
Power. A lot of power. That’s what luxury salons are all about these days. The BMW M5 pushes the envelope with 600+bhp on tap and now it’s the turn of AMG to put the latest generation E-Class under its skill full knife. And AMG isn’t holding back this time, plonking the same 4-litre bi-turbo V8 from the AMG GT R into the E-Class’ hood. Behold the all-new E 63 S AMG, the most powerful E-Class ever made! And guess what, it’s quicker than the GT R by 0.2 seconds. Which means, the ideal place to drive it is on the track. And that’s what we did . Unfortunately though, the experience lasted for barely one lap and a few minutes but that was enough to tell understand what the fuss is all about. Here’s what we understood after our quick session at Buddh International Circuit:
The E 63 S is quick. Not just on paper. And to allow to put the power down effectively, Mercedes-Benz has given it the much required AWD treatment. We were asked to use it only in Race+ mode without fiddling with the ESP. There’s Race mode available which puts ESP off and also allows you to put the car in ‘Drift Mode’. What is Drift Mode you ask? It’s real party piece which sends power to the rear wheels only allowing you to have maximum fun. However, the instructors had specifically asked us not to put it in Drift Mode or even use launch control.
The E 63 is quick on the straights, no second thoughts about that but is surprisingly fast even in corners, albeit it’s length and weight. We managed to hit over 245kmph on the back straight before stomping on the brakes and the carbon ceramics did make their presence felt here. However, the brakes weren’t in the best shape on the given day due to excessive heating and will need to be tested properly before we pass our final verdict. Thankfully, this isn’t the LWB variant which we get in India but the sleeker, coupe/ish international version. Being an AMG, you obviously get quad pipes that fart and baarp in every way possible asking you to go faster.
Ride and handling?
We cannot comment on the ride as we drove it only on track but the E 63 S AMGseems comfortable even in Sport+ mode. The suspension is stiff for a Merc, but still sprung softly for my liking. It sailed over kerbs without making it uncomfortable. Put it in comfortable mode and the E 63 S becomes an outright luxury sedan, comfortable for chauffeur driven owners.
Handling is excellent and the E 63 S AMG offers massive grip. The front end is sharp and the AMG feels outright sporty when thrown into corners. Obviously, it is heavy and the weight is felt as you dance around corners. However, the steering feels artificially heavy and there’s very less feedback.
Buy this or M5?
The biggest competitor to the car is the BMW M5 which was recently launched at the Auto Expo. At Rs 1.50 crore, the AMG is expensive than the Bimmer by Rs 6 lakh. You cannon choose between the two until you drive between the back to back. The Merc makes a strong case for itself though thanks to its strong after sales support and flexible service options. We have also tested the E 63 S AMG thoroughly in the May issue of evo India so grab a copy and find out all you need to know about it. Wanna know more about the BMW M5? Check out the review here.