- About Us
A menacing growl filled the empty pitlane as I entered the paddock at the Buddh International Circuit. The new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG was being parked, and the V8 rap ricocheting off the empty grand stands made for an aural introduction. Cars from the AMG factory in Affalterbach, Germany have always been special with their powerful and angry sounding engines being the talking point, and the E63 AMG was never an exception. The launch of the refreshed E-Class was followed up rather quickly by the new E63 AMG, showing the high priority Mercedes-Benz is giving to performance editions of its cars.
The styling updates to the E-Class have surprised many, given its perception of being a luxury sedan for those who like being chauffeur driven. The new E-Class breaks that mould with its youthful styling – the three-pointed star has moved to the front grille from the hood, a trait seen earlier on more driver oriented Mercs, apart from several other changes. In the form of the E63 AMG though, the aggressive headlamps, protruding grille and new bumper all compliment the twin turbo V8under the hood.
There isn’t much to distinguish the AMG from a regular E-Class from the front, as the changes are quite subtle. At the rear though, the quad-pipes and diffuser inserts are the immediate giveaways. Inside, you are greeted with a steering wheel wrapped in leather and alcantara with a flat top and bottom, and drilled pedals. The dash isn’t very different, but gets a prominent carbon fibre strip across, and the gear selector sits in the centre console. The E63 sports AMG’s 7-speed Speedshift twin-clutch transmission with a rotary selector to choose from Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Manual modes.Shifts in Sport are 25 per cent quicker than comfort and a further 25 per cent quicker in Sport+ and manual. The gearbox doesn’t shift up or down in manual unless you use the paddle shifters, hence you need to be careful to not hit the limiter. Twist the key and the engine is quick to settle into a low hum. A blip rewards you with V8 music – though I must admit the forced feed restricts the full symphony. Once out on the track, the beauty of the AMG chassis comes to the fore. There’s a hint of understeer dialled in, but 557 ponies and gut-wrenching 700Nm of torque under my right foot meant the car needed just a little prodding to get its tail out. That feeling of having immense power under your right foot is second to none – well, at least for a petrolhead like me!
The fact that I am well accustomed to the BIC helped, since I was able to get used to the car quickly, given that we had limited time in the car. The one-touch AMG button on the centre console puts the gearbox into Sport+, sets traction control to Sport and gives you the stiffest suspension settings. And boy, the E63 AMG responds beautifully when jabbed – with its brutal power delivery it feels no less than a muscle car. This is some serious performance, since the E63 AMG could even hold a candle to some supercars. The howl of its turbocharged V8 on full song coupled with jolt-inducing upshifts down the 1.2km back straight at the BIC is bound to have you grinning from ear to ear. Acceleration is deceptively quick – claimed 0-100kmph time is 4.2 seconds, and the car shot across the 1.2km long back straight at the BIC in a jiffy.
Time to throw the anchors – the brakes felt brilliant as I scrubbed speed at the end of the long straight; after hitting over 230kmph (top speed is electronically limited to 250kmph). The electrically-assisted steering is quick to respond to inputs and felt very precise through tighter sections – this is certainly no go-kart, but the directness of the steering was very impressive. At the same time, the tyres allowed me to lean in hard into corners – not once did they lose grip unless provoked, complimenting the able chassis and making for a very, very impressive handling package. Also, you cannot miss the excellent AMG seats with active bolstering – the seats provide active lumbar support as you chuck the car into corners. Back in the pitlane I stared at the stationary car, and found it hard to imagine the beast that the E63 AMG is. It is quite easy to mistake it for a regular E, but the understated look and its monstrous performance are the car’s highlights. It can carry your family and luggage in extreme comfort when needed, but also turn into a complete behemoth at your command. Its histrionics make you grin each time you step on the loud pedal. Here is a car that is practical and a true monster at the same time – one that I would love to drive to work daily. And at Rs. 1.29 crore ex-showroom, the E63 AMG is certainly a more practical and affordable solution to many a supercar in the country today.