Mercedes E63 AMG Review

Jay Shoemaker
by Jay Shoemaker

OK, I admit it: I’ve consumed way too much AMG Kool Aid. I own multiple sets of the Mercedes tuner’s black license plate frames and key rings, an AMG logo-shirt, a cashmere V-neck sweater, half a dozen hats, a pair of driving shoes, a winter coat and a limited edition AMG watch. I would have more of their stuff, but recently I was introduced to a gentleman from Italy who spied the AMG logo on the back of my car and pronounced it, “Eye-Em-Gay,” and that sort of cooled me off. And then I drove the E63 AMG.

Even before I saw it, the E63 AMG had a mountain to climb. The new car has been roundly criticized by owners of the previous generation uber-E for offering less torque than their 5.5-liter supercharged V8 (465 vs. 516 ft.-lbs.). Without a doubt, the stupidly powerful E55 AMG was a giggle, particularly with the traction control turned off. But modulating the throttle from initial tip-in without whipsawing the heads of your passengers was a challenge. The flabby steering made cornering automotive Marco Polo. The electronic brakes were grabby. The E55 AMG was basically fun for the first few drag races, and then the cacophony of brake squeal and supercharger whine wore thin. So, you ask, how’s the new E63 AMG?

The E63 is the best machine ever (so far?) produced by the house of AMG. And boy, does it look it. Merc’s uber tuners have fitted the standard E with more aggressive lower bodywork all ‘round, a small trunk lip spoiler, more aerodynamic (i.e. autobahn friendly) side mirrors and four fat chromed tailpipes. The mad Merc hunkers down on five-spoke eighteen inch AMG wheels revealing massive binders beneath. OK, maybe the two gill slits behind the front bumper are a bit much. And I fear the “6.3 AMG” logos may become something of an embarrassment. Even though it’s not exactly a Q-ship, the E63 is perfectly positioned on the tasty side of obnoxious.

The E63’s interior also offers some delicious new flourishes. The steering wheel has an organic shape that seduces you into grasping it at the optimal 10 and 2 positions; including perforated leather at the optimal grips points. The paddle shifters peeking out from behind the helm’s fat rim are heavy gauge aluminum invitations to adrenal exuberance. Wherever thick Napa leather isn’t liberally applied, Alcantara supplants, including a lovely little piece at the front of the transmission stalk. The seats are massively bolstered with an incredible range of adjustment, comfort headrests and the Mt. Everest of lumbar support. Aluminum and black pedals complete the pseudo-racer treatment.

Once underway, it’s entirely possible to drive your spouse around town like a normal E350 kind of guy (providing your better half's deaf to low frequency burbling). As long as BMW keeps sticking the macabre SMG transmission in their M cars, lazy (if speed-crazed) well-to-do old guys like me will continue to flock to AMG to enjoy Mercedes’ mocha latte smooth seven speed transmission. The E63’s new steering and brakes are also magnificent, and not just in comparison to the old car. Though turn-in is not Porsche precise, you now know exactly where the car’s front tire are at all times. The brakes are as fearsome as before, now with added feel, precise bite and silent running.

Pull the trigger and the E63’s exhaust note is positively Wagnerian– only this is one opera I can sit through. Admittedly, the new car is somewhat less entertaining from rest than the old 5.5-liter, lacking that final measure of unbridled aggression. But it’s much smoother. If you set aside bragging rights, the ultimate performance differential between the two machines is not relevant in real world driving; you are guaranteed to run out of road and license well before the E63 runs out of breath. We’re talking about a four-door luxury automobile that makes the zero to sixty sprint in less than 4.5 seconds, and you’re complaining?

The E63’s handling is on another level entirely; it’s the best I’ve experienced from any vehicle in the Mercedes line. The car corners flatly and briskly, completely belying the gravitation effects of the sedan’s weight (4063 lbs.) and size (16” from top to tail). Only the tightest radii remind you of its mass. Despite the suspension’s high cornering capabilities, the ride quality is no worse than the E550 with the sport package: firm and communicative at level two on the adjustable Airmatic DC suspension, and plush at the normal setting.

The price for all this E63 virtuosity: $84k, the usual AMG parachute-style depreciation and 14mpg in the city (less when used in anger). If you can afford it, pay it. You can’t take it with you. And if you can, if you’re driving this mean machine, they’ll never catch you.

Jay Shoemaker
Jay Shoemaker

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  • Pig_Iron 💝
  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
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