Mercedes-Benz Goes Insane, Offers 'Drift Mode' on the 2018 AMG E63 S

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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mercedes benz goes insane offers drift mode on the 2018 amg e63 s

The Mercedes-AMG E63 is a notoriously maniacal car, but Americans have been saddled with the 4Matic all-wheel-drive version while Europeans enjoyed the option of rear-wheel drive. That meant no ludicrous AMG-induced burnouts west of the Atlantic for E-Class customers.

Now everyone can have an all-wheel-drive AMG E63, and everyone — with the money — can also do glorious burnouts while proudly waving their various flags out the driver’s side window.

That’s because the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Sedan comes standard with, and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, an official “Drift Mode.” While previous models favored a definitively rear-wheel bias, it was still technically around the clock 4Matic all-wheel-drive.

The fifth generation E-Class AMGs get the benefit of 4Matic Plus, which allows for variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles. And, should you want to burn off a pair of tires, you can spend the extra money on the E63 S and press a button that sends all of the power to the rear end.

And there should be adequate power, too. The AMG 4.0-liter biturbo on the E63 S makes 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque available from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. Mercedes says this gives the German monster a 3.3 second 0-60 time. If you want to keep your tires a little longer, the “regular” AMG E63 offers up 563 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. While only a tenth of a second slower to sixty miles per hour, it is electronically limited to 155 mph — compared to the S sedan’s 186 mph.

That’s a major upgrade for both cars, considering the previous E63 S sedan’s twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 produced 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.

Both cars come with a nine-speed transmission with wet start-off clutch in lieu of a torque converter. They also come with selectable drive programs that modify the response of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, and ESP. They range from “Comfort” to “Sport Plus” on the AMG E63, while the S Sedan also gets a “RACE” mode that Mercedes-Benz decided to word in all caps to further illustrate how extreme it must be. While intended for track use, the race mode will really only ever be used as active launch control for explosive stoplight getaways or paired with drift mode to do donuts in an affluent cul-de-sac.

The new E-Class performance sedans will officially premiere on November 16 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. U.S. dealerships should have them in the summer of 2017.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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3 of 10 comments
  • StarAZ StarAZ on Oct 26, 2016

    Great. Another car to look out for in addition to the Mustang and Focus RS

  • Lon888 Lon888 on Oct 26, 2016

    Call me crazy but I don't see 99.9% of the buyers of this car doing any hoonage. I see these as being owned by straight-laced cardiologists.

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  • George Hughes What ever happened to the American can-do attitude. I know what, it was coopted by the fossil fuel industry in their effort to protect their racket.
  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriors
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.