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Mercedes E63 AMG (2011) gets twin-turbo V8

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Mercedes has updated the E63 AMG super saloon with a range of minor tweaks, and one major one. Say goodbye to the 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine which heralded the '63' badging, and hello to another downsized, forced-induction response to tightening emissions and economy requirements. The 2011 E63 receives the twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 engine first seen in the S63 AMG, and now powering the CL63 and CLS63 as well.

So the Mercedes E63 AMG is actually an E55 AMG?

It does seem odd, particularly as AMG (the Affalterbach-based performance arm of Mercedes) received no shortage of praise for its previous '55' 5.5-litre supercharged V8. However, the decision was made to retain the E63 monicker, in the interests of avoiding customer backlash due to the perceived downgrade of going back to '55'.

Putting that aside, the not-6.2 E63 offers AMG fans a significant improvement in overall engine performance. Power in the standard version remains 518bhp, offered at a more accessible 5250-5750rpm. Torque is up to 516lb ft, and thanks to the less friction and direct-injection, you get it all with 22% better fuel economy, now claimed at 28.8mpg. You can even defend yourself at dinner parties by pointing to lower CO2 emissions. Just don't mention the 230g/km figure... focus on the 115g/km drop in CO2 emissions instead. 

You can even get the 550bhp/590lb ft AMG Performance Pack, and retain the quoted economy and emissions of the standard car. Although with a car that is capable of 0-62 in 4.2 seconds, we suspect owners will have to be judicious with the throttle pedal to match the claimed fuel figures. And retain their licenses on UK roads.

What other tweaks has the E63 AMG received?

New alloy wheels and 'V8 Biturbo' badges are the most obvious exterior giveaways to the updated E63 AMG. Behind the wheels are AMG's Ride Control three-position adaptive damping system, and a fuel economy-improving electrically-assisted steering rack offering a quicker steering ratio than the standard E-class. Performance Pack cars can be identified by their red brake calipers and a carbonfibre spoiler on the bootlid.

Inside the new E63 AMG

The E63 AMG retains the seven-speed Speedshift MCT-7 wet clutch automatic transmission seen in other models, now with the stubby shift knob first seen in the CLS63. There's also a new three-spoke AMG steering wheel, which will annoy round-wheel purists by being flattened on both the top and bottom of the rim. The CLS63 also donates a new multifunction display, housed within the E63's speedometer.

When will we see the E63 AMG here in the UK?

Sales of the new car begin in September 2011. Price has yet to be announced, but expect to pay around £74k for the E63 saloon, and £76k for the estate when that's unveiled.

By Mark Hamilton