A Euro-spec high-performance giant killer that eats worlds… and groceries

Practicality, comfort, and speed. It’s a difficult combination to achieve, especially in the U.S., where customers are usually only offered two of these characteristics, but not the third. Compounding the problem is the fact that on these shores, practicality is almost always equated with a crossover or SUV body style, which is obviously less than ideal when it comes to performance duties. Mercifully, Mercedes-AMG has a whopper of a solution. It’s called the E 63 S Wagon, and it’s based off the four-door rocket sedan of the same name. Merc first introduced the E-Class in 1993, with the latest fifth-gen model ushered in for the 2017 model year, and incredibly, the brand has decided to continue to offer the E-Class Wagon in the U.S. Even more amazing is the fact that stateside high-speed thrill seekers can get their fix with the E 63 S Wagon iteration, which gets all the opulence, interior tech, exterior style, and over-powered performance as the E 63 S sedan, but with extra space in the hatch to boot.

But let’s just jump right into the specs that matter most, shall we? Under the hood of the AMG E 63 S Wagon is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 gas burner, pumping out an astonishing 603 horsepower. Routing output to the ground is a nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s enough muscle to push this wagon to 60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds, while the upgraded performance suspension system keeps it all in control. Step inside, and you get a familiar look and layout, infotainment system, and the usual premium features.

Sounds amazing, if you ask us. But the wagon body style can still be a tough sell in the U.S., even with just over 600 ponies on tap, which begs the question – what’s this thing really bring to the table?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon.

Exterior

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Funny enough, I’d wager most American bystanders won’t know what hit ‘em when this thing rumbles by. The exterior styling isn’t as overtly flashy as most stateside toys with over 600 horses, especially when you consider the connotations tied to the elongated roofline of a wagon. But for those who know, this thing announces its presence with a slew of classic AMG performance cues.

Mercedes says it employed a team of aerodynamics experts and traditional auto designers to collaborate while fashioning the E 63 S Wagon’s exterior look and shape. The result is the usual AMG boldness and Mercedes gloss, plus a “performance-oriented lift balance,” which basically means more high-speed stability.

2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Sedan pictured on the left, Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon pictured on the right.

As you can see, there isn’t a whole to distinguish between the sedan and wagon variants, save the obvious bit in back.

As you can see, there isn’t a whole to distinguish between the sedan and wagon variants, save the obvious bit in back. In front is the same muscular, sinewy hoodline, with shapely headlights lined with bright daytime running lights. A broad trapezoidal grille fills the middle portion, while below is a flared-out bumper with deep side intakes and a black lower splitter section. Chrome lines the three-pointed Mercedes badge and bisecting wing in the grille, while an AMG badge is etched into the driver’s side tip.

Mercedes says the front bumper design was inspired by a “jet wing,” and supposedly offers cooling technology plucked from its various motorsports programs, but I feel the look is used primarily to emphasize the ludicrously powerful engine hiding under the hood.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Polished metal is a common theme, with sinewy lines and curvaceous angles used throughout.

Moving to the sides, we find simple profile lines, although the angles add a dash of sportiness here and there. The side skirts bring it visually closer to the ground, while the lower character line rises from the bottom of the front fender towards the middle of the rear wheels and upwards towards the hatch. Meeting this is a somewhat straight belt line, while the window line, decked out in a polished-metal surround, pinches towards the rear. Just below the A-pillar is an AMG swish mark. In the corners are plus-sized AMG wheels, while subtle roof rails add a bit of traditional wagon flair.

In back, the rear spats rise up into lower bumper, adding an extra horizontal layer to the rear end. The most prominent feature back here (beyond the sizable rear hatch, of course) are the chrome elements added to embellish the quad exhaust pipes, which use a squared-off appearance and double outlets per side. Between the pipes is a rather aggressive diffuser element, which is also lined in chrome. Above the exhaust tips are horizontal red reflectors, which lead the eye towards the wraparound taillights, which is connected by a single polished metal strip. Finally, a trailing edge roof spoiler extends the roofline even farther.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Although easy to dismiss when placed amongst other mid-size European offerings, Mercedes-AMG did a good job mixing power, presence, and refinement. Get close, and it’s obvious the E 63 S is no mere station wagon.

Although easy to dismiss when placed amongst other mid-size European offerings, Mercedes-AMG did a good job mixing power, presence, and refinement. Get close, and it’s obvious the E 63 S is no mere station wagon.

It should also be noted that the exterior dimensions are now 1.1-inches wider than before, with flared out fenders, bigger wheels, and even a wider track for the front axle. This not only makes the car more muscular, but helps with handling as well. More on the handling in a bit.

The Competition

2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance
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Porsche Cayenne Turbo pictured on the left, Audi RS6 Avant Performance pictured on the right.

To put it mildly, the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon is a bit of an oddity here in the U.S. To find an adequate comparison, you’re gonna have to look beyond U.S. borders. With that in mind, we’ve included the Audi RS6 Avant Performance in the list of competitors, which should provide a nice contrast for our European readers, and a decent benchmark for the stateside audience as well.

And since this Mercedes model is all about mixing high-end speed, luxury, and practicality, we also decided to toss in another German product to compare it to – the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Granted, the Cayennemo gets a high-riding SUV body style, so it’s a bit of an apples and oranges situation against the AMG E 63 S, but that’s how it goes when dealing with something as niche as a 600-horsepower luxury wagon.

2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance
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In terms of styling, the Cayenne looks like a beefed-up 911 that’s been hitting the weights and protein powder with zeal.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the Porsche. This is a mid-size crossover we’re talking about, so the exterior dimensions are understandably quite a bit larger than the E-Class, but we’re rolling with it anyway. In terms of styling, the Cayenne looks like a beefed-up 911 that’s been hitting the weights and protein powder with zeal. The front end is classic Porsche, with triangular headlight housings and curvaceous lines that push the whole thing forward visually. The grille is broad and rectangular, bookended by complementary intakes on both sides, plus additional lighting. The grille slats, turn signals, and bumper lights are all arranged horizontally, adding a bit of visual width.

The profile is traditional SUV, with a tall stance, high belt line, and flat roofline. The character lines add even more beefiness, and draw the eye rearwards towards the squared-off tail.

The Audi RS6 Avant Performance definitely has a DTM-for-the-road high-octane look going for it.

Exterior features for the Cayenne include LED lighting up front, as well as four-part illumination in back. There are quad exhaust pipes poking out from the rear valance, sporting rounded outlets and chromed-out tips. Attached to the top of the hatch is a roof spoiler, with an integrated brake light running along the trailing edge. The wheels enhance the SUV’s 911-ness thanks to their styling, with sizing up to 21 inches in diameter offered. Further styling touches can be had with the Porsche Exclusive personalization program.

Now let’s check out the Audi RS6 Avant Performance. This thing is definitely a lot closer in the exterior dimensions to Mercedes’ wagon, and it’s got equally bold styling as well. The exterior is decked out in RS-specific styling cues, including massively flared wheel arches, larger intakes in the front bumper, a sizable front splitter, a honeycomb grille design, a rear diffuser, a rear spoiler, and side skirt extensions, all of which combine to give it a DTM-for-the-road high-octane look. The body sits low to the ground, hunched over plus-sized wheels wrapped in low-profile tires, while the headlights get slim daytime running lights that give the fascia an aggressive demeanor.

Looking at all three of these models back-to-back, I’m most impressed by the Audi. I love the muscularity and sleekness that it offers, combining the usual Four Ring style with a heady dose of aggression that just works with that elongated roofline.

Standout exterior features for the Audi include 20-inch wheels as standard, and 21-inch wheels as an available option. There are matrix LEDs for the headlight housings, and dynamic LEDs for the taillights. The roof rails, side-view mirror housings, grille surround, and front spoiler can all be had in either a matte aluminum or titanium finish, while the twin exhaust out back comes with oval tips, finished in a glossy black color. Privacy glass is standard on the Performance model.

Looking at all three of these models back-to-back, I’m most impressed by the Audi. I love the muscularity and sleekness that it offers, combining the usual Four Ring style with a heady dose of aggression that just works with that elongated roofline. The Merc looks good too, but to my eye, it’s just a little too understated compared to the Audi. If I get a high-performance wagon model like this, I want it to suggest the speed potential that lies in wait. Neither the Audi nor the Mercedes really shout about what they are capable of, but I think the Audi does a better job at dropping hints.

As for the Cayenne, well… let’s just say it’s not the best-looking Porsche in existence. The aesthetic works well for a sports car, but it’s just a little too frumpy when it’s used on a crossover. I prefer my SUVs with a straight-line boldness that the Porsche lacks, and in my opinion, the rounded edges would look better if applied to something smaller. Like a 911.

Exterior Dimensions

Audi RS6 Avant Performance Porsche Cayenne Turbo Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon
Wheelbase (Inches) 114.76 113.98 113.1
Length (Inches) 196.02 191.14 192.9
Height (Inches) 58.34 67.0 57.8
Width (Inches) 76.22 78.7 76.14
Track front/rear (Inches) 65.43/65.47 65.4/65.9 TBA

Interior

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Interior
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While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who buys a wagon simply because they think it looks better than a sedan. No, wagons are the choice when practicality and cargo space is a concern, and with that in mind, we’ll start with the Merc’s cargo capacity.

In the European-spec press release, Mercedes has announced that the E 63 S Wagon gets between 640 liters and 1,820 liters of rear cargo space, which computes out to between 22.6 cubic feet and 64.3 cubic feet.

With the rear bench folded up, Mercedes says the E 63 S Wagon offers a total of 35 cubic feet of cargo space, which seems pretty high considering the last E-Class wagon got roughly 23 cubic feet. Either way, it’s enough to justify Mercedes’ boast of offering the greatest trunk space of the “performance wagon” segment. Granted, the performance wagon segment is pretty sparse here in the U.S., so for the sake of comparison, we rounded up the cargo specs on three major competing brands to give you an idea where the E 63 S Wagon lies amongst offerings with the same body style. Some are a little old, but like I said – wagons are pretty rare around here.

Cargo Volume Specs (note: all figures given are with the rear bench in the upright position)

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon 23 cubic feet
BMW 5 Series Wagon (2010 model yar): 17.7 cuic feet
Volvo V90: 19. cubic feet
Adi A6 Avant: 20 cubic feet

In the European-spec press release, Mercedes has announced that the E 63 S Wagon gets between 640 liters and 1,820 liters of rear cargo space, which computes out to between 22.6 cubic feet and 64.3 cubic feet. Part of the difference lies in the different ways in which cargo space is measured between the European and U.S. standards, but that 64.3 cubic feet number should give you a rough idea what the E 63 S Wagon can offer with the rear seats folded down.

Inside is the usual Mercedes smoothness, refinement, and relative simplicity, all of which is complemented by soft-touch materials, contrast stitching, premium upholstery, brushed metal, and acre upon acre of composite surfaces.

Either way, the rear bench for both the U.S.- and Euro-spec model offer a function that allows it to be folded at a 10-degree steeper angle, essentially providing an extra 30 liters of space (or 1.06 cubic feet). This extra room is provided even with each of the three rear seating positions in use. Also of note is the rear bench’s ability to fold at a 40:20:40 split for even greater usability.

Okay, so we’ve established it’s practical. What about the comfort and luxury side of the equation?

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Interior
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The look could be that of any other AMG product, with the usual Mercedes smoothness, refinement, and relative simplicity, all of which is complemented by soft-touch materials, contrast stitching, premium upholstery, brushed metal, and acre upon acre of composite surfaces.

In terms of layout, the E 63 S has an essentially identical dash and control scheme layout.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
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2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Interior
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Standard Mercedes-Benz E-Class interior pictured on the left, Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon interior pictured on the right.

The lines are graceful and uncluttered, revolving around the passengers in long, drawn-out organic shapes that enhance the cabin’s natural visual width. Behind the wheel is a horizontal digital screen for driver’s information purposes, which seems to stretch over into the center console with an identical digital screen for infotainment duties. Quad circular vents sit in the middle, while corner vents are found near the pillars. The central tunnel is broad and offers the majority of hard buttons, knobs, and switches, as well as the primary infotainment controller apparatus.

Nappa leather is found on the dash and the beltline, while the seatbelts can be ordered in a crystal grey finish if desired. Dark coloring in various shades of black and grey seem to be dominant throughout.

But that’s what you should expect from a Teutonic rocket ship, and from either of the front seating positions, it quickly becomes apparent the E 63 S Wagon isn’t messing around when it comes to its race-inspired cues and performance emphasis.

The lines are graceful and uncluttered, revolving around the passengers in long, drawn-out organic shapes that enhance the cabin’s natural visual width.

Starting things off is the AMG Performance Steering Wheel. This three-spoke, multi-function, flat-bottom unit is wrapped in black Nappa leather, and gets brushed aluminum for the spokes, as well as a prominent AMG logo etched into the bottom fork. And if you really wanna get that DTM style, you can opt into a wheel with a grey dash mark at the 12 o’clock position.

The front seats are sporty sitters with large lateral bolsters to keep you snug while performing high-speed cornering. If rolling around while behind the wheel is still a major concern, you can also order yours with the optional AMG Performance Seats, which get integrated head restraints as a feature.

Those two side-by-side digital readouts provide the driver with all the normal road stuff, such as speed, engine rpm, safety equipment status, and the like, but can be programmed to feed you performance data as well. Measurements come in at 12.3-inches in diagonal for each of the two displays, and can be had with a carbon look if desired. Three separate settings give you a choice for what information is displayed, and includes either a “Classic” look, “Sport,” or “Progressive.”

On the comfort tech side of things, there’s the Intelligent Drive system, as well as the standard features included in the more pedestrian E-Class model. See the Safety and Convenience section for more information.

It should also be noted that the European press release mentions the Mercedes me connect feature, which can identify parts that are in need of service, offer technical help in the event of a breakdown, make an emergency help request, and more. Bundled with it is the optional Remote Online system, offered as part of the COMAND Online feature, which allows convenience commands to be given through your smartphone. You can also get the Concierge Service, which offers perks like weather forecasts, stock info, and route recommendations, plus sporting events and cultural activity suggestions. This is offered free for the first year after vehicle purchase.

The Competition

2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
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2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance High Resolution Interior
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Porsche Cayenne Turbo pictured on the left, Audi RS6 Avant Performance pictured on the right.

Porsche is no stranger when it comes to making a performance-oriented, sport-inflected interior. The Cayenne takes its cues from across the Porsche range, including the venerable 918 Spyder hyper hybrid, and it shows in the cabin. The steering wheel is a three-spoke unit trimmed in carbon fiber, while the center console rises towards the dash in a series of hard buttons and knobs to control the car’s various features. The whole thing looks like it was plucked from a fighter jet – if fighter jets came decked out in leather.

In terms of practicality, the Cayenne offers a multitude of storage compartments front to back. Seating capacity is capped at five, with two up front and three in back. On the cargo front, the rear seats fold down as needed, while the tailgate gets and automatic up/down function. Cargo capacity is rated at 23.66 square feet with the seats up, and up to 62.86 square feet with them down, which means you’re not really getting a whole lot more cargo room with the large-and-in-charge SUV body style.

2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S Interior
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The Porsche’s cabin looks like it was plucked from a fighter jet – if fighter jets came decked out in leather.

Standout features include brushed aluminum trim for the surrounds, Alcantara for the roof, front Adaptive Sports seats with 18-way adjustability, rear seats with an adjustable angle, front and rear seat heating, dual-zone climate control, a standard 665-watt Bose Surround Sound System and high-end optional system from Burmester, and rear-seat entertainment. The Porsche Communication Management infotainment system is standard, as is the large central touch screen, and you can get Connect Plus for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Navigation and the usual tech stuff are all included, and you can get Connect Apps for easy infotainment integration though your smart device.

Compared to the Porsche, the Audi seems to take a similar approach for the layout, albeit with a bit more simplification in the control scheme. This is most obvious on the central tunnel, where the gear shifter is joined by just a handful of hard buttons and knobs compared to the sea of buttons on the Porsche. The flat-bottom three-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in leather and gets an RS6 logo at the bottom, while copious carbon fiber trim is added to the dash and center console. Mounted high is the primary infotainment screen, while behind the steering wheel is a digital driver’s information readout.

2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance High Resolution Interior
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Compared to the Porsche, the Audi seems to take a similar approach for the layout, albeit with a bit more simplification in the control scheme.

Standout interior features for the Audi RS 6 Avant Performance include sport seats with 12-way adjustability and Valcona leather upholstery, while the Performance model’s carbon fiber trim incorporates a blue thread for an extra dash of style. Aluminum-look metal was used for the pedals and foot rests, while the doorsills are real aluminum and come branded with the RS6 logo. RS-specific instrumentation is behind the steering wheel, four-zone climate control keeps the occupants comfortable, and an ambient lighting package keeps it looking slick at night.

In terms of practicality, the rear bench folds down and there is extra storage scattered throughout the cabin. Rear cargo room is rated at 19.95 cubic feet with the rear bench up and 59.32 cubic feet with it down. On the infotainment front, the Audi offers MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch, MMI Radio Plus, a 7.0-inch driver’s information display, DAB Digital Radio, Audi Music Interface, a standard Bose surround sound system, and Bluetooth connectivity.

With all three models offering a good amount of space, technology, and comfort, the decision on which offers the best interior rests with the look and layout, and on that front, the Mercedes walks away as the clear winner.

With all three models offering a good amount of space, technology, and comfort, the decision on which offers the best interior rests with the look and layout, and on that front, the Mercedes walks away as the clear winner. The E-Class just has a slicker, more polished approach compared to the Audi and Prosche, with fewer hard buttons and switches, and more loveliness in the lines. There’s a refinement to the Mercedes that its rivals can’t quite match, and in this segment, those intangible qualities can make all the difference.

Audi RS6 Avant Performance Porsche Cayenne Turbo Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon
Cargo capacity seats up (cu ft) 20.0 24.0 22.6
Cargo capacity seats folded (cu ft) 59.3 60.0 64.3

Drivetrain

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Drivetrain
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Let’s get right into the good stuff, shall we?

Thumping from behind that polished three-pointed star is a “hand-crafted” AMG-tuned twin-turbo 4.0-liter (3,982 cc of displacement, to be exact) V-8 engine. Even with a couple snails soaking up the spent gasses, you can rest assured this thing makes plenty of pleasing dirty talk. Mercedes even went so far as to tune the exhaust to produce the characteristic AMG V-8 noise specifically for the wagon model, a feature I’m sure customers will appreciate every time they go for the loud pedal.

Making the boost are two twin-scroll turbochargers, a first for the model. The twin-scrolls offer sharper response and a fatter torque curve, which is what you want if you’re really pushing for that muscle-bound V-8 throttle feel.

Mercedes even tuned the exhaust to produce that characteristic AMG V-8 noise specifically for the wagon model, a feature I’m sure customers will appreciate every time they go for the loud pedal.

Hit max boost, and you’ll be spitting out a total of 603 horsepower between 5,750 and 6,500 rpm, plus 627 pound-feet of torque between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm. As you might expect, Mercedes isn’t shy when it comes to talking about this thing’s output, stating the high power level “provides a feeling of effortless superiority in every accelerator pedal position.”

Indeed.

The European-spec version of this car produces the same 603 horsepower (they rate it at 612 metric horsepower) and 627 pound-feet. However, take a trip across the pond, and you’ll also have the option for the E63 4Matic+ Estate. While essentially the same car as the E 63 S Wagon that we get stateside, the E63 4Matic+ makes a mere 571 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, which means it’s a bit slower than the S.

Mercedes says the high power level “provides a feeling of effortless superiority in every accelerator pedal position.” Indeed.

Speaking of speed, the 600-horse S can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 3.4 seconds, equaling (or beating) such sports car greats as the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, and Ferrari F430 Scuderia. In a luxury wagon. Awesome.

Top speed is electronically limited at a seemingly arbitrary 180 mph, and it makes me wonder what this thing can do with the governor lifted and proper tires equipped underneath. I’d love to hear what happens with the wagon’s aero at those speeds.

If you happen to live outside the U.S. and you go for the non-S E 63 Estate, then expect a run from 0-to-62 mph in 3.6 seconds.

This Mercedes can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 3.4 seconds, equaling (or beating) such sports car greats as the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, and Ferrari F430 Scuderia. In a luxury wagon.

In continuation of our theme of performance mated with speed, the E 63 S Wagon is also equipped with a few tricks to help its boosted V-8 save on fuel. The most interesting of these is a standard cylinder deactivation system, which automatically downgrades the fire-breathing lump under the hood when you stay off the throttle for an extended period of time, such as when you’re cruising down the highway.

While the U.S. press release didn’t have a whole lot more to say about this, the European press release did mention that fuel economy should be around 9.1 liters for every 100 km. A little quick math reveals that’ around 26 mpg, which isn’t great, but about what you’d expect from a 600-horsepower luxury car. On the emissions front, the Euro release also states the E 63 S makes a combined 206 grams of CO2 per km.

Routing the power towards the ground is an AMG SpeedShift automatic transmission, with nine forward gears and something called “Multi Clutch Technology.”Merc says this gearbox was specifically tuned for the wagon, both in terms hardware and software. It offers very quick shifts, plus a multiple downshift feature, while the “double-clutching function makes for an emotional gearshifting experience.”

The AWD system offers multiple driving modes and configurations, including (get ready for it) full-on opposite lock RWD drift mode. No, seriously, there’s a drift mode.

Further transmission features include a wet clutch, rather than a standard torque converter, which helps to reduce overall weight, and sharpen throttle response as well. If desired, drivers can switch the automatic into “M” for a “manual shifting mode,” which will leave all the gear change decisions up to the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

The nine-speed automatic feeds a permanent AMG-tuned 4Matic+ AWD system. This offers fully variable torque distribution between the wheels, a first for the model. The AWD system accomplishes this through an electromechanically controlled coupling that connects the rear axle with the front axle, making for permanent drive to the rear and variable torque to the front with a continuously calculated torque distribution figure.

More importantly, this AWD system offers multiple driving modes and configurations, including (get ready for it) full-on opposite lock RWD drift mode. No, seriously, there’s a drift mode. In a 600-horsepower AWD luxury wagon from Mercedes. Ken Block who?

Speaking of multiple driving modes, the E 63 S gets individual settings for other areas of the performance as well, all of which are provided via the AMG Dynamic Select System. These settings include “Comfort,” “Sport,” “Sport +,” “Race,” and “Individual,” and should be more or less self-explanatory (“Individual” is a totally customized setting). Put the car into any one of these driving modes, and you’ll be able to feel changes in the throttle response, shifting characteristics, suspension settings, steering settings, electronic stability control, and the AWD.

Also of note is the improved traction and handling provided by the electronically controlled rear limited-slip differential. This unit reduces inside wheel slip without using the brakes, yielding better acceleration after clipping that apex, more stable high-speed braking, and more ferocious launches off the line. Mercedes says the differential makes the car easier to drive at the limit, and drivers can select from three different traction settings using the electronic stability program. These settings include “ESP On,” “ESP Sport Handling Mode,” and “ESP Off,” and they work in conjunction with the rear limited-slip differential and AWD system to maximize agility.

Finally, Mercedes is including dynamic engine mounts as standard equipment. These seek a happy balance between cushioning the driver with the connection to the drivetrain for optimum comfort, and making a harder connection for better feel when driving fast. Essentially, they offer variable stiffness levels based on conditions, handling, and inputs, and should do well to complement the rest of the tunable driving systems already mentioned.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon Engine And Performance Specs:

Engine type: 4.0-litre V8 with twin turbochargers and direct injection
Engine layout: Front-engine, AWD
Horsepower: 603 HP @ 5,750-6,500 RPM
Torque: 627 LB-FT @ 2,500-4,500 RPM
Transmission type: AMG SpeedShift nine-speed automatic
0-to-60 mph time: 3.4 seconds
Top speed: 180 mph (electronically limited)

The Competition

2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Exterior
- image 637379
2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance High Resolution Drivetrain
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Porsche Cayenne Turbo pictured on the left, Audi RS6 Avant pictured on the right.

Like the Mercedes, the Cayenne Turbo is also equipped with a twin-turbo V-8 engine, although the Porsche gets more displacement, arriving with 4.8 liters compared to the Merc’s 4.0. The front-mounted engine features all-aluminum construction, direct fuel injection and variable cam timing, but despite its larger displacement rating, the Porsche is down on peak power compared to the E 63 S Wagon, putting down 520 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque between 2,250 rpm and 4,000 rpm.

The Porsche is down on peak power compared to the E 63 S Wagon, putting down 520 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

Acceleration is clocked at a still-impressive 4.2 seconds for the 0-to-60 mph time, although you can shave a tenth off that figure with the optional Sport Chrono package. Get it and you’ll also receive a stopwatch timer feature for the infotainment system, not to mention sharper response from the engine. Top speed is rated at 173 mph. Routing the power to the electronic center differential and permanent AWD system is an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission, which will decouple the engine when coasting to help reduce fuel consumption. An automatic start/stop system and active intakes help as well, with returns looking like 14 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

Moving onto the Audi RS6 Avant Performance, the Four Rings product is also equipped with a turbocharged V-8 engine, specifically a twin-turbo 4.0-liter TFSI unit producing 597 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 516 pound-feet of torque between 1,750 rpm and 6,000 rpm. Activate the overboost function (and who doesn’t love an overboost function) and peak torque jumps to 553 pound-feet between 2,500 and 5,500 rpm.

The Four Rings product is also equipped with a turbocharged V-8 engine, this time producing 597 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Activate the overboost function (and who doesn’t love an overboost function) and peak torque jumps to 553 pound-feet between 2,500 and 5,500 rpm.

Properly applied, it’s enough muscle to push the Audi from a standstill to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph, but if you opt into the available Dynamic Package, you’ll get the limiter raised to an even-faster 189 mph. Handling the gear shifts is an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, while standard quattro AWD and a rear sports differential round out the drivetrain. Fuel consumption is rated at roughly 25 mpg, partly thanks to a cylinder deactivation system. Multiple driving modes are selectable from the driver’s seat.

If I were to choose just one of these engines and drivetrains, I’d probably go with the Mercedes as my first choice. Not only is it the fastest and most powerful of the group, but it also offers an advanced AWD system that can route all the power to the rear axle if desired.

Each of these three powerplants and drivetrains are mighty impressive. There’s a good deal of overlap between them, with all three offering turbocharged V-8 muscle, AWD grip, and a surprising amount of technology as well. But if I were to choose just one, I’d probably go with the Mercedes as my first choice. Not only is it the fastest and most powerful of the group, but it also offers an advanced AWD system that can route all the power to the rear axle if desired. Although the Merc isn’t your traditional hoon-mobile, having the option to go full opposite lock is never a bad thing. And when you toss in that characteristically grumbly AMG exhaust note too, well, I’m sold.

Audi RS6 Avant Performance Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Engine 4.0-liter V8 spark-ignition 4.8-liter V8 twin-turbo
Horsepower 597 HP @ 6,100-6,800 RPM 520 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 553 LB-FT @ 1,750-6,000 RPM 553 LB-FT @ 2,250-4,000 RPM
Transmission 8-speed tiptronic Eight-speed Tiptronic S
Drive type quattro permanent all-wheel drive with self-locking center differential All wheel drive
0 to 60 mph 3.7 seconds 4.2 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph (189 mph witht the Dynamic Package) 173 mph
Curb weight 4,299 Lbs 4,817 Lbs

Chassis And Handling

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Having a ton of power at your command is great and all, but it’s pretty useless if you can’t get the car to turn properly. To that end, the E 63 S Wagon is equipped with an all-new suspension courtesy of the engineers from AMG. Up front is a four-link set-up using forged aluminum for the wishbones, as well as the strut rod and spring link. In back, AMG decided to redesign the entire rear axle section specifically for the wagon application, which should help to keep it lively in the corners, even with AWD.

That said, the name of the game is still the pursuit of handling prowess mated with comfortable cruising. Part of the equation is the E 63 S’ three-chamber air suspension and continuously variable damping system. This offers the driver a chance to tweak the adjustable air springs with several different levels of stiffness, which are modified through either the activation or deactivation of individual air chambers.

The name of the game is still the pursuit of handling prowess mated with comfortable cruising. Part of the equation is the E 63 S’ three-chamber air suspension and continuously variable damping system.

That means you get three levels of spring tune to mess around with. These are adjustable either through the driving program, or your driving style. For example, the system will make the suspension stiffer when it detects a sudden load change, hard cornering, full-throttle acceleration, or heavy braking, and thus will compensate by minimizing the body roll from side to side, the pitch from front to back, or a combination thereof.

As previously mentioned, the multiple driving modes offer settings like “Comfort,” “Sport,” and “Sport +,” tweaking the adjustable damper settings for either maximum comfort or more enjoyment from behind the wheel. Rebound and compression are also independently adjustable, which means you can tune the settings as you see fit with the programmable characteristics map. And that’s pretty cool – usually these systems are of the “fire and forget” variety, and don’t necessarily allow the driver to get that in-depth with the various damper settings.

Rebound and compression are also independently adjustable, which means you can tune the settings as you see fit with the programmable characteristics map.

Of course, if you’re not one of those test and tuner types, you could alternatively just put it in race mode and forget about it. Because as Mercedes states, “the ‘RACE” drive program has been designed for highly dynamic driving on closed race circuits and all parameters are set for maximum performance.” Yep, sounds about right.

Further features include the minimization of torque steer through independent wheel control. Speaking of steering, directing the thing is an AMG-tuned speed-sensitive steering system, with an electromechanical set-up and a variable ratio. The power assistance it provides the driver is also variable, and is based on the current drive mode (“Comfort,” “Sport,” etc.), while also being fully adjustable in the customizable Individual mode.

Providing the stops are big brakes from AMG, featuring a plus-sized diameter and lots of fade resistance. Call it a safety feature, if you’d like.

Providing the stops are big brakes from AMG, featuring a plus-sized diameter and lots of fade resistance. Call it a safety feature, if you’d like. The discs are both ventilated and perforated, measuring in at 15.4 inches by 1.4 inches in front, with fixed six-piston calipers providing the squeeze. Move to the back and you’ll find discs measuring in at 14.2 inches by .9 inches, plus floating single-piston calipers. However, if you’re really serious about stopping, as you would be if you frequent the road course, then you’re gonna want the available AMG Ceramic Composite brakes instead. These bad boys are 15.8 inches by 1.5 inches in front and 14.2 inches by 1.3 inches in the back, and should provide you with solid stopping power lap after lap without worry.

As for the European spec non-S E 63 wagon, the front brakes are measured at 360 mm by 36 mm in front, or 14.2 inches by 1.4 inches, with fixed six-piston calipers doing the pinch. In back are discs measured at 360 mm by 24 mm, or 14.2 inch by 0.9 inches, plus single-piston floating calipers. Meanwhile, the Euro-spec S model gets the same 15.4-inch by 1.4-inch front brakes as the U.S. model.

The Competition

2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
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2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance
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Porsche Cayenne Turbo pictured on the left, Audi RS6 Avant Performance pictured on the right.

It’s no easy feat to make an enormous, tall-bodied SUV handle like a Porsche is supposed to, but the Cayenne Turbo does wonders all the same thanks to a plethora of individual handling technologies. First up is the standard Porsche traction management system, complemented by the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control system, with the latter of these systems installed to help reduce lateral body movement. Next is the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system, which varies the twist distribution between each wheel for nippier handling characteristics.

As a replacement for the standard steel suspension set-up found on the Cayenne S, the Cayenne Turbo models instead use an active air suspension system. The Porsche’s air ride can raise the ride height and offers a self-level feature, and interestingly, it’ll actually give drivers a degree of off-roading capability thanks to specific settings for the traction control, ABS, and fully locking AWD system. There’s even the option for underbody protection if you wanna go full Dakar mode. Beyond the off-roading spec, the air suspension is outfitted with continuous damping and lots of adjustability to maximize cornering. There’s also speed-dependent steering, while Michelin tires make it stick.

2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
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2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance
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The Porsche’s air ride can raise the ride height and offers a self-level feature, and interestingly, it’ll actually give drivers a degree of off-roading capability.

Finally, to help it put a stop to all that mass, the Cayenne Turbo is offered with a Ceramic Composite Braking system. Standard fitment includes six-piston calipers with 390 mm (15.4-inch) rotors in front, plus 4-piston fixed calipers with 358 mm (14.1-inch) rotors in the rear.

Like the other two vehicles profiled here, the Audi RS6 Avant Performance is also equipped with an adaptive air suspension system. This is included in the standard five-link suspension set-up found for the front of the car, as well as the trapezoidal link used in the rear. Both the front and rear suspension set-ups use copious amounts of aluminum to help cut into the car’s curb weight. Alternatively, you can replace the squishier air suspension with the optional sports suspension system, which tosses the air ride in favor of more traditional components made from steel. The sports suspension option also makes the ride significantly firmer.

For the Audi, you can replace the squishier air suspension with the optional sports suspension system, which tosses the air ride in favor of more traditional components made from steel.

Controlling it all is the Audi drive select system. If you decide to keep the adaptive air components and put the drive select system in the sportiest setting, it’ll drop the car’s ride height by almost a full inch (0.8 inches, to be exact). The multiple drive modes are also capable of changing settings for the steering, transmission, and rear sport differential, which should have a significant impact on the way the car behaves in the corners. Options include a dynamic steering system for even quicker ratios if you need it, or you can just deactivate all the electronic nannies, such as the electronic stability control, if you prefer it like that.

Throwing the anchor is an RS-specific braking system, which includes six-piston calipers and 15.4 inch discs at each of the four corners. Per usual, you can get your Audi with the available carbon ceramic brakes as well, which will reduce weight and increase fade resistance. The tires are 285/30R21 rubber stretched over alloy wheels equipped with locking wheel bolts.

I’m partial to the Mercedes, especially when you consider it offers the potential for RWD shenanigans in drift mode. What’s more, the Audi’s stiffer sport suspension is inevitably a compromise buyers probably won’t wanna make.

Straight out the gates, the Porsche is at a disadvantage thanks to its hulking size, and while it’s not a bad thing that it offers a little extra off-roading prowess compared to the two wagons, this isn’t really a segment where rock crawling abilities make or break an entry.

With that out of the way, the Mercedes and RS6 are well matched when it comes to throwing down on the racetrack. Both offer impressive handling considering their size and weight, with air ride suspension components, beefy brakes, lots of bracing, and a good amount of adaptability for both camps.

However, even though the Audi offers option steel sports suspension components, I’m partial to the Mercedes, especially when you consider it offers the potential for RWD shenanigans in drift mode. What’s more, the Audi’s stiffer sport suspension is inevitably a compromise buyers probably won’t wanna make. The idea of a high-performance luxury wagon is that you can do it all – load it up with stuff, sling around at high speed, and cruise in comfort, and if you take that last characteristic out of the equation, you’re missing a lot.

Safety and Convenience


As with any high-end luxury vehicle these days, the AMG E63 S Wagon is equipped with a suite of safety and convenience technologies. Starting things off is the Intelligent Drive system with Drive pilot, which offers a semi-automatic traffic jam assist with a stop and go feature. There’s also an adaptive cruise control feature that can match the velocity of the car ahead at speeds up to 130 mph, which is honestly a bit pointless if you happen to be living on a different continent than the autobahn, but I digress.

There’s also tech like automatic emergency braking and a steering pilot. The speed limit pilot will be able to detect the posted speed limit using an outward facing camera system, and let you know how fast you’re supposed to be going via the driver’s information display. Active brake assist helps when you go for the binders in a panic, while attention assist let’s you know when to pull over for a rest. The remote parking pilot will guide your car in and out of tight spaces.

There’s also an adaptive cruise control feature that can match the velocity of the car ahead at speeds up to 130 mph, which is honestly a bit pointless if you happen to be living on a different continent than the autobahn, but I digress.

The E 63 S will likely get all the other associated technologies found on the sedan version, so check out the full review by clicking here.

Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has rated the AMG E 63 S in terms of crash worthiness, but the IIHS did give the 2016 E-Class sedan its top “Good” in every category, as well as its Top Safety Pick+ award. Check it out here.

The Competition

The Cayenne also gets a variety of safety systems and technology. There’s a Dynamic Lighting System, which will adjust the headlight beam level up and down as well as angle it around corners, and there’s adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane change assist, a surround view camera system, and parking assist. Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has rated the Porsche Cayenne.

As for the Audi, safety and convenience features include cruise control, automatic headlights and windshield wipers, keyless entry, and the usual lineup of electronic aides (stability control, anti-lock brakes, etc.). And since it’s only sold in Europe, stateside crash ratings obviously don’t apply.

Prices

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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In Europe, you’ll be able to order the E 63 S 4Matic+ Estate “Edition 1,” which will be available one year after the standard model is launched. The Edition 1 will be covered in either design selenite grey magno paint, or an optional hue called design night black magno. It also gets the AMG Night package, which should include the same gear issued with the Night Packages for the C63 coupe and GLE. That means glossy black for the front fascia elements, grille, and side-view mirrors, a larger rear diffuser, and a custom AMG exhaust. There’s also light grey striping above the side skirts, plus 20-inch 7-twin spoke forged AMG wheels finished in matte black with a polished rim.

Inside, the Edition 1 adds AMG performance seats covered in black nappa leather and yellow top stitching for the AMG steering wheel, dash, door panels, center console, floor mats, and clock. Dinamica coverings are used for the unique steering wheel, which is complete with an“Edition 1” badge and a black top center mark. Carbon fiber trim is used throughout.

The Edition 1, Euro-spec non-S E 63 wagon, and U.S.-bound E 63 S wagon will debut at the Geneva Motor Show this coming March.

Sales will commence in the U.S. this fall, with European sales ramping up in April with an official market launch in June.

As for pricing, the AMG E 63 S Wagon is expected to carry a small premium over the sedan. That means if the sedan is roughly $102,000, the wagon should slot in around $105,000.

The Competition

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo starts at $116,500, while the Audi RS6 Avant Performance starts at 117,000 euros, which converts to $124,716 at current exchange rates (02/09/2017).

Porsche Cayenne Turbo $116,500
Audi RS6 Avant Performance 117,000 euro ($124,716 at current exchange rates)

Other Options

BMW M5 Touring

2019 BMW M5 Touring Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 685433

While BMW doesn’t actually make an M5 wagon, rumor has it the Bavarians will indeed add a more practical iteration of its midsize street bruiser in the near future. Maybe. Outside, the styling will look quite similar to its four-door counterpart, while the interior will be laden with luxury. But the party piece lies under the hood, where roughly 600 turbocharged horses are pumped out thanks to a V-8 powerplant.

Read our speculative review on the upcoming BMW M5 Touring here.

Volvo V90 Polestar T8

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 702603

This is another “what if,” but it’s definitely within the realm of possibility. The Volvo V90 is a superb luxury wagon, packing tons of cutting-edge techno goodies, luxury, and good looks. Making it go is a variety of powerplants, but the one we’re interested in is the T8 – a twin-charged (supercharged and turbocharged) hybrid 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 400 horsepower. If we’re lucky, Volvo’s performance division, Polestar, will have a go with it and bless it with even more go.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Okay, so I have a confession to make – I actually own a high-performance wagon. So yeah, I’m a little biased when it comes to choosing between a high-riding SUV or car-like wagon body style, so take that for what it’s worth.

That said, the physical benefits of putting something lower to the ground with less metal are pretty obvious when talking about speed, and in that respect, the high-performance wagon looks like quite the winner.

The Europeans have known this for some time now, and thankfully, Mercedes has seen fit to give us a taste with the AMG E 63 S Wagon. This thing is endlessly practical, hugely comfortable, and monstrously quick. Hopefully, more stateside models will see the light and expand the segment. Audi, I’m looking at you.

  • Leave it
    • * Wagons are a dying breed
    • * Very expensive
    • * Will anyone wanna take a six-figure Mercedes wagon to the track?

Press Release

In the new E 63 4MATIC+* Estate and E 63 S 4MATIC+* Estate, Mercedes‑AMG combines the brand’s hallmark Driving Performance with high utility value and the intelligence of the E‑Class. As in the Saloon, the 4.0‑litre V8 biturbo engine with an output of up to 450 kW (612 hp) and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive deliver outstanding driving dynamics. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds sets a new record in this class. At the same time the engine is now even more efficient thanks to a cylinder deactivation system fitted as standard.

Like the Saloon, the E 63 4MATIC Estate and E 63 S 4MATIC+ Estate offer innovative drive technology and outstanding performance coupled with a unique design, exclusive appointments and the latest infotainment features for a wide range of connected multimedia applications.

The new Estate boasts even more agile response than its predecessor: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) 9‑s peed sports transmission is combined with a wet clutch. Another highlight is the new AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system, which combines the advantages of various drive configurations. Torque distribution on the front and rear axles, which is fully variable for the first time, ensures optimum traction in all road conditions.

"The new AMG E 63 Estate combines our brand’s hallmark driving dynamics with high everyday practicality. It is not for nothing that the model has been a permanent fixture in the AMG portfolio for 40 years. The powerful engine and the intelligent all-wheel drive underpin our claim to always be at the forefront of development when it comes to performance," states Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Exterior design

Every detail of the exterior is designed to enable AMG Driving Performance to be experienced at first hand from every perspective. The distinctive, sporty design of the front end forward of the A-pillar demonstrates the lengths AMG goes to when it comes to development: For the first time on an AMG estate, the bonnet is inset between the wings and bumper like on a coupé, thus exhibiting an entirely new, more dynamic approach to the sculpting. More powerful-looking and 27 millimetres wider, the wheel arches accommodate the greater track width and the larger wheels on the front axle.

A wide front apron inspired by the design of a jet wing, with flics in black and a large front splitter, impressively epitomises the power of the new models. It also showcases the sophisticated cooling technology – a typical feature from motorsport and another visual reference to the powerful engine.

The side sill panels make the estate appear to sit lower on the road and elongate the overall line, culminating in a muscular rear end with an apron insert sporting a diffuser look and the two high-gloss chrome-plated twin tailpipe trims of the exhaust system. The hallmark AMG V8 sound has been tuned specifically for the Estate model.

Designers and aerodynamics experts worked closely together to develop the E 63 4MATIC+ Estate. Their insights not only resulted in the striking AMG bodystyling but also the performance-oriented lift balance – for agile handling characteristics on country roads and optimum driving stability at high speed on the motorway.

The new E 63 4MATIC+ Estate likewise sets standards in its segment when it comes to everyday practicality: boasting a capacity of 640 to 1820 litres, its boot is the largest in the performance estate segment. The rear seat back comes as standard with a new cargo-related functionality: it can be positioned at a 10-degree steeper angle. This creates an additional 30 litres of cargo volume while continuing to enable full use to be made of five seats. In addition, the rear seat back can be folded down in a 40:20:40 split. Unlocking is electric.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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New peak of performance: 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with twin-scroll turbochargers

The versatile AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine in the E 63 S 4MATIC+ Estate takes peak output to a new level at 450 kW (612 hp). The maximum torque of 850 Nm is likewise a new high. It is available over a broad engine speed range of 2500 to 4500 rpm and so provides a feeling of effortless superiority in every accelerator pedal position. The E 63 4MATIC+ Estate is rated at 420 kW (571 hp) and has 750 Nm of torque. The S version completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, the E 63 4MATIC+ in 3.6 seconds.

The standard-fit AMG Cylinder Management and a number of other measures make the new performance estate exceptionally efficient: with a combined fuel consumption of 9.1 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 206 grams per kilometre (combined), both engine variants set a new best by comparison with their competitors. Twin-scroll turbochargers are installed for the first time to further enhance the performance and response of the AMG 4.0-litre V8 engine. They reduce the exhaust gas backpressure and optimise the gas cycle, resulting in higher output, exceptionally spontaneous response and higher torque at low revs.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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AMG Performance 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel drive

Both estate models come with the innovative AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all‑wheel-drive system fitted as standard. This newly engineered, intelligent system brings together the advantages of various drive configurations: torque distribution on the front and rear axles, which is fully variable for the first time, ensures optimum traction on any surface. The driver can rely on a high level of handling safety.

An electromechanically controlled coupling connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque distribution is calculated continuously. The performance estate can thus be driven in a continuously variable way from traction-oriented all-wheel drive to purely rear-wheel drive. In addition to traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel-drive system also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Short shift times, high efficiency: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission is specially tuned to the requirements of both models, featuring re-engineered hardware and software. The software enables extremely short shift times and fast multiple downshifts while the double-clutching function makes for an emotive gearshifting experience. A wet clutch replaces the torque converter. It saves weight and optimises response, especially when accelerating or coming off the power.

For a personalised experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs

The four different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport Plus" and "Individual" allow drivers to extensively influence the characteristics of the E 63 Estate. Key parameters are modified - such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP® and all-wheel-drive system. Independently of the drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are performed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. Individual suspension settings can be selected as required. The S version also comes with the "RACE" drive program for highly dynamic driving on closed race circuits. Here all parameters are set for maximum performance.

Specially developed suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics

The agility and the high cornering speeds of the new models are down to the all‑new AMG suspension with full-support multi-chamber air suspension, which ensures exceptionally high levels of camber stability, driving dynamics and steering precision.

A four-link front axle design uses forged aluminium components with wishbones, strut rod and spring link. Independent wheel control and wheel suspension parts enable higher lateral acceleration, but minimal torque steer on the steering system. The likewise model-specific, completely redesigned rear axle was specially adapted to the higher vehicle dynamics. The suspension thus ensures hallmark E-Class comfort with high levels of precision and driving dynamics.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Personalised driving experience thanks to three-chamber air suspension system

Thanks to a sporty spring and damper set-up and continuously variable damping, the new three-chamber air suspension system combines exemplary driving dynamics with excellent road roar and tyre vibration characteristics. The stiffness of the air springs can be adjusted over a wide range by activating or deactivating individual air chambers, which tangibly enhances comfort and handling.

There are three degrees of spring tuning, depending on the selected drive program and current driving status. The spring rate is hardened automatically in the event of sudden load changes, fast cornering, heavy acceleration or heavy braking, which effectively reduces roll and pitching while stabilising the performance estate.

The adaptive damping can be set in three stages – “Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus” – to choose between relaxed comfort on long journeys and maximum sportiness. The rebound and compression levels are adjusted independently of each other, and the freely programmable characteristics map permits a wide spread between the minimum and maximum damper force. The difference between the comfortable and sporty suspension setting is more refined and is clearly perceptible – depending on the driving style.

Rear differential lock: optimum traction

For improved traction and vehicle dynamics, the E 63 4MATIC+ Estate has a mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential, while the S model comes with an electronically controlled version. Both differentials reduce the slip on the inside wheel when cornering, without control interventions in the braking system. The driver is able to accelerate out of bends earlier and more powerfully. The car remains more stable when braking from high speeds, the limited-slip differential improves traction when moving off.

The greatest benefit of the electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential is the even more sensitive and proactive control, which pushes the thresholds higher and makes it easier to drive at the vehicle’s limits. The three-stage ESP® with "ESP ON", "ESP SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" settings works in precise unison with the rear-axle limited-slip differential and the all-wheel drive, and is optimally tuned to the outstanding dynamics.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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E 63 S 4MATIC+ with dynamic engine mounts as standard

Uniquely in this segment, the E 63 S 4MATIC+ Estate is fitted with dynamic engine mounts, which solve the conflicting goals of achieving as soft a connection as possible to the powertrain for high comfort and as rigid a connection as possible for optimum driving dynamics. The dynamic mounts are quickly and variably able to adapt their stiffness to the driving conditions and requirements. These measures enhance the vehicle’s precision when driven dynamically, while the soft setting increases comfort tangibly.

Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering

Both models feature electromechanical speed-sensitive sports steering with a variable ratio, which impresses thanks to the rack ratio with precise and authentic feedback. Steering power assistance is variably adjusted in the stages "Comfort", "Sport" or "Sport Plus". The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT drive program or can be personalised in "Individual" mode. The driver does not need to steer much at low speeds while at high speed he or she is able to rely on solid straight-line stability.

Good sensitivity and fade-resistant: the AMG high-performance braking system

The large-sized high-performance compound braking system is reliable, quick and fade-resistant, even under high loads. There are internally ventilated and perforated compound brake discs in size 360 x 36 mm at the front with six-piston fixed callipers and in size 360 x 24 mm with single-piston floating brake callipers on the rear axle.

The S version is fitted with even larger compound brake discs on the front axle in size 390 x 36 mm. Plus there is an AMG Carbon Ceramic braking system available as an option, with brake discs in size 402 x 39 mm on the front axle and 360 x 32 mm on the rear axle.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Interior
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Sporty characteristics: the interior design

The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. The AMG performance steering wheel in black nappa leather is ideal for a sporty driving style. The driver and front passenger enjoy a secure position in the front sports seats, whatever the driving style, thanks to the improved lateral support. AMG performance seats with integral head restraints can be ordered as an option. The interior of the S version has been further refined and includes a nappa leather trim for the dashboard and beltlines as well as seat belts in crystal grey and a steering wheel with grey 12-o’clock marking.

All of the important information appears within the driver’s field of vision on the AMG instrument cluster. Dials in a carbon-fibre look and the distinctive typography lend the displays an especially sporty touch. The widescreen multifunction display with two monitors comes as standard in the S version, otherwise it is available as an option. With the widescreen display, the driver can choose from three display designs unique to AMG: Classic, Sport and Progressive.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Drivetrain
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Intelligent Drive

The E 63 4MATIC+ Estate and the S version feature all the connectivity and Intelligent Drive functions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate, such as DRIVE PILOT to assist the driver with semi-automated driving in traffic jams or on routine trips.

In addition to the standard functions of Mercedes me connect, Remote Online (included as standard with COMAND Online) offers a range of convenience features via smartphone. New functions include the Concierge Service with personal services such as weather and stock-market information, route recommendations, or suggestions for sporting or cultural activities. The required navigation data is transmitted straight to the vehicle. This service is free of charge for the first year.

Even more exclusivity: the E 63 S 4MATIC+ Estate "Edition 1"

From launch, the E 63 S 4MATIC+ Estate will be available as the exclusively configured "Edition 1" for around one year. The paintwork in designo selenite grey magno or optionally in designo night black magno and the AMG Night package further enhance the car’s powerful aura while the light grey stripes above the side sill panels emphasise the elongated side line to full effect. Added to this are the AMG 20-inch 7-twin-spoke forged wheels, painted in matt black with high-gloss polished rim flange.

AMG performance seats in black nappa leather with yellow top stitching create an exceptionally sporty ambience in the interior, which is further enhanced by the colour-coordinated yellow highlights on the AMG performance sports steering wheel, upper part of the dashboard, door panels, centre console, AMG floor mats and analogue clock in IWC design. The sports steering wheel in black DINAMICA microfibre features "Edition 1" lettering and a 12-o’clock marking in black. Carbon-fibre trim elements further enhance the exciting juxtaposition of colours and materials.

The world premiere of the two performance estate models will be at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017. Sales release is in April 2017, with the market launch scheduled to start in June 2017.

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