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2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+ review

After being in the shadow of the BMW M5, can the latest Mercedes-AMG super saloon topple to king and claim the performance saloon crown?

Introduction

If you’re a car enthusiast but have wanted an executive saloon to get around in, then the BMW M5 probably has been the car at the top of your list for the last few years – with Audi and Mercedes coming a close second.

But Mercedes-AMG believe that its latest version of the E 63 is its best yet and could topple the mighty M5, which has dominated the super saloon market for so very long.

The standard E 63 is one thing, but the E 63 S we have here is a different kettle of fish, coming with all the dynamic features to make it as exciting and earth-shatteringly quick as possible.

So, can Mercedes-AMG finally throw down the gauntlet to BMW and take over the performance sedan segment? We take a look…

Performance

Headlining the E 63 S is a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, producing and mind-boggling. 604bhp and 840Nm. The sprint to 60mph is over in 3.1 seconds and it has a limited top speed of 155mph – although that can be upped to 186mph with options. That power is driven through all four wheels and a nine-speed automatic AMG transmission. Despite all this power, the E 63 S can go from being completely savage to perfectly liveable on the road – helping this saloon be great for the everyday commute.

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Ride & Handling

If you’re after a car that can be both a comfortable cruiser and a sledgehammer at the flick of a switch, then look no further. In comfort mode, the adaptive suspension is supple and soaks up bumps and ruts in the road with no issues all – as well as blunting the super-sharp throttle response and sporty steering.

But put it in sport mode and it becomes a hardened super saloon that can munch twisty or straight tarmac without a moment’s hesitation. The suspension stiffens up to reduce roll and aid grip, while the steering and throttle response are both much sharper so you can get the most out of the car whenever you need it. For the everyday, comfort mode is perfect, but if you want to let loose and see what the E 63 S can do, switch it to sport and plant your foot to the floor.

Interior & Equipment

It’s a Mercedes-AMG, so comfort and premium features are near-enough guaranteed, and with the E 63 S, you get it all. That includes a widescreen cockpit display stretching from behind the wheel and across the central dash, along with Nappa leather upholstery on the figure-hugging sports seats.

Leather is also used to trim the dashboard and sports multifunction steering wheel, while aluminium is deployed as further decoration around the dash and equipment. Automatic air conditioning, 20-inch alloy wheels, AMG body styling and a dual twin-exhaust setup at the rear are also all included.

You won’t be lacking practicality, as the E 63 S comes with 640 litres of boot space in the standard layout, while an additional 1,180 litres can be made available with the rear seats folded down.

For passengers, the E 63 S is just as accommodating as the standard E-Class – meaning plenty of leg and headroom for people in the back even with taller occupants in the front.

Cost

Where the E 63 S falls down a bit is on its price, as the saloon version starts from £89,290. But consider the fact that you’re getting what is potentially the best road car right now, which is also fitted with all of the equipment you could possibly need – and the price doesn’t seem too bad.

Running costs can be a bit high, as it runs on a quoted 31mpg and emits 207g/km CO2 – which means plenty of fuel stops and high road tax costs. But if you can afford to buy this model from new, the likelihood is that you can more than afford to run it too.

Verdict

In the past, the M5 was the only option in the super saloon market – but not anymore. The E 63 S is quite an impressive car to say the least and if you want something that can switch from a comfortable GT to tarmac-hungry monster, then look no further. It is an excellent all-rounder, as it is practical, great to drive and very cool. It is safe to say that the crown for the super saloon can be placed on the E 63 S’ head.

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