2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate first drive: Jekyll and Hyde

There are cars that are fast and cars that are practical, but few that are both. Imagine if your family runabout could sprint to 60 in the blink of an eye, sound like thunder and turn its tyres to smoke just moments after dropping the kids to school. The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate might just be the paradox of your dreams.

2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate

First Impressions

From a distance you could easily mistake its boxy silhouette for any other family workhorse, but a few steps closer reveals a machine that’s gone from geography teacher to hitman. Swollen wheel arches, muscular creases, deep grills – it’s undergone the full AMG treatment, and it’s not just an everyday E-Class wearing its pants on the outside, either.

This distilled aggression is backed up by a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 packing 603bhp and 627lb ft of torque. That makes it more potent than a Lamborghini Huracan. All of that grunt is channeled to the Tarmac via a nine-speed automatic gearbox and, for the first time on an E63, all-wheel drive. With a 0-62mph time of just 3.5 seconds, the AMG metamorphosis is more than skin-deep.

2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate
2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate

Reading those headline figures you would be forgiven for forgetting that the E63 Estate is actually ideal for taking your dog to the beach. A vast 640-litre boot is much larger than that of an Alpina B5 Wagon. The practicality continues with loads of space for the outermost rear passengers, although the middle occupant will have to straddle a large transmission hump.

Amongst the plush finishes and widescreen displays ...