What a great time to be a car enthusiast with a family. Once upon a time the two weren’t so mutually exclusive, but now we have crazy beasts like this AMG-tuned long-roof Merc that is as practical as it is insane. We got a preview of the bonkers Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon back in February, but seeing it dressed in white for its official debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, this family estate has all the makings of an epic sleeper-in-waiting.
For those who missed our E63 S estate preview, here’s the background on this car’s split personality. It packs the same 603hp biturbo V8 and nine-speed dual-clutch automatic from the AMG E63 saloon. That engine also produces 627lb ft of torque, so it’s not like you’ll need to constantly shift to find the Merc’s ample power band. 4Matic all-wheel drive is standard and can shuffle power anywhere its needed, but AMG engineers figure drivers will generally want the thrust out back because in normal operation, that’s where most of the horses end up.
And yes, there is full-on drift mode that can be engaged through a relatively simple set of steps. Entering drift mode completely absolves the front wheels from accelerative duties, giving drivers a tyre-shredding luxury wagon that will do more donuts than it can carry. And it can carry a lot.
Mercedes says the E63 S Wagon will hit 60mph in 3.4 seconds, en-route to a top speed that’s electronically limited to 180mph because, presumably, going any faster encourages irresponsible parenting. Besides, that’s what drift mode is for.
Deliveries are expected to start in August and, although pricing is yet to be confirmed, it won’t be cheap. Considering it’s a practical everyday supercar disguised as a librarian, we say it'll be worth every penny.
Gallery: 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon
In the new E63 S Wagon, Mercedes-AMG combines the brand's hallmark Driving Performance with high utility value and the intelligence of the E-Class. As in the E63 S Sedan, the hand-crafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine with an output of up to 603 hp and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive deliver outstanding driving dynamics. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 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 E63 S Sedan, the E63 S Wagon offers 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 Wagon boasts even more agile response than its predecessor: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) 9-speed sport 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 E63 Wagon 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, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Technical data at a glance
E63 S Wagon
Hand-crafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo
603 hp at 5,750–6,500 rpm
627 lb-ft at 2,500–4,500 rpm
AMG Performance 4MATIC+ permanent all-wheel drive with variable torque distribution and drift mode
AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed
Acceleration 0-60 mph
180 mph (electronically limited)
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 wagon, the hood is inset between the fenders and bumper like on a coupe, thus exhibiting an entirely new, more dynamic approach to the sculpting. More powerful-looking and 1.1-inches wider, the wheel arches accommodate the greater track width and the larger wheels on the front axle.
A wide front bumper inspired by the design of a jet wing, with flics in black and a large front splitter, impressively epitomises the power of the new E63 S Wagon. It also showcases sophisticated cooling technology – a typical feature from motorsport and another visual reference to the powerful engine.
The side sill panels make the wagon appear to sit lower on the road and elongate the overall line, culminating in a muscular rear end with an bumper 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 Wagon model.
Designers and aerodynamics experts worked closely together to develop the E63 S Wagon. 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 E63 S Wagon likewise sets standards in its segment when it comes to everyday practicality: boasting a generous 35 cu.ft. (SAE) of trunk capacity with the second row of seats upright, its trunk is the largest in the performance wagon segment. The rear seat back comes as standard with a new cargo-related functionality: it can be positioned at a 10-degree steeper angle creating even more usable trunk space. In addition, the rear seat back can be folded down in a 40:20:40 split.
New peak of performance: Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine with twin-scroll turbochargers
The versatile Hand-crafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine in the E63 S Wagon takes peak output to a new level at 603 hp. The maximum torque of 627 lb-ft is likewise a new high. It is available over a broad engine speed range of 2,500 to 4,500 rpm and so provides a feeling of effortless superiority in every accelerator pedal position. The E63 S Wagon completes the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds.
The standard-fit AMG Cylinder Management and a number of other measures make the new performance wagon exceptionally efficient. Twin-scroll turbochargers are installed for the first time to further enhance the performance and response of the AMG 4.0-liter V8 engine. They reduce the exhaust gas backpressure and optimize the gas cycle, resulting in higher output, exceptionally spontaneous response and higher torque at low revs.
AMG Performance 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel drive
The E63 S wagon comes 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 wagon 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.
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 the E63 S Wagon, and features re-engineered hardware and software. The software enables extremely short shift times and fast multiple downshifts, while the double-clutching function makes for an emotional gearshifting experience. A wet clutch replaces the torque converter, saving weight and optimizing response, especially when accelerating.
For a personalised experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs
The E63 S Wagon comes equipped with five different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs: "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport +," "RACE" and "Individual." These modes allow drivers to extensively influence the characteristics of the E63 S Wagon. Key parameters are modified - such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP® and all-wheel-drive system. Independent of the drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual shifting mode, in which gearshifts are performed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. Individual suspension settings can be selected as required. The "RACE" drive program has been designed for highly dynamic driving on closed race circuits and all parameters are set for maximum performance.
Specially developed suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics
The agility and high cornering speeds of the new E63 S Wagon are attributable to the all-new AMG suspension with full-support multi-chamber air suspension. This suspension 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.
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 tire vibration characteristics. The stiffness of the air springs can be adjusted over a wide range by activating or deactivating individual air chambers, which 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 wagon.
The adaptive damping can be set in three stages – "Comfort," "Sport" and Sport +" – 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 settings are refined and are clearly perceptible.
Rear differential lock: optimum traction
For improved traction and vehicle dynamics, the E63 S Wagon comes with an electronically controlled rear limited slip differential. The electronically-controlled limited slip differential reduces slip on the inside wheel when cornering without braking system intervention, resulting in the ability to accelerate out of bends earlier and more powerfully. Additionally, this limited-slip unit allows the E63 S Wagon to remain more stable when braking from high speeds and improves traction when moving off.
The greatest benefit of the electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential is the sensitive and proactive control it allows, 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 system, and is optimally tuned for outstanding dynamics.
E63 S 4MATIC+ with dynamic engine mounts as standard
Uniquely in this segment, the E63 S Wagon 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 engine mounts are quickly and variably able to adapt their stiffness to the driving conditions and handling requirements. These measures enhance the vehicle's precision when driven dynamically, while the soft setting increases comfort.
Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
The E63 S Wagon features 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." Relevant steering feel characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program or can be personalised in "Individual" mode.
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. The E63 S Wagon is fitted with internally ventilated and perforated 15.4" x 1.4" compound brake discs on the front axle with six-piston fixed callipers. In the rear, 14.2" x .9" discs and single-piston floating brake callipers are equipped.
Optionally available is an AMG Ceramic Composite braking system, with 15.8" x 1.5" brake discs in on the front axle and and 14.2" x 1.3" discs on the rear axle.
Sporty characteristics: the interior design
The interior of the E63 S Wagon 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 sport seats, whatever the driving style, thanks to improved lateral support. AMG Performance Seats with integral head restraints can be ordered as an option. Additional interior touches include nappa leather trim for the dashboard and beltlines, seat belts available in crystal grey and a steering wheel with a grey ‘12-o'clock’ marking.
All important speed, safety and performance information appears within the driver's field of vision on the standard-fitment dual-12.3"screen digital instrument cluster. Gauges in a carbon-fiber look and distinctive typography lend the displays an especially sporty touch. The widescreen display also allows the driver can choose from three display designs unique to AMG: "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive."
The E63 S Wagon features all the connectivity and Intelligent Drive functions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon, such as DRIVE PILOT, which assists the driver with semi-automated driving in traffic jams or on routine trips.
The world premiere of the E63 S wagon will take place at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2017.
The E63 S Wagon is scheduled to be on-sale in the US by fall of this year.
More information about Mercedes-Benz is available online at www.media.mbusa.com.