On paper, the Mercedes-AMG E 63 is one of those cars that makes you question how much power you really need - it’s an executive saloon with the same amount of shove as a supercar.
Does any five-seat saloon really need so much? Well, to compete with the likes of the Porsche Panamera Turbo and BMW M5 , AMG - the performance arm of Mercedes-Benz - certainly seems to think so. Under the bonnet of the E63 is a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, good for 563bhp in the regular version and a whopping 603bhp in the S model.
UK versions of the old E 63 were rear-wheel drive only, but now, with all that mighty power to deal with, four-wheel drive is standard. It’s all channelled through a nine-speed automatic gearbox, and while most of the time only the rear wheels are actually driven, under hard acceleration, when traction is at a premium, anything up to half of the power is diverted to the front wheels for greater stability. There are some obvious design tweaks, too – the E 63 is marginally wider and beefier-looking than a regular E-Class.
Read on over the next few pages to see if you really do need so much power, and to see how the E 63 compares with its rivals.