It falls not to us to say whether the world needs a 603bhp saloon car, or even a 563bhp one, or whether buying one in general is a sensible thing to do.
Surprise, surprise, though, the E 63, or the E 63 S, aren’t cheap cars – the standard E 63 is pricier than the equivalent M5, although a standard Audi RS6 will end up costing you a few grand more and the Porsche Turbo is dearer still. We would draw the line at spending the extra that’s required to move up to the E 63 S, though.
Running costs will also be steep, as they will be for its rivals. Thanks to cylinder shutdown and other clever tech, Mercedes has managed to deliver a claimed 31.0mpg combined figure for the E 63, but if you make use of those turbochargers liberally then you can forget getting anywhere near that. You’ll also need deep pockets to run one as a company car, bearing in mind that lofty list price and CO2 emissions of 207 g/km.
Still, you do get plenty of toys. Starting with the E 63 we’re talking fitments such as 19in alloy wheels, unique AMG bumpers and side skirts, a limited slip differential, electrically adjustable, heated sports front seats combined with an electrically adjustable steering column all with memory function. Then there’s the 12.3in infotainment screen including sat-nav, a further 12.3in screen housing those digital instruments, Nappa leather seat trim, a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors and LED headlights.
The E 63 S adds mostly mechanical bits, starting of course with its extra power, but also dynamic engine mounts, 20in alloy wheels and an electronically controlled limited slip rear differential instead of the E 63’s mechanical version. Inside you get bucket-style racing seats and Nappa leather covering the upper dashboard – in the E 63 this is faux leather.
Euro NCAP awarded the E-Class its top five-star crash-test rating, with a particularly high score for adult occupancy protection. And it should prevent you having a crash thanks to standard active safety kit such as automatic emergency city braking.
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