2013 Mercedes E63 AMG S review

* Most powerful E-Class saloon driven * Limited-slip diff and 577bhp; 0-62mph in 4.1sec * On sale now, priced from £84,090...

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG S review

The 2013 Mercedes E63 AMG S is the quickest saloon in the company’s line-up, combining four-door family space and practicality with supercar pace.

Like the standard E63, the S stands out from regular E-Class models with its heavily sculpted front and rear bumpers, double twin exhaust tailpipes and 19-inch alloy wheels.

However, it also gets a boost in power over the normal E63, along with a limited-slip differential and more cosmetic tweaks.

We're big fans of the regular E63, but is the S good enough to warrant its £10,000 price premium?

What’s the 2013 Mercedes E63 AMG S like to drive?

The modest power hike is a selling point of this range-topping S model.  If you’re lapping a race track, you might be able to find an extra few tenths of a second but in reality the extra 27bhp and 59lb ft of torque isn’t noticeable on the road.

That’s not to say this isn’t a seriously quick car. 0-62mph takes just 4.1 seconds (quicker than a Porsche 911 Carrera S) and the acceleration doesn’t start to wane until you’re in licence-losing territory. It’s all accompanied by a spectacular soundtrack, too; a deep bellow at low revs becomes a full blown howl as the revs build.

Using the S’s power output isn’t quite as enjoyable as you’d hope, though, mainly because of the standard seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox.

Only if you tickle the throttle gently will you be able to make the E63 AMG S pull away smoothly. Any urgency from your right foot produces a significant hesitation from the gearbox, before the car surges forward violently. It’s a frustrating issue; switching to any of the other gear shift modes does nothing to diminish the delay.

Once you’re on the move, the S model’s standard mechanical diff means that traction over patchy roads and through fast corners is better than in the standard E63. That said, you can get the same diff as an option on the regular AMG for a price of £2580.

The ride is firm, but perfectly acceptable given the performance on offer. The adjustable suspension is best left in Comfort on most roads, as the Sport and Sport Plus settings can make the ride feel even more unforgiving over rutted surfaces.

These settings can be useful on particularly fast, smooth roads, though, because they reduce body roll. The E63’s steering always feels precise and well weighted to your inputs and speed.

Overall refinement is also very good; wind noise is well-suppressed, although road noise is intrusive on the motorway.

What’s the 2013 Mercedes E63 AMG S like inside?

The E-Class is a five-seater, but in reality the transmission tunnel cuts into passenger space, so it’s only good for four on long journeys. There’s plenty of leg- and headroom for those rear passengers though, even if they’re six-footers.

There’s plenty of room for luggage, too. In estate guise, the E-Class is just about the best load-lugger around but even the saloon’s 540 litres of boot space is impressive compared with rivals'.

There’s no doubt that the S’s cabin looks special, but you’ll find some of the materials feel cheaper than the price tag suggests. Be careful if you’re ticking boxes on the options list – it’s easy to spend more than £100,000, at which point there are better cars to choose from.

Electric adjustable heated seats, a sat-nav, nine airbags, automatic light and wipers, Bluetooth and a DAB radio are all included.

The E63 AMG S also features a plush leather interior, climate control, panoramic sunroof, brushed aluminium pedals and a 14-speaker surround-sound system. The only additions to the standard AMG car in the cabin are some LED lights in the door sills and S badging on the instrument dials.

Should I buy one?

The E63 AMG S is spacious, well-equipped and astonishingly fast. However, so is the non-S version, which we already rate highly, especially as an estate.

Put simply, it’s not worth spending the extra £10k for what amounts to little more than bragging rights.

What Car? says…


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Mercedes-AMG E63 S

Engine size 5.5-litre V8 turbo petrol

Price from £84,090

Power 577bhp

Torque 590lb ft

0-62mph 4.1 seconds

Top speed 155mph

Fuel economy 28.5mpg

CO2 232g/km