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Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ driven in Portugal

By RIZAL JOHAN | 16 February 2017


If you are an automaker, can you make a car that has everything? Mercedes-AMG’s response would - be the all-new E 63 4MATIC+, which comes close because there’s one thing it can’t do yet . . . drive itself.

But as I found out on the twisty hill roads of the Algarve region in southern Portugal, you NEED to drive this car.

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How else can you describe a four-door saloon which can go from 0-100kph in 3.5 seconds!

That’s right, you’re probably looking at your GT coupe parked in your basement and wondering what’s the world coming to when a big, bold sedan puts most sports cars to shame.

Heck, this thing is even faster than the Mercedes-AMG GT coupe.

And if you think the E 63 4MATIC+ is already bonkers with its AMG 4.0 litre twin turbo V8 engine producing 571hp and 750Nm of torque, then you’re going to be even more depressed because there is another variant - the E 63 S 4MATIC+ which delivers a mind-boggling 612hp and 850Nm of torque.

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It’s no surprise that the S variant is even faster clocking in at 3.4 seconds from 0-100kph.

And it’s not just making a statement under the hood either as the design of the car itself is simply dominating.

All that power that lies within the car is amplified in the front with its commanding grille complete with twin louvres in silver chrome and vertical black struts. The creases on the bonnet is sculpted like a body builder and the front wheel arches flare out unapologetically giving it a wide, low stance.

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The media test drive in Portugal afforded us the top-of the range E 63 S 4MATIC+ for members of the media from around the world and first on the agenda was to drive this beast to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve racetrack in Portimao.

So I get inside and it’s laid out in luxury with its nappa leather covering for the instrument panel and beltlines and the widescreen multifunction display with two monitors comes as standard for the E 63 S 4MATIC+.

It was also extremely comfortable and quiet.

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The 4MATIC+ on the new E 63 refers to the rear-biased, all-wheel-drive system and the S variant is augmented by an electronically controlled rear-differential.

It provides infinite variable torque distribution from the front to rear wheels.

It also features a new nine-speed automatic transmission with a wet clutch torque converter for fast shifts.

The gear shifts depend on the drive modes which range from Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race.

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On the track I opted for Sport+ mode because I wasn’t to keen to drive such a powerful car without stability control in the corners.

The other option was Race mode where you’d have to do all the work of keeping the car under control.

I found that it isn’t the easiest car to drive on the track because its hard to tell when all that power is unleashed by the twin-scroll turbos and I often found myself entering a corner too fast for my heart and mind to comprehend.

Your hands have to be working hard too in order to get this big car to turn or end up missing the apexes like I did.

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The steering is sharp but there is a lack feel to it as you can’t tell if the tyres are going where you want them to but just look where you want to go and the car will take you there.

Thank goodness for the AMG ceramic brakes which can really take a beating because you let loose on the last straight where you are going over 200kph and then halt it way down to take the really sharp first right turn.

It’s a different story altogether when driving it on the windy hill roads.

Here the car handles like a dream.

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You can feel (and hear) the power head all the way to the rear when you step on the throttle but not as violently as it did on track and then modulate or brake to take the turns and simply exit like a boss.

In these roads the car is composed and elegant befitting its class.

The way it hugs the corners and puts down the power makes you never want to leave the cockpit.

On the highway, the car gets up to ridiculous speeds without even trying or me noticing it. I thought I was cruising until I looked down at the speedometer only to realise I was way over the speed limit.

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I can’t overstate how important comfort and quietness is especially in performance luxury cars. You can enjoy the wonderful, sonorous exhaust note it produces when you’re pushing it on twisty roads and then simply sit back and relax on the long drive back.

In a way, this is what E 63 owners will enjoy immensely rather than it being a track car although that option is always open.
Mercedes-AMG will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the new E 63 model, tentatively due out in June, by AMG puts a stamp that differentiates it from the rest.

More importantly, this is a car that redefines a luxury sedan by marrying style, performance, comfort and practicality all in one package.

Who said you couldn’t put (almost) everything in a car?

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