Hang on! Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG gets more power and AWD
By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
We knew that Mercedes-Benz would be showing off its latest E-Class at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and we figured the high-performance E63 AMG model would receive a similarly subtle makeover. The current car's only been in its current configuration for a couple model years, so why mess with it when you have a dozen other models to worry about?
Apparently, we were wrong.
News broke this morning that just about everything has been tweaked or replaced, and that Audi no longer holds the killer-app of all-wheel drive when it comes to high-powered German sleeper sedans. Yes, that's right: The 2014 E63 AMG will come to North America exclusively with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The system is rear-biased, sending only 33 percent of power to the front wheels in normal conditions, however we're sure that ratio can be altered at will. The system also delivers torque-vectoring, which means more power to the outside wheel in a corner to fight understeer.
The reason for the 4MATIC system is that the twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre received a modest power boost, meaning regular E63s now produce 550 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque. However, there's an optional package that can up those to 571 horses and an amazing 590 lb-ft. S models also bring a real limited-slip differential, along with a 0-100 km/h time in about three and a half seconds, just one-tenth faster than normal.
Visually, the car's get-the-hell-outta-my-way front visage automatically disqualifies the E63 AMG as an understated Q car, but it does look pretty stunning. The overall body shape hasn't changed since this is technically a mid-cycle refresh, and the station wagon version should be available too.
The cabin will certainly be the cosseting, leather-lined executive club as before...
What do you think? Does all-wheel-drive go against everything AMG stands for or is this a case of better late than never? Would you choose the E63 AMG over the BMW M5 or Audi RS6? Let us know in the comments!