Quick Review: Mercedes-Benz E63S AMG Wagon

Posted by: Shelton Kwan onNovember 13th, 2013

When I first laid eyes on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 S-Model AMG Wagon in New York, I knew AMG had a winner on their hands. Now, after spending some time with it on the track I can confirm my initial reaction. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the ultimate sleeper. The competition is over. As a big fan of Mercedes-Benz and AMG cars, you might think that I’m being biased. I’m not. This vehicle is that good, and presented in station wagon form, is so subtle on the outside that if not for the red brake calipers (orange when fitted with carbon brakes), you would have no idea what the car is capable of. The only thing missing to make it more discrete are wood side paneling.

How good is the E63S Wagon? Mercedes-Benz AMG brought one out to the Optima Invitational in Las Vegas as a camera car on Saturday, and on an exhibition run, set the fastest lap time of the day. The cars competing were serious machines from SEMA, as Optima Batteries handpicked these cars to compete at the event. But let’s rewind back a week, where I had a chance to sample the E63S Wagon as well as the Sedan for a back to back comparison.

For 2014, Mercedes-Benz facelifted the E series, and for the AMG version, fitted the car with an AMG 4matic system with a fixed 33/67 torque split. This gave the E63S Wagon the traction it needed to put down all 577hp (rumor has it that it actually puts down closer to 620hp). The result is a 0-60 sprint in 3.4 seconds, in a station wagon. Wrap your heads around that. Down the front straight, the wagon just hauled ass, pushing my 3 passengers deep into each of their seats. As the speeds climbed and the gearbox upshifted, there is no letting off in forward velocity thanks to the 5.5L V8 Twin Turbo’s 590lb-ft of torque output. The bonus of the wagon? The exposed “trunk” allows the exhaust noise to reverberate through the car, where in the sedan it’s much more muted.

The E63S Wagon was fitted with the optional Carbon Ceramic brakes, and honestly, they felt the same as the standard cast iron units at the track. The stops were mind boggling, considering that at 4700lbs loaded with 800lbs of passengers at 200km/h, there’s a lot of mass to slow down. I did notice that other drivers came back to the pits in the E63S Sedan (with standard brakes) smoking from all 4 discs, this was a problem that the Wagon with the Carbon Ceramics did not suffer from.

With the conversion to AWD, the handling dynamics must have been sacrificed to attain better traction? Wrong. Surprisingly, the handling was even better than the E63 RWD version that I tested 2 years ago. The recalibrated suspension setup minimized body roll, and closed the handling gap of the E63 to the CLS63. Turn in was much improved, gone is the floaty steering feel of the old E63. Trail brake deep into the corners, and the rear feels like it wants to step out, helping turn-in but never enough to unsettle the car. Floor it past the apex, the rear end slips at very minimal angles, and the car rockets out of the corner with GT-R like velocity. Understeer? There is none, unless you plow too fast into a corner. The car just goes where you want it to go under any circumstance under the adhesion limits.

I must remind readers that once again, this is a station wagon. If you have a family, or attract cops for whatever reason, this is the car to own. You’ll be able to literally fly under the radar, drive as fast as you want, while other drivers on the road gets the attention and the tickets. There is nothing out there on the market today that can match the power, performance, practicality, and stealth factor of the E63S Wagon.

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