Why spend more money when the E63 is the best AMG model?
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, and boy were we excited. The base E63 comes with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 packing 571 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The E63 AMG S brings power up to an insane 612 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque. The "normal" car can hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, while the S takes only 3.3 seconds. These numbers are easily better than competitors like the soon-to-be-replaced F10 BMW M5, but we noticed that the E63 may have created a problem for the AMG lineup: It is better than all of the more expensive models.
Mercedes has yet to reveal pricing for the E63, but we can only assume that it will cost less than larger AMG models like the CLS63, S63, and S65. Starting off with the CLS shows one of the biggest issues with the Mercedes lineup as it now sits. The CLS is based on the old E-Class, so is currently more expensive, yet worse, than the new E-Class. The CLS63 AMG is powered by a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 with 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The horsepower is actually 6 more and the torque is 37 more than the base E63, but both numbers are less than the new E63 S. The base E63 will match the CLS's 3.5 second 0-60 mph sprint, while the E63 S will best it by 0.2-seconds.
The new E63 uses a much smaller V8 which requires 1.5-liters less of displacement. Like the CLS63, the larger S63 also uses a larger 5.5-liter V8 with 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. This car costs $144,000 compared to the CLS, which costs $108,000. Both of these cars will be more expensive than the E63 S, but both have less horsepower. The S63 might have more torque, but the S-Class isn't exactly a sport sedan. The S63 hits 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and the V12 S65 is actually slower at 4.2 seconds. The S65 costs a massive $226,900, and comes with a twin-turbo V12 rated at 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque.
We have already stated why we think the S65, but we'll summarize it again. Even though it looks massively powerful on paper, the extra weight of the V12 engine offsets any performance gains. In the past, people ordered a V12 Mercedes because it was the top-dog model, but now it only carries that distinction in name. The V8 in the S63 is faster and more modern, and makes the V12 completely irrelevant. Now, the E63 shows us that Mercedes has created an engine that can be more powerful than the old 5.5-liter V8 with much less displacement. This is the same engine that is already in the C63 and AMG GT, and it is wonderful in those applications.
We wouldn't be surprised if the new 4.0-liter V8 makes its way to the CLS and the S-Class. The CLS desperately needs to be replaced because it is based on the old E-Class. As of now, the E63 S is the best AMG model that you can buy, even though it is not the most expensive in the range. Mercedes has shown how good a turbocharged engine can be, and the 4.0-liter M178 V8 can be. We predict that in a few short years, all of the Mercedes AMG models will be powered by the 4.0-liter engine. Although, we wish that this change would be accompanied to a name change from 63 to 40, because 63 no longer holds any meaning. The V12 should be on its way out, unless Mercedes wants to improve its aging technology.