There are good days, and then there’s the day Mercedes-AMG kindly let me have a go (albeit an entirely too short go) in its ridiculous new E 63 S 4Matic+. Some numbers first: a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 is what makes this machine move the way it frantically does. To that effect, there’s 604 bhp and a heady 86.6 kgm scrambling all four wheels to 100 kph in 3.4 seconds. For those not regular with these numbers, that’s bloody quick, and more than a sane person would even dream of tapping into on a regular basis.
But the beauty of the E 63 S lies not in its ability to make you stare slack-jawed at its spec sheet; it’s the way it makes it all feel serene, while being brutally quick. The truth of the matter is that there’s very little on the outside (with the exception of those giant wheels and immense carbon ceramic brakes) to give away the fact that this thing is adept at slightly more than just hauling groceries and wrinkled behinds to meetings. Just the way I like it, then. Aside from that, the only giveaways, like I said before, are the wheels, the brakes and the smattering of AMG badges here and there. It’s the same on the inside. You’d be surprised at how comfortable and luxurious the cabin is and the rear seat is plenty comfortable too, with a generous amount of legroom on offer.
ON THE INSIDE:
Twin 12.3-inch digital
Enough of that, though. How does it drive? Well, the E 63 S prides itself on a few things. That all-wheel drive system is one of them. It’s because of it that the car can jump off the line and reach 100 kph faster than you can mutter, ‘Shouldn’t have had that second omelette.’ Of course, this is MercedesAMG we’re talking about, so obviously it’s no one-trick pony. Granted, I only got a few laps around the Buddh International Circuit to find out what it’s like, but the poise is just incredible going into corners; it does not feel like it weighs nearly 2 tonnes. It’s decisive and armed with enough tech to goad you into pushing it harder. It almost mocks you, at times, but really, it makes you want to be a better driver, because I certainly felt inadequate driving it.
warning, front automated
emergency braking, rear
A nine-speed automatic gearbox does shifting duties, and in Sport+, with it locked in manual mode, it’s very responsive to up- and downshifts. Speaking of which, at the end of the back straight on the Buddh, I managed to see an indicated 248 kph before I chickened out and gave the brakes a thorough workout, and each downshift via the paddles was so deliciously precise that I’m not sure I want to go back to my regular hatchback any longer. And that engine note. It’s far from a shriek – it’s like hearing a bear being gutted while a megaphone is put right in front of its mouth. God bless those AMG technicians
Now, before I wrap this up, there’s one final thing to tackle: the Drift mode. Unfortunately, since I wasn’t the only one driving the car, and AMG didn’t want to take a chance with people turning those beautiful tyres into slicks, we were advised (quite strictly) to not mess around with it. For people not familiar with what that is: the E63 S 4Matic+ is an all-wheel drive car with a rear bias (hence the 4Matic bit), but with a bit of complicated button pushing, it can be made rear-wheel drive to help you get past corners, well sideways. Or, the more fun way.
Anyway, all this is yours if you can find Rs 1.5 crore (ex-showroom) under your bed. On the basis of what I experienced, that’s totally worth it. This review is far from decisive, of course, because the E 63’s perennial buddy, the BMW M5 also just entered the market, and it’s spankingly good, too. Sets things up nicely, doesn’t it? Wait for it.