2013 Mercedes E63 AMG Review

DrivingTalk roadtests the 2013 Mercedes E63 AMG

By Tim Kendall | 16th June 2013

Vital Statistics

  • Model: E63 AMG
  • Engine: 5.5 V8 Bi-turbo petrol (557hp)
  • Transmission: Seven-speed auto
  • Price: £73,745 (£82,025 as tested)
  • 0-60: 4.2 secs
  • Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)
  • Economy: 28.8 mpg (combined)
  • Options fitted to test car:
    See Text

DrivingTalk Roadtest: 2013 Mercedes E63 AMG review

Ever wondered what AMG stands for? I’ll tell you.

It translates as ‘Achtung Mein Gott’. Of course, that’s German text speak for OMG. Or at least it should be – glance at the new E63 AMG’s performance stats – and it’s a very normal, if inarticulate reaction. The same thing happens when you mash the go pedal to the big Merc’s carpet, or in fact merely tease its throttle with your right loafer.

So this here is the latest 2013 facelifted E63 AMG in all its menacing black glory. And DrivingTalk has given it a thorough shakedown.

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG review

The face-lifted 2013 Mercedes E63 AMG has a soft new nose

The new Mercedes E63 AMG: What’s special about it?

Well, take a look at the numbers – 557hp and 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds. And enough torque to move St Paul’s Cathedral a couple of inches to the left. That’s 720NM of transmission-worrying twist between little more than tick-over and 5250rpm.

And the ‘standard’ E63 AMG’s headline power figure is up over the pre-facelift car to the tune of around 50hp, putting it almost on a par with the AMG ‘Performance Pack Plus’ version of the old car. All this four-doored performance for a smidgen over £73k too. A bargain, I hear you say. Yes, but dig a little deeper into your cash reserves and you can have an even fuller-fat ‘S’ version with a more manly 585hp. Ah, so much choice.

Admittedly, it’s hard not to go all Top Trumps about the E63 AMG, but it’s nice to soak in the fact that Mercedes still builds politically incorrect autobahn monsters like this. Affalterbach’s latest exec bruiser is not that un-PC though. Despite the 5.5 Biturbo badge on the front wings, Mercedes reckons the E 63 houses the ‘most efficient series production V8’ around. It’ll return 28.8mpg apparently.

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG 5.5-litre V8 Biturbo

5.5-litre V8 Biturbo, 557hp. Standard.

Will the 2013 E63 AMG look good on my driveway?

It certainly will, in a nicely understated, quietly menacing way. The latest E-Class facelift has junked the slightly angular front end and twin headlight arrangement for a softer and more sculpted affair. As ever, the AMG treatment enhances things subtly but effectively. In particular, the optional black 19” alloys lend the E63 a ‘you looking at me pal?’ vibe. Nice, if you like that sort of thing.

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG

The 2013 E63 AMG is subtly menacing in typical AMG fashion…

What about the E63 AMG’s interior?

The cockpit is very restrained indeed. You get some AMG floor mats – as you’d expect for £73k – and an AMG three-spoke steering wheel with a tactile flourish of alcantara, which feels nice. And silly fake carbon fibre embellishments are refreshingly absent – the E63’s black ash trim looks far less tacky. The standard-fit AMG sports seats are superbly comfortable – and equipped with the Dynamic Multi-Contour option as the test car was – will literally massage you. Quite hard if you ask them to. Moving on.

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG interior picture

Nothing to see in here. Except a reassuring air of solidity and a very tactile steering wheel..

Also fitted to the test car was a Dacia-worth of Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound AMG audio upgrade. I enjoy a thumping singalong, so this I had to hear. Disappointingly, the cranked up B&O didn’t quite make my insides tremble in the way I’d hoped. Perhaps it didn’t take kindly to the Emile Sandé number Radio 1 was piping through the natty-looking speakers. Not sure I’d tick that box, I’d probably save the £4,230 for my fuel fund.

Stop. Enough about the stereo. How does the E63 AMG drive?

Meh. It’s alright I suppose.

If grunt is what you want, the 2013 E63 AMG will cater for you well. Very well indeed. I’m raiding my memory bank for superlatives to describe the performance, but the correct one hasn’t been invented yet. Explosive, mesmeric, searing – all of the above.

And this thing really does step off the line quite smartly. Imagine being dropped off Niagara Falls in a two-tonne car attached to a bungee cord. Actually scrub the bungee cord, enjoy the fear, because the voracity with which the E63 eats in the horizon is simply stonking. That mountain of torque characterises this car – it’s always there, ready to be summoned. And making indecently fast progress takes no more than a sideways glance in the direction of the loud pedal. It’s that easy, and it’s that fast.

Mercedes E63 AMG Biturbo

V8 Biturbo. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

The dual-clutch seven-speed box is more than happy to pootle in C mode, but a heap more ferocity is on offer if you select ‘S’ or ‘S+’ mode. Quicker gearchanges and throttle blips on the way down the ratios are all there if the ‘press-on’ driving style is your bag.

Ah and I almost forgot. The noise. That 5.5-litre biturbo V8 sounds like an offshore powerboat – always rumbling about in the lower reaches of its vocal range as if it has so much in reserve it can’t really be arsed to spin much faster up the rev band. It sounds better in the lower range too – and much less shouty than a C63 AMG.

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG black wheels

19″ Black rims are a no cost option

Pudding or soufflé. Does the E63 AMG handle well?

Well for a start it rides superbly considering the firepower on offer. Even firming up the switchable damper settings doesn’t make it a crashy bore over the bumpier stuff.  The steering too, is well weighted and accurate which means you can hustle this weighty barge along twisty roads with aplomb – much more so than big performance Mercs of yore, which always had a lot more give and wallow. There’s been something of a re-invigoration at AMG’s chassis dynamics department in recent years and the E63 has clearly benefited – the whole package is more than polished enough to actually satisfy the keen driver and not just the point-and-squirt crowd.

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG

Options fitted to test car:

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG 11-speaker sound package, reversing camera, lane-tracking package and blind-spot assist, Dynamic Multi-contour front seats, Comfort-Ventilated front seats, Black 19” AMG alloy wheels,

Visit the Mercedes UK website

 2013 Mercedes E63 AMG Pictures:

Like AMG? Here’s a random video featuring Bernd Maylander and – some AMGs

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG

2013 Mercedes E63 AMG Review

  • Performance: 9/10
  • Ride & Handling: 8/10
  • Economy: 5/10
  • Equipment: 7/10
  • Want one factor: 9/10

The Verdict

The best AMGs are real Jekyll and Hyde characters and the latest E63 AMG is no different. Gloriously over-powered and astonishingly capable, yet not the blunt sledgehammer you might expect – there’s precision and finesse here too. The new E63 should make BMW’s M-Division a little uneasy. And the fact that all of this is wrapped in a smart suit with characteristic Mercedes understatement makes the latest scorching E-Class a painfully desirable package. Apparently absolute power corrupts. Well corrupt me please, AMG

Summary

  • Blistering performance, sharper in the twisties than you'd expect
  • Blistering depreciation, a bit thirsty

By Tim Kendall
16th June 2013

Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Oh dear!!! I actually REALLY do want one now. Someone once told me that driving one of these sounds like “God shouting” . . . judging by this article, that sounds like it could be an accurate statement.

    My obvious feminine side likes the pedals & I think the exterior would be super cute in white. The analyst in me notices teeny little details, one of which is the texture used on the vent controls & I think the choice here is very snazzy.

    Also, falling in line with the basic female stereotype, I NEED to know how many cup holders this beast has. Perhaps in the future you could cleverly work that detail into your piece since it is one of the main deciding factors for a woman contemplating a vehicle purchase.

    • Tim Kendall says:

      Bugger. I did NOT count the cup holders. I fail at reviewing cars.

      I promise to do better next time. And I’m betting you hail from the wrong side of the pond if cup holders are that important to you….

      • Stephanie says:

        Sir, while I appreciate your apparent interest in things that hail from America, I must fervently point out that the idea of cup holders is not associated with cultures. There is irrefutable research showing that a woman’s need for an abundance of vehicular cup holders is embedded deep within a woman’s psyche. Also, thank you, sir, for your commitment to count them next time. I am eagerly awaiting your next review.

        • Tim Kendall says:

          Your constructive feedback is highly valuable and will be debated at length by the DrivingTalk Board of Director at our forthcoming editorial committee meeting. I hope to propose a motion to introduce a new section to all car reviews on the site, aimed specifically at DrivingTalk’s growing US fan-base, called ‘the cup holder count’. I trust this will satiate your pervasive desire for the full and rigorous assessment of beverage convenience repositories in modern ‘automobiles’, as you stateside folks like to say. I think.

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