A 602-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, standard all-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic transmission and Racestart launch control software combine to catapult the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S off the line to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. Cheap out and buy the 563-horsepower version (without the "S" on the end of its name) and you'll dawdle around for another full tenth of a second before achieving 60 mph.
Either way, you'll still get there ahead of the BMW M5 driver in the next lane, whose mount requires a leisurely 4.1 seconds to get there. Just don't get all big-headed and rev the E63's motor at a Tesla Model S P90D; that won't go as well.
The electronic speed limiter for the E63 keeps the fun down to 155 mph, while the E63 S's longer leash permits 186 mph.
But what of the pure, unadulterated driving thrill of rear-wheel drive? Well, a massive German luxury sedan probably isn't the place to look for pure driving fun, but Mercedes has a solution that helps. The all-wheel drive system's drift mode switches all the power to the rear wheels, giving drivers the response you only get from cars whose front tires' only jobs are steering and stopping.
The E63's bodyshell is reinforced to withstand its ferocious performance, with thicker front suspension braces than on the regular E-Class and two more added to the rear. This provides the solid foundation for the three-chamber adaptable air suspension system to do its work in its "Comfort," "Sport," and "Sport Plus" modes.
The E63 rolls on standard 19-inch aluminum wheels, with available 20-inch forged wheels.
The E63 makes its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show Nov. 16, with production models reaching U.S. dealers next summer.
M5 drivers, you've been warned.