Truly great performance cars make you feel good whether you’re trickling through town or hammering around the Nurburgring. The E63 AMG succeeds. It takes the virtues of the standard car – quality, comfort and long-distance ability – and adds a storming V8 plus a sensational chassis. You’ll need deep pockets, but it has the kind of personality that makes you dig deeper.
Large German saloon cars don’t often have soul: you wouldn’t usually buy a Mercedes E-Class
because you wanted your emotions stirred. But the E63 AMG is a supersaloon that makes even the mighty BMW M5 seem a bit clinical.
Like any AMG product, the E63 is dominated by its engine. In the latest model, the old 6.2-litre V8 has been replaced with a 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 – an engine that also stars in hot versions of the M-Class and CLS.
With stop-start, it’s cleaner than its predecessor, emitting a reasonable 230g/km of CO2 (against 295g/km for the old car) and returning 28.8mpg (compared to 22.4mpg).
That is, of course, if you can resist squeezing the throttle hard at every available opportunity. The 5.5-litre V8 makes such a sensational noise – from a roar at start-up to a gurgle as you pull away and a thunderously bassy rumble at high revs – that fuel economy will be the last thing on your mind.
And as you might expect, it’s not lacking in grunt, either. Power is unchanged at 518bhp, but there’s an additional 70Nm of torque, for a total of 700Nm.
It’ll outrun a Jaguar XFR
in a drag race with ease – and while the more powerful M5 would ultimately nudge ahead, it wouldn’t matter when you came to a corner. Why? Because the E63 AMG feels so much more involving to drive.
The chunky, suede-trimmed wheel is a joy to hold and the steering is smooth, accurate and meaty. You can stiffen up the suspension at the touch of button, but leave it in Normal, and the car finds a great balance between agility and comfort. At £74,000, it’s far from cheap, but the E63 AMG offers true supercar performance.