THE next Mercedes-AMG E63 will be a 430kW-plus, all-wheel-drive only, drift monster when it lands in Australia early next year.
AMG chief executive Tobias Moers confirmed that the new E63 – shown above in an artist’s impression – would bring the biggest leap forward from any AMG model to date, with a stronger focus on driving dynamics.
And more power, of course. The new E63, the pinnacle of the German maker’s E-Class range, will be powered by a modified version of AMG’s new 4.0-litre twin turbo V8, which debuted in the GT sports car.
Moers says it should surpass the current E63’s 430kW/800Nm 5.5-litre unit.
“We have a lot of room to grow [with the 4.0-litre],” said Moers.
“Is 430kW possible? Yeah. But it will be a different layout in the new E-Class.
“It’s the same crankshaft and the block is the same. The cylinder head is different and so is everything else around the engine like the intake, the manifold and intercooler.”
Moers also confirmed the new car, which has been snapped in development form during winter testing, was likely to be offered solely in all-wheel drive and using a new AMG-developed 4MATIC system. (Australian versions of the current E63 S are rear-drive only.)
“Nobody is looking for rear-drive in that segment,” said Moers.
“What I see is always the same story if I bring both variants to market, it’s 90-96 percent four-wheel drive. So we haven’t made a final decision, but we know that if it is all-wheel drive only, we will be able to drift it. This is very important from my perspective.”
While the usual AMG character traits of big grunt and a lively rear-axle will remain, Moers said the new E63 would be much more precise when it came to handling.
“It’s not my task to make it the most power car,” said Moers. “The target is to be the best driving car in terms of dynamics. It will be the best package. We’re working on the new drivetrain and a new all-wheel drive approach, so it’s going to be very interesting.
“The truth is it will be the biggest step we’ve ever made from generation to generation.”
And what about the suite of cutting-edge autonomous driving systems that will debut on the new E-Class sedan that debuted this month at the Detroit motor show?
“It depends on the segment – things like this aren’t very important on the GT for example. But in the E-Class we will have all of the same technology as the regular car. If the car drives itself, why not? Then once you reach the racetrack, push the button and drive yourself.”
AMG is expected to reveal the E63 in the last quarter of this year, with Aussie deliveries likely in early 2017.