Mercedes-AMG E63 review – BMW M5 rival is better than ever - Engine and gearbox

Merc’s big V8-powered saloon and estate is about more than its big power and incredible acceleration times

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  • Incredible acceleration and pace, a strong engine, and really involving handling
  • E63 S ride is firm, expensive rear tyres won’t last long if you use Drift Mode

Engine and gearbox

Since its first appearance in the AMG GT, Mercedes-AMG’s 4-litre twin-turbo hot-V V8 engine has become ubiquitous throughout the range. Not only does it appear in all the GTs, from S to R, you’ll also find it in the C63, S63, GLC63 and, of course, the E63.

> Read our review of the entire Mercedes-AMG GT range

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The same engine is used in both the S and basic E63, however AMG has turned the wick up on the S’s motor so it puts out 604bhp between 5750 and 6500rpm and 627lb ft of torque between 2500 and 4500rpm.

The regular E63 might not be quite as ballistic, but its output is still mightily impressive. Max power is 563bhp from 5750 to 6500rpm while torque is 553lb ft from 2250 to 5000rpm.

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The power disparity isn’t the only drivetrain difference between the E63 and E63 S. The more powerful car has an electronic locking differential instead of a purely mechanical version, and it also gets a switchable four-wheel drive system. With the traction control turned off, the car set to its Race mode and after you’ve pulled both of the steering wheel’s paddles, you then confirm the switch to rear-wheel drive, or Drift Mode, with a pull of the right gear change paddle.

All current E63s use a nine-speed automatic gearbox that Mercedes calls Speedshift MCT. However, rather than employing a torque converter to transfer drive from the engine to the transmission, it uses a pack of ‘wet’ clutches.

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