Purists and connoisseurs of sports saloons of old were appalled by the introduction of four-wheel drive on the E63 – cynics would argue the Drift Mode (the rear-wheel-drive-only setting) on the S is just a gimmick to placate fans of the old-style oversteering powerful saloon cars.
But the results of the all-wheel drive are clear when you look at the acceleration times. Officially, the 1880kg saloon accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 3.4sec. When we timed the E63 S with our own gear, we recorded a 0-60mph time of 3.4sec. That’s 0.1sec faster than the 0-60mph time we logged in a Ferrari 599 GTB or a F430 Scuderia. And that’s in a big saloon car.
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Estates are 0.1sec slower than the saloon, which makes little to no discernible difference on the road, and all cars have a limited top speed of 155mph. What on-paper numbers don’t tell you is the unending punch that the E63 S’s 627lb ft of torque gives it at any speed and at any revs. This AMG twin-turbo has always been impressive at minimising turbo lag and in the E63 S is no different, hitting its plateau of torque with almost no delay.