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.
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In the E63 S, it puts out 603bhp between 5750 and 6500rpm and a whopping 627lb ft of torque between 2500 and 4500rpm. This is the second-highest output currently generated by this specific engine, with only the AMG GT63 S pumping out more power at 630bhp.
With the traction control turned off and the car set to its Race mode, pulling both of the steering wheel’s paddles will then engage rear-wheel drive, or Drift Mode, which like the system in the BMW decouples the front axle for lurid smokey evaporation of the rear tyres.
All 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 for sharper shifts with more of a discernable thump. It’s not as responsive as the M5’s torque-converter eight-speed, but is more emotional than the BMW.