Both the E63 AMG and E63 AMG S use a 5461cc, twin-turbocharged V8. Some may mourn the loss of the old 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 – including us – but there’s little doubt over the effectiveness of the new unit.
In regular E63 form, the V8 produces 549bhp at 5500rpm, and 531lb ft from 1750-5250rpm. Opt for the S, and those numbers rise to 577bhp at the same engine speed and 590lb ft of torque, developed a little later and over a smaller brand from 2000-4500rpm.
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Whichever model you choose, both use Mercedes' seve-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission and, in UK versions at least, send their power to the rear axle alone. A limited-slip differential is standard on the E63 S, and an option on the less powerful model.
The E63’s appeal is as much in the nature of the car’s performance as its quantity. Performance is effortless, as you might expect, but backed up by a big-lunged roar and a surge to the redline that almost comes as a surprise from an engine you assume will be done by the mid-range. The S in particular accelerates at an absurd rate and really encourages you to extend the engine towards the top end.
‘The E63 AMG S is manic, obscenely accelerative, slightly loose around the edges but wholly exciting. What an engine! You might expect the 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 to be all torque (it has 590lb ft, after all) but there’s not a hint of the power fading away as the revs climb. In fact it positively rips around to the limiter. It’s so ferocious that the rear axle only just copes, the E63 weaving around under power like a torque-steering hot hatch.' Jethro Bovingdon, Contributing Editor (evo 208)