There’s an awful lot to get pulses racing at the this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Manufacturers from Europe and beyond are set to bring their shiniest new toys to what is arguably the biggest party in the motoring calendar. Barley a year goes by without the big-boys from Germany stealing the show and Mercedes are keen to continue that tradition in 2017.
Joining their saloon counterparts in the AMG stable, get ready to meet the all-new Mercedes-AMG E63 and E63 S Estates as they burst onto the scene at the 2017 instalment of Europe’s biggest automotive extravaganza. Debuting a bold new look inspired largely by that concocted for the saloon, both variants also get updated AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive systems and best-in-class luggage space to boot.
A key element of the E63’s newly styled front end is the coupé-like bonnet. Already glimpsed on the saloon version, this design insets the bonnet between the wings, lending the Estate the same curvaceous face as some of its coupé siblings at Mercedes such as the CLA. At 27 millimetres wider than its predecessor, the E 63 Estate gains a large front splitter as well as side sill panels along its flanks. The rear end sports an apron insert with diffuser and twin chrome-plated tailpipes from which the hallmark AMG V8 soundtrack, specifically tuned for the Estate model, emits its unmistakable roar.
Combining even more bite to go with its unique bark, the AMG E 63 Estate draws its huge power from the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as the existing saloon. Although heavier than its stablemate, the standard E 63 Estate still races from 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds, with its 571 bhp and 553 lb-ft torque on tap. Upgrade to the E 63 S, the ultimate in AMG engineering, and the re-tuned 4.0 litre V8 will really knock your socks off with its phenomenal 612 bhp and 627lb-ft torque.
This fully evolved road-munching monster will hit the same 62 mph mark from a standing start in a frighteningly brisk 3.5 seconds, in no small part thanks to its sharp-shifting 9-speed AMG multi clutch sports transmission. With the adrenaline flowing freely, it’s unlikely you’ll have time to spare much of a thought to fuel economy. Nevertheless, a return of 31 mpg isn’t too shabby – so long as you can resist the urge to slam that foot to the floor on a regular basis.
Both estate models come with Merc’s innovative AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system fitted as standard, effectively enabling and disabling power to the front axle at will. A high-performance AMG braking system has the unenviable task of keeping that awesome power in check whilst elsewhere the AMG Estate benefits from adaptive damping and innovative three chamber air springs for optimum ride comfort and precise handling. A mechanical limited-slip differential, electronically controlled on the E 63 S, also helps sharpen up cornering by preventing the Estate’s inside wheels from slipping at high cornering speeds.
When you’re not busy throwing this super-powered Estate into the bends, the E 63’s “Comfort” drive mode is on hand to adjust suspension and engine mapping to more sedate levels. “Sport”, “Sport Plus” and “Individual” settings make the car progressively more performance-orientated while the “RACE” drive programme, exclusive to the E 63 S, should be deployed solely within the confines of closed race circuits.
With such a vast array of high-performance technology and so much prodigious power on tap, it’s easy to lose sight of the cars’ function as a down-to-earth practical Estate. The beauty of the new Mercedes AMG E 63 is that, with the largest boot in its class as well as electronically folding rear seats, classic Estate practically and extreme levels of performance really do go hand in hand.
The cabin, as with the boot, is as spacious as ever. It features a host of new high quality goodies, from the AMG performance steering wheel and optional performance seats, to a redesigned widescreen instrument cluster with two monitors as standard in the S version. Mercedes DRIVE PILOT tops the bill of drive assist systems, enabling semi-automated driving in traffic jams or on routine A to B trips.
Finally, Mercedes say that a specially configured “Edition 1” version of the new AMG E 63 and E 63 S Estate will be up for grabs during its first year of production, presumably in limited numbers. This launch edition sports a distinctive grey or black body colour plus the AMG Night package with 20-inch 7-twin-spoke matt black wheels as standard.
Look out for this performance estate pairing from Mercedes-AMG as they premiere in Geneva next month. UK order books for the Mercedes-AMG E 63 and E 63 S Estate open in early April 2017. We should see the first few models hitting the road in August this year.