1. With 450kW the Mercedes-AMG E63 S is the most powerful version yet of the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that AMG has already used in the C63 and GT sportscar. There is also a non-S version with 420kW, but this isn’t yet confirmed for sale in Australia.
2. The E63 will be going on sale in Australia in the middle of next year, and although pricing hasn’t been confirmed we’re told it will be close to that of the previous generation model, but with more standard equipment. So reckon on about $250,000.
3. The clever all-wheel drive system uses an electronically controlled coupling to divert torque to the front end when it’s needed. However there’s also a Drift Mode for use on track which makes the car entirely rear-driven and deactivates the stability control.
4. Mercedes have confirmed that a wagon version will be made for some territories, but sadly Australia won’t be getting it – apparently we didn’t buy enough of the previous generation version for the numbers to stack up.
5. AMG started out as a race engineering company that diversified into tuning road cars. Mercedes took control of it in 1999, but AMG models are still engineered from the company’s historic base in Affalterbach.
6. The first AMG sedan to be officially sold in Australia was the E36 in 1997. I had an atmo V8 producing 207kW and cost $185,000, making the new E63 look like a relative bargain.
7. The semi-autonomous Drive Pilot system from the standard Mercedes-Benz E-Class is fitted to the E63, allowing it to steer itself on wider and better marked roads. The E63’s heavier steering makes it slightly harder to make the occasional inputs required to show the system you’re still paying attention.
8. Mercedes hopes to sell more than 200 E63s a year in Australia. We buy a higher percentage of AMG products than any other market – nearly one in seven Mercs.