The 2018 Mercedes AMG E 63 S has been run though the grinder to test the steel of the 603hp V-8 and see if it could live up to all the hype Mercedes has been igniting around it’s racetrack ability.
Motor Trend lit the 3.15-mile NCM Motorsports Park up with everything the AMG could throw at it in an attempt to stretch every bit of horsepower out as far as it would go to the absolute limit.
The AMG M177 4.0L V-8 engine is force-inducted through a dual-turbocharger setup that is officially rated at 603 HP and 627ft/lbs of torque. This power is then transmitted to the 4Matic all-wheel driveline though the Speedshift MCT nine-speed automatic.
The whole process is a highly technical operation involving more information transfer than the internet as the cutting-edge sensory system oversees its systems like a watchful mother. The computer responds to not only driving conditions but user inputs in an intelligent way to complement the maneuvers at hand and warn of a potential loss of control before it happens. It wasn’t long before those systems were on red alert and in overload mode.
With performance specs that outpace a Dodge Viper off the line to a 60 MPH sprint, the two test cars—a wagon and sedan—proved able to pound out a quarter mile in under 12 seconds. 11.2 seconds and 11.3 seconds at 125.1mph and 124.2mph for the wagon and sedan respectively. With 0-60mph times at 3.0 seconds for the wagon and 3.2 seconds for the sedan, it proved to be a bit faster but the 108lb-lighter sedan was more nimble on the skidpad with 0.99g compared to the wagon’s 0.96g and through the figure eight at 23.6 seconds vs. the wagon’s 24.1.
Despite the increased agility that was noted in the sedan’s handling, Motor Trend found it much easier to tame the dragon around corners in the wagon as the propensity to slide the heavier tail around corners aids in gaining the few degrees of chassis rotation needed to ride the all-wheel drive to its maximum potential. That potential, as monitored by the car’s comprehensive sensory system, reported tire temperatures in excess of 200° F on a 97° F track. It appears the white-knuckle exhilaration offered by both the sedan and wagon provide a generous return on the $145,000 investment.