April 6, 2009 AMG, the high performance brand within Mercedes Benz, has just launched the new E63 AMG sports saloon. The 6208 cc fast-revving, naturally aspirated power plant delivers a sizzling output of 525hp and torque of 630Nm, reaching 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The E63 AMG further distinguishes itself from the regular E-class with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7-speed sports transmission featured recently on the SL 63 AMG high-performance Roadster. Also featured is the newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping, a new front axle and a reduction in fuel consumption of 12 percent.

Improved fuel consumption and the 7-speed sports transmission

Despite 11 hp of additional output over the preceding model, the fuel consumption of the new E 63 AMG has been improved and returns 22.4 mpg (10.5 litres /100km); that's 2.6 mpg more. This improvement has been gained by a series of efficiency-enhancing measures including on-demand delivery of fuel and generator management with recuperation of braking energy on the overrun, both of which are standard in the new E 63 AMG. In-engine friction is also reduced by the AMG-exclusive twin-wire arc spray coating process used on the cylinder walls.

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission also makes a contribution to fuel economy: a wet start-up clutch running in an oil bath replaces the previous torque converter. This provides improved performance without the losses typical of a torque converter transmission due to its low rotational inertia, says Mercedes Benz. The transmission is equipped with four driving modes: "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual), which can be selected using a rotary electronic switch in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Partial suppression of individual cylinders by interrupting ignition and injection during gearshifts under full load leads to faster shift times. In M mode the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission allows gearshifts to be performed in 100 milliseconds.

In the more fuel-efficient driving mode Controlled Efficiency, the transmission shifts the gears and the transmission control unit is programmed to perform early upshifts to keep engine speeds as low as possible. At the same time the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission enables fast and precise multiple downshifts and in conjunction with the automatic throttle-blipping and RACE START function enables the E 63 AMG driver to call on the maximum acceleration potential automatically.

Electronically controlled damping system and a new front axle

The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension copes equally well with the agile manoeuvres of the racetrack and more comfortable, sedate driving, says Mercedes Benz. New steel spring struts are used on the front axle and the rear suspension features AMG-specific air springs. This system which is unique to AMG is designed to allow for more sensitive responses through the front spring struts while the rear air struts with their automatic level control system, keep the vehicle at a constant height irrespective of the load.

A new, electronically controlled damping system automatically varies the damping characteristics according to the driving situation, reducing the roll angle of the body. Mercedes Benz says the result is instant adjustment to provide the best possible ride comfort together with the greatest possible agility. In addition the driver is able to choose between the three suspension modes of Comfort, Sport and Sport plus at the touch of a button. The E 63 AMG is also equipped with a newly developed, dedicated front axle with a 56 mm wider track, a tubular stabiliser, new control arms, new wheel bearings, new elastokinematics and new wheel location for more negative camber – to provide more grip when taking bends at speed. The AMG-specific kinematics provides more precision. This axle design is also used in the C 63 AMG. The rear axle likewise has more negative camber, optimised elastokinematics and a new subframe mounting for greater stability at the physical limits.

Newly developed power steering and individual 3-stage ESP®

The speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering is a new development to provide for more direct responsiveness. The steering ratio of 14 : 1 is 22 percent more direct than in the standard production models, says Mercedes Benz, while a more rigid steering column plus the reconfigured characteristic mapping of the speed-sensitive servo assistance ensure better steering precision and improved road contact.

The 3-stage ESP® familiar from the SL 63 AMG and C 63 AMG enables individual settings to be selected. The ESP® key in the AMG DRIVE UNIT allows the driver to choose between "ESP ON", "ESP SPORT" and "ESP OFF" – with the currently active mode shown in the central display of the AMG instrument cluster. The AMG high-performance braking system with 360 mm, internally ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round, brings the vehicle to a quick halt. Particularly resistant, motorsports-tested composite technology is used at the front axle. Plenty of grip on the road is ensured by the 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with a width of nine and 9.5 inches and mixed tyre sizes of 255/40 R 18 at the front and 285/35 R 18 at the rear.

Interior and exterior

The front aspect is characterised by 17 mm wider wings bearing "6.3 AMG" lettering, the new AMG front apron with large air intake apertures and the AMG-specific daytime driving lights using LED technology. In conjunction with the standard Intelligent Light System, the E 63 AMG is equipped with tinted main headlamps. The visual appearance is enhances with AMG side skirts and AMG rear apron with a black diffuser insert and the AMG sports exhaust system has two newly designed, chrome-plated twin tailpipes.

Exclusive features of the interior include the dedicated, electrically adjustable AMG sports seats with improved lateral support and the AMG sports steering wheel in a four-spoke design with AMG shift paddles. As a new feature exclusive to the E 63 AMG, the AMG selector lever has one-touch logic. Directly adjacent to it in the centre console is the AMG DRIVE UNIT, which provides adjustments for the MCT sports transmission, the ESP functions, the suspension set-up and the AMG driving modes. Standard equipment also includes high-grade nappa leather upholstery in three different colours, the AMG instrument cluster with an AMG main menu, door entry sills with AMG lettering and a sports pedal cluster – both in brushed stainless steel.

AMG extras

AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO: the E 63 AMG can be enhanced with the Performance Package which includes:

  • Lightweight, forged 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with size 255/35 R 19 tyres at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear
  • AMG Performance suspension with a stiffer set-up
  • AMG rear axle locking differential with 40 percent locking action
  • AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid
  • AMG Performance steering wheel in a three-spoke design
Optional extras from the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO are also individually available:
  • Lightweight, forged 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with size 255/35 R 19 tyres at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear
  • AMG rear axle locking differential with 40 percent locking action
  • AMG Exterior Carbon package
  • AMG Performance steering wheel in a three-spoke design
  • AMG carbon-fibre trim in the interior
  • Illuminated AMG door entry sills
  • AMG floor mats

Active and passive safety

Standard features include the new drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST, the unique preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, Brake Assist PLUS, seven airbags and crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints.

These safety features can be enhances with the optional Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist systems, the PRE-SAFE® Brake with an automatic braking function which can bring the vehicle to a complete stop, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and Night View Assist.

The market launch of the new E 63 AMG will commence in August 2009. UK specifications are still to be confirmed. For more information visit Mercedes Benz AMG

David Greig

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