Platinum Motorsport Mercedes-AMG G63

* Modified Mercedes-AMG G63, a creation of Platinum Motorsport from Los Angeles

* There are Barbus widebody kit (fender extensions, new bumper and grille, carbon fiber hood, new rear bumper), Adventure package (includes lift kit), winch, LED roof lights, carbon fiber spare wheel cover ...

* The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine has been boosted to 700hp

* The Mercedes-AMG G63 from Platinum Motorsport costs from 550,000 to 600,000 US dollars

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon Unparalleled Exclusivity

Mercedes-Benz does not break down its end-of-year sales by model, but we know that the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon is a rare car; it’s likely more exclusive than most Ferrari and Lamborghini models. “Generically speaking [E63 S Wagon owners] are high income and are very much brand and model-loyal,” a Mercedes spokesperson told CarBuzz. “[They] do not differ so much from a typical AMG customer; rather, the E63 S Wagon buyer is more of a superlative of these characteristics.”

 Seeing an E63 S Wagon on the road is already rare sight, especially in the wagon-phobic US market, but Mercedes gives its customers a chance to be even more unique. Mercedes offers the Designo Manufaktur program, which allows owners to “have a car painted in a historic Mercedes-Benz color, painted to match a color sample.” Think of it like Porsche’s Paint to Sample Program but less saturated on social media.

“Nearly any color is possible through this program, from various shades of purple to bright greens and yellows,” Mercedes told us. More often than not, these colors are a one-of-one, making them highly coveted on the second-hand market. “Only a few dozen E63 S Wagons go through this special process each year,” including the pre-facelift 2020 E63 S Wagon pictured here wearing a Designo Manufaktur Steel Blue exterior paint with an AMG Black Exclusive Nappa leather interior.

Audi offers something similar through its Audi Exclusive program, which allows owners to order virtually any color on their RS6 Avant. But unlike Mercedes, which only sells a handful of custom-painted wagons per year, Audi’s program is completely booked for 2021.

“At AMG, I think it’s fair to say that we not only appreciate strong competition, but we seek it out,” Mercedes commented about the recent wagon rival from Audi. “We compete in race series around the world (F1, IMSA, DTM, etc.), but we also compete in numerous competitive segments in the US market and others. Competition is good for the industry as a whole and helps to bolster the wagon segment, for which we set the benchmark.”


There’s no arguing that the introduction of the RS6 Avant to the North American market hasn’t gone unnoticed by enthusiasts, but the E63 S is heavily facelifted for the 2021 model year to take on the competition.

“The overall goal was to make the E63 better in a number of measurable ways. By bringing over knowledge we gained in the development of other products (i.e., the AMG GT 4-door).”
The most notable difference between the 2020 E63 and the facelifted 2021 model, aside from the styling (pictured above), is the suspension. “We revised some of our bushing stiffness and adjustable suspension logic in an effort to make the car both more comfortable for around-town driving, and more sporty on a back road or a racetrack. The tuning has been affected by changing the bushing stiffness and changing the logic for the air springs and variable dampers.”


We’ll have to evaluate the effectiveness of AMG’s suspension changes in our upcoming E63 Wagon review. Audi typically places a heavy emphasis on comfort, even on the RS models, so it might be tough for AMG to challenge in this area.

Mercedes-AMG G63 (2021) review: excess all areas

‘The old G-Class was a second or third car for most customers,’ Gunnar Guethenke (unsurprisingly nicknamed ‘Mr G’ as the head of Mercedes-Benz’s off-road division) told us back in 2018. ‘With the new model, we think it is a viable only car.’

That was a very big claim to make. Having tested one abroad and in the UK, though, we’re inclined to agree.

This G-Class represented the biggest shake-up in the model’s 40-odd-year history; the W463 model we all know and quietly admire had been on sale from 1990 until 2018. While there’s been little arguing about the streetside posing and rap-attack creds of the outgoing G, it drove, packaged and wobbled like a car knocking on the door of its 30th birthday party.

Here, we test the all-out AMG G63 variant.

What has changed with the latest G63?

Almost everything. Only three parts are carried over: the headlamp washers, the push-button door handles and the giant spare wheel cover bolted to the rear tailgate.

It’s still based around a sturdy (but new) ladder-frame chassis, built like steel girders to support a nearby suspension bridge more than a rich person’s plaything. Off it are hung steel and aluminium body panels, cleverly designed for maximum stiffness and a little less weight (mass falls by around 170kg, to a still-portly 2.5 tonnes).

Much of that heft is attributed to the serious off-roading hardware; the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class range comes as standard with three fully locking differentials (one at each axle and a central clutch, to maintain traction in all conditions) and a low-speed transfer box. Daimler claims this provision is unique among off-roading brethren.

Climb aboard the new G and you won’t confuse old and new cabins. The old G-Class had a woefully cramped passenger compartment; your elbows felt pinched by the door cards, rear-seat passengers had nowhere to put their feet and the instruments and electrical architecture reflected the Betamax generation from which they hailed.

The new car is bigger, for starters: 53mm longer and 64mm wider, for superior packaging. It shows – even full-sized adults will be comfy in either row, and the rear bench can accommodate two, or even three, grown-ups thanks to thinner front seats and an impressively almost flat floor. The boot is an adequate 454 litres, pinched by the sub-woofer on the left and fuel tank on the right. Access it via the mother of all side-hinged, heavy tailgates which now locks into place at any extension so it won’t blow shut in a high wind.

Most striking of all is the E-class instrumentation that’s transformed the dashboard: giant twin 12.3in digital displays are standard in UK models (elsewhere you can order retro physical dials, should you fancy) and all the latest Merc trickery is present and correct. So you can now enjoy Apple CarPlay to sync your phone, skip around the menus using wheel-mounted thumb trackpads and there’s even a wifi hotspot. On a G-wagen!

Oh, and there’s still a sturdy grab handle in front of the passenger, as a permanent reminder that this car is still all about scaling serious inclines more than the next playlist.

What’s the AMG G63 like to drive?

You quickly sense how thorough this overhaul is. The G might look incredibly similar from outside, all the way down to those faux rain gutters and sturdy exposed hinges that riff on the G aesthetic, but it’s essentially very modern.

This full-monty AMG G63 which brings the mother of all twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8s with a faintly ludicrous 569bhp and 627lb ft all the way from 2500-3500rpm. There’s also a G350d available in the UK, which we’ve ran as a long-termer.

The AMG G63 So it’s neck-snappingly quick, with 0-62mph in a claimed 4.5sec and you can derestrict it up to 149mph if you’re feeling especially brave. Performance is accompanied by the rudest of V8 blare, exaggerated in Sport mode to bounce off walls and draw even more attention than the set-square boxy G-Class already musters.

The old one was fast, too, but felt like it was about to hurl you off the road at the first sign of a corner or bump. The new chassis delivers a quantum leap in ride and handling, soaking up the majority of road scars and – praise be! – delivering something approaching steering response and feel.

Thank the new electric rack and pinion steering, replacing the stick-in-porridge accuracy of the old recirculating ball set-up. Look: the new G-Class might be lighter but it’s still nearly 2.6 tonnes and you’ll never make that much metal truly agile, but the new G-Class has a damn good go at it. There’s still some hefty body roll – something you clearly have to expect from an enormous box that’s lifted several feet off the ground – but, again, it’s a marked improvement from the old one.

The chunky tyres (up to 22 inches in diameter, and down to 18s on Euro-spec models) give up the ghost first, squealing like a pig escaping the abbatoir, but body control and general poise are to be applauded. Driving the G-wagen is a lesson in upright boxiness, those perpendicular windows affording a fine view out – the bubble-wrap front indicators acting as a gun sight as you haul in the hot hatch hooligan up ahead.

Will the new G-wagen off road like a Land Rover?

You bet. The G-Class has always been about genuine mud-plugging, as befits its ongoing military application among governments around the world. And the new one (still codenamed W463; it’s too iconic a badge to change, apparently) does more of the same.

Proper ground clearance (241mm), stubby ends for goat-like departure (30º), approach (31º) and breakover (26º) angles mean the new G-Class can scamper up the most extraordinary terrain.

The locking differentials help here, and you can adjust them on the fly at speeds of up to 30mph. You can feel each individual wheel grabbing at the ground and the low-speed transfer case means you can descend steep hills on tickover, as engine braking does its thing. It’s frankly incredible off-road – right up there with the best from Land Rover or Jeep.

Mercedes-AMG G63: verdict

There’s some truth to Guethenke’s claim that the new G is a jack-of-all-trades. It can be a viable only car – so long as you don’t mind the ostentation, the steep running costs and the image, which is part gangster-swagger, part military, part supercar slayer. It’s an extraordinarily versatile car and one gifted with that oft-forgotten automotive talent: character.


2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon Review

With all the doom and gloom regarding the current state of the station wagon in the US, there is some good news. American buyers at least have three fast wagons at their disposal in 2021 (assuming they can afford any of them): the Audi RS6 Avant, the Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo, and the vehicle you see pictured here – the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon. And each one of these wonderful long-roofs is very good in its own way.

The E63 S in particular blends German luxury and technology with AMG grunt, creating a sizable package that’s impossible to ignore. And with modest updates for the 2021 model year that extend throughout the E-Class range, there are few arguments against the 603-horsepower AMG in the search for your next fast family hauler.

A vehicle’s ratings are relative only to its own segment and not the new-vehicle market as a whole. For more on how rates cars, click here.

You’re probably in one of two camps: Either you love the look of the E63 as a devotee of the niche but ferocious group of wagon fanatics or you hate it, associating the term “station wagon” with something your elderly grandfather might drive. We’re not total wagon zealots like some, but we certainly lean toward the former – particularly when it comes to this exact car. Our $140,000 E63 wears a ridiculously cool Designo matte blue paint job, matte black 20-inch wheels, carbon fiber accents, a blacked-out grille, and carbon-ceramic stoppers with bold copper calipers. It’s a gorgeously styled station wagon.


Those AMG-specific appointments join a lightly revised fascia that spans the entire E-Class range for the 2021 model year. The new front-end consists of updated headlights, a sharper grille (inspired in-part by the GT coupe), and slightly larger vent openings. The new features are minor, but they do help improve the overall look compared to last year.
The interior of the E63 wagon is, expectedly, very familiar and very stunning. It looks and feels like almost every other Mercedes in the current lineup, which is a good thing. High-quality Nappa leather and Alcantara (standard on this model) drape the seats and steering wheel, while sublime yellow accent stitching coats the dash and door panels and a beautiful black Dinamica headliner ($1,600) covers the roof.

Even with low-profile tires and a raucous V8, the E63 S is a sublime cruiser when it needs to be. In Comfort mode, the fast wagon putts along with nary a care. The highly adaptive Mercedes suspension is so well-damped in this setting that it easily shrugs off bumps and imperfections, creating a cloud-like ride.

The steering is relatively light in this mode, too, which makes the large machine pretty easy to maneuver. And above all, the E63 is whisper quiet on the inside. As with most modern Mercedes products, insulation and sound deadening on the E63 are unsurpassed – especially with the optional Acoustic Comfort package. The $1,100 option adds improved heat and noise insulation and infrared-reflecting laminated glass.
Passenger and cargo space is another positive point for the E63 wagon – there’s just so much room. The front cabin affords the driver 37.5 inches of headroom and 41.7 inches of legroom, which is on par with the RS6 Avant’s 38.3 inches and 41.3 inches of front head and legroom. Passengers in the rear of the E63 wagon also get a solid 38.2 inches of headroom thanks to the raised roof, which is again close to the RS6 Avant (39.5 inches). Bottom line: even taller humans will be comfortable in the second row over long distances.
But if you’re buying a wagon over an E63 sedan, cargo space is what you’re most likely after. And the E63 has plenty of it; there are 35.0 cubic feet behind the second row and 64.0 cubes with that second row folded. The RS6 only has 30.0 cubic feet behind the second row, and with the rear seats folded, it offers 59.3 cubic feet.

Technology & Connectivity
We’ve always had very positive things to say about the Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system. It offers great features like “Hey, Mercedes” voice commands and augmented reality navigation, and is generally very easy to use. But Benz updated some of the hardware here – the steering wheel controls in particular – and it’s somehow slightly worse.
Mercedes removed the simple volume dial, haptic feedback buttons, and cruise control selector on the steering wheel and implemented a more convoluted button-less setup that consists of two piano black inserts with fully touch-capacitive controls. As we noted in our first drive of the E53 sedan, the setup simply doesn’t work as well as last year’s version did. The cruise control layout on the left side of the steering wheel is especially confusing and difficult to use; it’s unclear exactly which selection does what. And things like the swipe directional responses aren’t well-received.

That said, MBUX is still one of the most comprehensive infotainment systems out there. The 12.3-inch touchscreen offers clean, crisp graphics, a relatively easy to use layout, and tons of features, plus a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with many of those same options. The addition of a drive mode selector dial on the steering wheel and a corresponding roundel on the opposite side for exhaust note, suspension, stability control, and transmission settings is a nice addition for 2021, as well.

Performance & Headling
“Blistering” feels like the most appropriate word to describe the E63 S Wagon in a straight line; this thing will shove you and all four friends into their seatbacks without hesitation. In Sport Plus and Race modes specifically, the ferocious twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 rips to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds courtesy of 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet – all of that torque available between 2500 and 4500 rpm. And at high speeds, the E63 S shows no signs of slowing. Power seemingly never plateaus or diminishes, even well near redline.
All that power routes to each wheel via the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, which affords the E63 plenty of grip. An AMG-tuned nine-speed automatic, meanwhile, transmission manages it all – and exceptionally well. The transmission shifts with a crisp decisiveness in Sport and Race modes, but it can be a bit lethargic in some of the other lesser settings.


Don’t be fooled by the E63’s length and weight (197.1 inches and 4,725 pounds, respectively), though. This wagon is a sublime companion for twisty roads. The big-bodied AMG keeps perfectly flat even in the tightest turns as the adaptive dampers – in their stiffest setting – all but eliminate body roll. The steering is tight and reactive, and when joined by the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires (265/35R-20 front, 295/30R-20 rear), there’s ample feedback from the road to your fingertips. And there’s even a drift mode, which disconnects the front axle and sends power solely to the rear (but it’s not for use on public roads).

The E63 wagon comes with things like automatic emergency braking, car-to-car communication, active parking assist, and a 360-degree camera right out of the box. But with the Driver Assistance package (a $1,950 option), the E63 also gets evasive steering assist, active lane-keep assist with lane-centering, lane-change assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and more.
Mercedes-Benz, in our experience, has one of the best active safety systems around, eclipsing BMW and Nissan and rivaling more advanced options from Tesla or Cadillac. And that’s still true here in the E63 Wagon; a simple click of the steering wheel-mounted cruise control function and the Mercedes system does most of the work for you.
On the highway, constant steering adjustments keep the E63 perfectly centered in the lane. Adaptive cruise brakes smoothly all the way down to zero and even modifies the speed setting automatically depending on local limits (if you so choose) or, using GPS data, for upcoming highway bends. And the lane-change assist is our favorite feature, which moves the car automatically into the next lane at the flick of the indicator stalk.

Fuel Economy
The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon’s twin-turbo V8 achieves a modest 16 miles per gallon city, 23 highway, and 18 combined, just two points below our target combined fuel economy for the class. Considering there are really only two other cars in this specific segment, the E63 S sits right in the middle of the pack. The Audi RS6 Avant achieves just 17 mpg combined, while the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo gets a slightly better 18 mpg combined. Naturally, premium fuel is a must.

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon is not cheap – but neither is anything else in this class. The AMG model starts at $112,450 before options, making it a good bit more expensive than the Audi RS6 Avant ($109,000), slightly pricier than its sedan sibling ($107,500) – if you fancy the four-door – but still more affordable than the Panamera Sport Turismo ($157,000). Our car costs $139,711 post options, and there are plenty of them.
Just on the visual side, the E63’s Design Brilliant Blue Magno is a $3,950 extra, the carbon fiber accents are $2,850, the matte black wheels are $2,000, the black Dinamica headliner is $1,600, and the darkened grille is $450. And as far as performance goes, the carbon-ceramic brakes are the most expensive option of the lot, asking a whopping $8,950 (and you get them in a few different colors). The Driver Assistance package is another $1,950, and Acoustic Comfort is $1,100.


Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate Stig Drifts

They say that he once did the Cannonball run on a unicycle, and that he broke the record by doing so. Also, he just can’t seem to stop drifting the cars he gets a hold of, and his newest conquest is a Mercedes-AMG E63 Station Wagon. We guess the AMG part of that sentence kind of makes everything click together.

Now, in the world of motorsports, you rarely get to see a station wagon competing alongside other. regular cars. But there are exceptions indeed. Like the globally acclaimed Volvo 850 back in the day, that competed in the Touring Car Series. Also, in drifting, there have been several pro drifters that felt the need to make a statement by competing in such a large body type of vehicle.

This would be the second time the Stig is checking out the sideways going capabilities of a Mercedes Benz in the new series, and the first one, the AMG C63 Black Series, was quite impressive, albeit a bit slouchy. This time things do look like they might be slightly easier, as the longer wheelbase should allow for a more stable slide, and the engine is now turbocharged, providing copious amounts of torque to play with.

The AMG E63 comes with a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8, which gives the driver access to a whopping 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) of torque. But weight has gone up for this attempt, as compared to the smaller C63, with the E class weighing 628 lbs (285 kg) more, which is not to be taken lightly.

As expected, the long wheelbase does the trick, and the car looks quite good while going sideways, leaving just enough room to imagine what this vehicle could do after a massive weight loss and the proper drivetrain upgrades. That’s if anyone is enthusiastic enough to actually turn a nearly $100,000 Mercedes into an actual pro drift machine. Read more >


Driven: The 503-HP 2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Wagon You Can't Have

The compact AMG station wagon is a sportier utility vehicle—but it's not available here.

Many Americans still think of "mom" and "station wagon" in the same sentence, ignoring that the ubiquitous modern SUV is essentially the 21st century's Wagon Queen Family Truckster. But in Europe, wagons are still cool, still the preferred utility vehicles for people with sporty lifestyles. And the faster the wagon, the cooler it is. Which makes the 2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S wagon about as cool as long-roof load luggers come.

The C63 S wagon is of course the E63 S 4Matic+ wagon's little brother, 11.5 inches shorter, 3.8 inches narrower, 1.3 inches lower, and rolling on a 3.9-inch-shorter wheelbase. It's powered by the same 503-hp, 516-lb-ft version of Daimler's versatile 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 as the AMG GLC63 S Coupe sold Stateside, rather than the big-hitter 603-hp, 627-lb-ft engine of the E-Class version. Can't have the 600-pound-lighter—and, in the U.K., the 23 percent cheaper—little brother upstaging things, can we?

The C63 S wagon's lighter weight is partly because, well, it's smaller, and also because it doesn't have the bigger car's 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system. By Daimler's own numbers, it's about half a second slower to 62 mph than the E 63 S 4Matic+ wagon, which suggests a zero to 60 time of about 3.5 seconds. Given the heavier, all-wheel-drive AMG GLC63 we tested a few years back recorded a zero to 60 time of 3.2 seconds, that might be a touch pessimistic. And there's nothing in it in terms of top speed between the two; Daimler says the E 63 S is good for 180 mph, while the C63 S will do 174.

A 2018 face-lift added the toothy AMG grille up front and a new rear diffuser, plus the option of 19-inch forged alloy wheels instead of the regular 18-inchers. Interior upgrades included a 12.3-inch digital dash and 10.5-inch infotainment screen, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with touchpad controls on the spokes, and a rotary mode controller similar to Porsche's Sport Chrono unit.

While the engine remained untouched, the old seven-speed torque-converter auto was replaced with AMG's nine-speed wet-clutch automatic, and it added an e-diff. AMG Traction Control—the same nine-stage system first seen on the AMG GT R—was made standard on the S. The AMG Dynamic Select system offers five predetermined driver modes, along with an Individual mode that allows you to choose the engine, gearbox, steering, and exhaust settings. AMG Ride Control manages the steel springs and adaptive shocks, and the AMG Dynamics system enables you to manage the ESP settings and torque distribution to the rear axle through four further settings: Basic, Advanced, Pro, and Master.

What's it all add up to? A rambunctious little thug of a wagon, that's what. Next to the C63 S, the E63 S seems calmer, more mature—if any station wagon with Saturn V thrust, a rolling thunder soundtrack, and Drift mode could be called calm and mature. The C63 S feels livelier, noisier, busier, especially at 120 mph or more on the autobahn, where the shorter wheelbase and different suspension settings mean high-speed turn-in response feels more aggressive, and there's much more vertical motion through the chassis. The rear drive balance is real rather than digitally remastered; accessing Drift mode in this thing simply requires turning the traction control off, instead of the video-game cheat code sequence of button presses, paddle pulls, and menu fiddling E63 drivers must engage to defeat the AWD and access its rear-drive mode.

It might not have the brute power of the E63 S, but Lordy it's still fast. On a trip that saw us in a single day dispatch the 700 miles between London and Dresden in eastern Germany, we averaged 100 mph on one 55-mile stretch of autobahn that included more than 5 miles of slow running through construction. The C63 S cruised easily at 130-140 mph when traffic allowed, and on one stretch we saw an indicated 156 mph.

The best thing about the C63 S wagon? Not just that it flies, but that it flies below the radar. Unless you're an enthusiast, it could be one of tens of thousands of diesel C-Class wagons running around Europe on fancy AMG wheels. There's something deeply engaging about a supercar that to most people looks like an ordinary grocery getter. It has utility. But it's very, very sporty.


Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Charon Has More Than Meets The Eye

Poland-based Auto Dynamics just unloaded its new tuning package for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S codenamed as “Charon”. On the outside, the Merc appears almost the same as its standard version but as the saying goes, “beauty is only skin-deep”, there’s more to the car than what the eye can see.

 Beneath the hood of the base AMG C 63 S lies a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. However, thanks to the AD850+ performance package of the tuner, additional 340 hp and 200 lb-ft can be squeezed out from the car, which brings its total output to a whopping 843 hp and 716 lb-ft of torque.

 The package includes an ECU tuning as well as a new set of TTE turbochargers, a sports catalyst, Supersprint downpipes, and cat-back exhaust system with adjustable valves from Remus Innovation. The power modifications are also complemented by Eventuri carbon-fiber intake with upgraded air intakes for better air circulation, Weistec ASV/BOV blow-off adapter, Wagner Tuning carbon air injectors, and Weistec sump for the AMG Speedshift transmission. 

Meanwhile, the exterior of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S gets a mild makeover with the AD Black Star body kit of Auto Dynamics. The package includes a blacked-out Panamericana grille, door handles, and the tuner’s badges. Lastly, it is topped off with a set of 20-inch BBS wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot 4S tires complete with lowering springs by Eibach and Fischer Stahlflex brake lines.


Mercedes-AMG E 53 Launched With 423BHP

Mercedes has unveiled an updated version of its entry-level AMG E 53 performance saloon, hot on the heels of the facelifted standard E-Class range. The brand’s updated rival for the Audi S6 is on sale in the UK now, with prices starting from £64,750 for the saloon and £66,750 for the estate.

 The updated AMG E 53 4MATIC+’s styling tweaks mirror those of the standard E-Class range, albeit with a more hardcore appearance. Up front, there’s a new radiator grille which mimics the design of the AMG GT Coupe’s – and at the rear, there’s an aggressive new diffuser which houses a quad-exit exhaust system.

 The E 53 is available in a choice of two trim levels. The base model features 19-inch twin-five-spoke AMG alloy wheels, a 360-degree parking camera, keyless go and AMG-branded brake calipers. Inside, buyers get a pair of leather-trimmed sports seats, carbon-fibre trim and Mercedes’s 12.3-inch dual-screen infotainment system.

The E 53’s infotainment set-up also includes AMG-specific functions, such as a lap timer, telemetry settings and track mapping. There’s a new flat-bottomed steering wheel, which is similar in design to the rest of the range, but is fitted with a pair of AMG buttons to adjust the car’s driving modes.
The more lavishly equipped AMG E 53 Night Edition Premium Plus is priced from £68,250 and adds a set of matte-black 20-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic glass sunroof, privacy glass, gloss-black window surrounds and an improved 13-speaker Burmester sound system.

Both E53s are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, which is supported by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Combined, the unit has an output of 423bhp and 520Nm of torque which, thanks in part to the car’s four-wheel drive system, is enough for a 0–62mph time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
Like all Mercedes-AMG models, the E 53 gets a host of extra chassis technology, including adaptive dampers, a sophisticated five-stage traction control system, uprated disc brakes, dynamic engine mounts and a limited-slip differential for the rear axle. Read more >


Mercedes-AMG E53 Cabriolet Delivers Both Speed and Grace

A freshened face and additional features adorn AMG's updated droptop E-class, but its high-tech inline-six remains as sweet as ever.

The hierarchical nature of model positioning means it is easy to view the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E53 as less desirable than the AMG 63 S sitting above it in the E-class range. Yet, such a judgement is unfair. The considerable talents of AMG's gently electrified six-cylinder give it a different character than the range-topping V-8 but one that's almost as equally compelling. In those variants where both powerplants are offered, it is entirely justified to prefer the smaller engine on grounds other than sheer parsimony. With the stylish E-class cabriolet, however, the point is moot. The AMG E53 is where the convertible tops out.

Some will bemoan AMG's continued refusal to combine the sonorous muscularity of its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 with the cabriolet body. But the electrically assisted 3.0-liter inline-six of the AMG E53 proves almost perfectly suited to the car's laid-back driving manners. A mid-term facelift for 2021 hasn't wrought any significant mechanical revisions—power and torque figures remain unchanged—but it has brought more toys and revised styling to the range-topping cabriolet.

As with the E-class sedan and wagon, the cabriolet and closely related coupe get a heavily revised front end with new headlights and a radiator grille apparently inspired by the W194 300SL racer that won the Carrera Panamericana in 1952. Narrowed at the top and wider at the bottom, this is effectively an inverse of the pre-facelift grille and one that we think better suits the car. Changes at the rear end have been more limited, the E-class cabriolet (and its coupe counterpart) getting taillights with new internal elements. As before, the AMG E53 gets quad exhaust pipes beneath the rear bumper. The lesser E450 makes do with slightly squashed-looking dual exhaust tips.

More obvious changes are evident in the cabin, which remains spacious and extremely well-finished but which has migrated to the latest version of Mercedes's MBUX infotainment system. This is certainly crisper looking than the old setup and adds high-tech features like augmented-reality navigation, which superimposes direction-pointing arrows onto a live video feed when approaching intersections, but we found the system lacking in intuitive smarts and sometimes complicated to operate. Mercedes also gave the E53 a new four-spoke steering wheel to provide real estate for a proliferation of touch-sensitive controls, many of which replicate functions still served by surviving pre-facelift buttons. Buyers will doubtless get used to the complexity—or shortcut it with the smart "Hey, Mercedes" voice assistant—but we are increasingly nostalgic for the recent past when Benz's user interface was both simple and intuitive.

Beyond mild ergonomic niggles, the rest of the driving experience impresses all the way. The E53 powertrain continues to use a very clever 3.0-liter inline-six that has both a conventional exhaust-driven turbocharger and an electrically powered 48-volt compressor that adds boost at lower engine revs. The six is paired with a substantial integrated starter-generator that, although it can't power the car by itself, is able to add up to 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque to the combustion engine's output of 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet. (The lesser E450 uses the same engine and starter-generator but lacks the e-turbo.)

The powertrain's complexity remains effectively invisible. All the E53 driver will experience is the combination of effortless low-rev muscle—with a total absence of detectable lag—and an impressively bristly top end. No, the six-cylinder can't match either the firepower or theatrics of the E63 S, but it is still able to deliver forceful acceleration when unleashed. The last E53 coupe that we tested blasted its way from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, and we expect about the same for the slightly heavier cabriolet. Only at high speeds does the E53 start to feel anything less than blisteringly quick. On a stretch of limit-free German autobahn on our test route, the rate of acceleration fell away above an indicated 125 mph, a speed at which the E63 S sedan kept pulling at a barely diminished rate. While obviously lacking a V-8 soundtrack, the E53 makes some impressively muscular noises under hard use, with the Sport and Sport Plus modes allowing for some pops and crackles on upshifts and when the accelerator is lifted at higher revs.

The punchier dynamic modes sharpen the rest of the E53 driving experience, too, although not one turns it into a true sports car. Air springs and adaptive dampers are firmed up in the more aggressive settings but not sufficiently to corrupt the cabriolet's ride. Nor does the body control feel wayward in Comfort mode, the cabrio's 4600-pound mass kept in check over the roughest surfaces we could find. The weight is more obvious when asking the car to change direction quickly, and with the cabriolet's roof stowed we did notice slight evidence of the car's weakened structure, the rearview mirror vibrating slightly over certain road surfaces. The cabriolet's steering delivers crisp cornering response, although little natural feel passes beyond the generous power assistance. Traction from the quick-acting 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is impeccable on dry pavement. It takes an unsympathetic level of abuse to persuade the E53 to relinquish any rear-end grip.

The E53's hybrid powerplant remains almost perfectly suited to the cabriolet's dynamic demeanor—rapid but relaxed, adding character without dominating the experience. Even cruising at speed with the roof folded, the E-class cabrio's cabin is impressively free of drafts or buffeting. The Airscarf system directs hot air to the top of the seats, making it possible to enjoy top-down driving in conditions that would be too chilly for most convertibles. The nine-speed automatic gearbox is also smoother at lower speeds than on V-8-powered models, where AMG replaces the torque converter with a wet-clutch pack.

Luxurious cabriolets have been part of Mercedes's offerings in the United States for as long as the brand has been selling cars here, but that might not be the case for much longer. We know that the future of all the brand's cabrios (and conventional coupes) are under review in the face of sliding sales. Losing a car like this would be a huge shame. The E53 continues to feel like a high point for both its brand and its wider genre.


Mercedes-AMG E63 S Does It All

AMG's updated 603-hp E63 S is a multi-talented rocket that can play a limousine or a sports car all the way to its top speed.

The V-8-powered sports sedan is rapidly becoming an endangered species, making the arrival of the revised Mercedes-AMG E63 S a timely reminder that there won't be too many more examples of what is one of our favorite automotive genres. AMG has already admitted that its next-gen hybridized powertrain will be based on a four-cylinder engine, and even if that boasts an output to match (or surpass) the 603-hp twin-turbo V-8 in the E63 S, we can't imagine it will get close on character.

But before we call the mortuary, the E63 S remains a spectacularly talented all-rounder, with none of the E-class's midlife revisions having altered its ability to deliver huge, effortless speed. And it was happy to prove this in spectacular style in its most natural European environment—the passing lane of a German autobahn. As traffic cleared on the A13 near Dresden and the dawdlers happy to cruise at a mere 90 mph or so headed right, the AMG proved its ability to deliver seat-squashing g-forces and a heady V-8 soundtrack with a total lack of untoward drama. It felt as though acceleration barely diminished as the speedometer needle swept past 120 mph, where most fast cars begin to really struggle with the wind, and continues to pull strongly even beyond 155 mph, where lesser AMGs suffer the intervention of their electronic governor. We couldn't find a quiet enough stretch to confirm a top speed for the E63 S, but AMG says its more permissive limiter won't call time until 186 mph.

While such antics are fun, they only represent a small part of the E63 S's appeal. This remains a performance sedan as good at everyday speeds as it is at stratospheric velocities, handling the real world with very nearly the same level of refinement as its less powerful siblings, thanks to the transformative effect of its switchable dynamic modes. Comfort mode turns the E63 S into a limousine, with supple air springs and adaptive dampers doing an outstanding job of digesting road imperfections and the nine-speed automatic shifting early to make the most of every last drop of premium gasoline. The peak 627 pound-feet of torque is available between 2500 rpm and 4500 rpm. The gentlest mode is almost too civilized for something so potent, with AMG's engineers admitting they slightly softened the facelifted car's suspension in response to customer feedback.

If we were most buyers, we’d treat the firmer Sport mode as the everyday default, as it puts some pep into the E63 S's responses and some rasp into its exhaust note without adding undue harshness. Beyond that lies Sport Plus, which puts a noticeable edge on the damping, and the full-on Race mode, which turns the AMG into a snarling monster. Adaptive dampers, the switchable exhaust, and ESP modes can all be controlled separately, and there is still a Custom mode for the hard to please.

While the standard nine-speed shifts both cleanly and quickly, its continued use of a multiplate clutch pack instead of a torque converter—to help sharpen responses and enable high-rpm launches—does have a small impact on low-speed refinement, with the sense that engine and wheels are sometimes being connected with too much suddenness.

The E63 S controls its mass exceptionally well, feeling agile and wieldy for something its size and weight. Its curb weight is around 4600 pounds, but the accurate steering has good feel and delivers both arrow-straight high-speed stability and decisive cornering responses. Selecting the more aggressive dynamic modes brings a rearward bias to the torque distribution of the E63 S's standard all-wheel-drive system, but it takes the (likely rare) selection of the car's Drift mode to turn it into a tire-smoking rear-driven hooligan. While we obviously needed to sample this function in the interests of scientific discovery, we suspect that few buyers will use it often. "Aerodynamically optimized" 10-spoke, 20-inch wheels are standard, and the car we sampled also came with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes, an upgrade that provided predictably indefatigable stopping power.

The world might be losing interest in sedans, but—as with the lesser members of its clan—the E63 S has been given a facelift more substantive than the sort of gentle tinkering normally reserved for a midlife sharpening. A new front end features a vertically slatted radiator grille inspired by that of the original 300SL, with the oversize Mercedes star in the center now housing some of the sensors required for the lane-and-distance-keeping Drive Pilot smart cruise control.

As before, the cabin remains spacious, smart, and extremely well equipped, proving that leather and carbon fiber can play nice together. But as with its regular sisters, moving the E63 S onto the latest MBUX infotainment system has created additional complication and a fair amount of ergonomic confusion. Changing horses midstream (as it were) has required the E-class to effectively accommodate two different interface systems. So, the new car keeps the pre-facelift model's rotary dynamic mode selector on the center console, as well as exhaust, gearbox, damper, and stability switches. These functions, however, are all replicated by the two new rotary controllers (with neat integrated screens) mounted to the steering wheel.

The wheel itself features double spokes on each side, these seemingly required just to allow sufficient space for all the controls it now carries. Despite all of this—and the presence of a voice assistant summoned by saying, "Hey, Mercedes"—some common functions remain hidden within the myriad of submenus. This is a car that makes it considerably easier to change damper settings than to select a new radio station.

We're promised that the revised E63 S will be with United States dealers by the end of the year, with a $108,550 base price putting it between the regular BMW M5 and the M5 Competition. The AMG might not have quite the level of focus of its most obvious competitor, but it sounds superior and—thanks to its personality-changing dynamic modes—has a broader spread of talents. Cars such as these won't be available for much longer. We will miss them when they're gone.


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