The E63 becomes the latest Mercedes-AMG car to wear the distinctive ‘Panamericana’ grille. Picture: SUPPLIED
The E63 becomes the latest Mercedes-AMG car to wear the distinctive ‘Panamericana’ grille. Picture: SUPPLIED

The clash of the Teutons intensified when, just a few days after BMW uncovered its updated M5 super-sedan, Mercedes-AMG took the wraps off its facelifted E63.

Like its Bavarian rival, the Benz gets no power increase — it hardly needed to — but struts out of the Affalterbach factory with freshened looks and technology tweaks, along with improved ride comfort.

The most obvious change to the E63’s visage is the AMG-specific “Panamericana” grille with vertical slats and an enlarged Mercedes star.

Increasing the flare of the wheel arches has given the ballistic Benz more street-brawling presence, and a reshaped “jet-wing” front apron and front splitter add styling aggression with improved front downforce.

A rounded-fit bonnet with powerdomes and flatter LED multibeam front and rear lights continue the external makeover. The more powerful S model — the only one sold in SA — in addition has a restyled high-gloss black diffuser and 20-inch alloy wheels painted in a choice of matt black or high-gloss tantalum grey.

Need more blackness? The optional AMG Night Package darkens up various parts of the body in high-gloss black, and there’s also a Carbon-Fibre Package on offer.

The interior is upgraded with a new Widescreen Cockpit, new AMG Performance steering wheel and the MBUX infotainment system with AMG-specific functions and displays. Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays such as engine data, g-force meter and Racetimer.

Mercedes says the super-sedan’s ride comfort has been tangibly increased thanks to retuned suspension and revised elastokinematics. As before, the car turns from relaxed cruiser to angry corner-carver at the press of a button, via adaptive air suspension that offers Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes.

The power level is unchanged because Mercedes decided that 450kW is an elegant sufficiency. Picture: SUPPLIED
The power level is unchanged because Mercedes decided that 450kW is an elegant sufficiency. Picture: SUPPLIED

Only the steroid-boosted E63 S model is sold in SA and, as mentioned, outputs weren’t increased in an executive sedan that’s already powerful enough to play with Ferraris.

The 4.0 biturbo V8 growls and spits 450kW and 850Nm, for a quoted 0-100km/h time of just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 300km/h. Overseas there’s also a less powerful 420kW/750Nm version which isn’t available in SA.

The E63 claws the road with all-wheel drive to keep some kind of leash on the bad-tempered insanity, but for drivers wishing to explore their counter-steering (or trouser-soiling) skills the fully variable 4Matic+ system is able to turn it into a full rear-wheel drive car with a drift mode.

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S is on sale in SA for R2,224,440, and the upgraded version will arrive here towards the end of the year at a yet-to-be-announced price.