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AP2024 Mercedes-Amg S63 E Performance

AP2024 Mercedes-Amg S63 E Performance

City elegance, canyon stormer

The response to this question isn’t a simple one, and will likely depend upon when someone’s main experience with the brand occurred.

If it were in the late 1930s, the images conjured up would be of the famous world-beaters, the “Silver Arrows,” the sleek, shiny, and super-fast torpedoes that won races everywhere.

If it were in the 1950s, the response undoubtedly would focus on high-performance sports cars, including the legendary 300 SL “Gullwing” – still very much sought-after today – the 300 SLR racer, and the less-mighty yet beautiful 300 SL’s younger brother, the 190 SL.

If it were in the 1980s or if it is now, luxury cars like the S-class would stand out, as well as perhaps the wagons, SUVs and crossovers – all status symbols.

But throughout all these decades, one thing remained constant: engineering. The cars coming from the company, based in Stuttgart, Germany, were strong, durable, solid, and dependable.

In recent years though, Mercedes has done more than just hint at its racing heritage, with high-speed road-going cars that display the “AMG” badge on their tails. Today, AMG is the high-performance subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, headquartered about 13 miles northeast of the main plant. While it started as a racing-engine company in 1967, it slowly became more formally aligned with Mercedes, until Mercedes-Benz bought the majority interest in the company in 1999.

The latest addition to the Mercedes-AMG line is the $63 E Performance, a sedan – and a hybrid – that I had the pleasure of experiencing for the day, both on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, and along the canyons and valleys close to Mulholland Drive. And what a car it is.

Let’s start with the specs, which clearly foreshadow what you can expect from the upcoming driving impressions:

  • Motors: V8 twin-turbo up front (603 horsepower) and an electric motor at the rear (188 horsepower).
  • Total horsepower: 791.
  • Total torque: 1,055.
  • 0-60 mph acceleration: 3.2 seconds
  • Top speed: 180 mph.
  • Drive wheels: all-wheel drive.
AP2024 Mercedes-Amg S63 E Performance Interior

Note that the car is not marketed as Mercedes-Benz, but as Mercedes-AMG, reflecting the joint-venture nature of the “Skunk Works”, where the gremlins create masterful, powerful cars. To put an accent on that demarcation, the AMGs are built in Affalterbach rather than the main Mercedes-Benz plant in Stuttgart. And it does not come as a surprise to car aficionados that Mercedes-AMG created the engines that motivated some of today’s most sophisticated hypercars, such as the Pagani Zonda, Huaryra V12, and the Aston Martin V8. Pretty good company to be in, right?

The car has a great stance, helped immeasurably by stunning 21-inch forged wheels, a design exclusive to AMG. The front grille is the first of its kind for AMG and an array of design elements and finishes differentiate it from other Mercedes-Benz models. The business end of the car is similarly impressive: it boasts a nine-speed transmission with seven drive modes, ranging from all-electric to drop the hammer and four settings of regen.

Entering the car, it is hard to believe that this isn’t the Mercedes-Maybach sedan, considering how plush and commodious it is. Specially stitched and ventilated seats are complemented by surround sound; state-of-the-art air conditioning with vertical registers are located on the main dash; and exquisite woods and leathers, as well as a large back seat, make for a luxurious ride.

Driving the car was pure joy. A wonderful combination of handling, accelerating, braking, and steering in a vehicle that tips the scales at around 5,500 pounds is a unique experience. The ride is supple, yet there’s no body roll on the corners. Push it and it takes it all, and then some. There is absolutely no compromise in this vehicle: it is as if Mercedes-AMG had made the largest – 17.5 feet long – and most luxurious car one that is both high-performing yet enjoyable to drive at the same time. Yes, it’s a hybrid, but the emphasis is not on miles-per-charge – it’s on blistering performance. And that works beautifully.

At press time, the cost had yet to be announced, but the base price is expected to be around $200,000. Is it worth it? When accounting for the luxury it provides for nights on the town and the incredible performance it has when hitting the canyons, it’s hard to imagine what other vehicle in that price range can keep up.

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