The new Mercedes-AMG E63 will deliver the biggest step forward in terms of driving dynamics in fast E-Class history – that's the claim of AMG boss Tobias Moers.
Due to be unveiled in roughly 12 months' time, it will be based on the new-generation W213 E-Class which will make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2016.
The new E63 will retain a twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet, but will switch to a high-output version of AMG's latest 4.0-litre engine. Moers says he is keen to avoid getting embroiled in a horsepower war, however confirms the new car will remain competitive in the segment.
With BMW's M5 and Audi's RS Performance models now producing 441kW and 445kW respectively, expect figures of 450kW/800Nm from the new E63, fed through a nine-speed version of AMG's MCT wet-clutch automatic.
The big change will be how this grunt is put to the road, however, with all-wheel drive almost certain to appear for the first time on Australian models. Performance is set to be shattering, with talk of 0-100km/h taking just 3.5sec.
The current E63 is already available with Merc's 4MATIC system, however Moers says a new AMG-specific all-wheel drive system is being developed for the car.
Details are few, but given Moers' assertion that drivers “can do all the stupid things – going sideways and all that – you do in rear-wheel drive” we expect that the current 4MATIC 33:67 rear-biased split will make way for a continuously variable system like that of the Audi R8 or Porsche 911 Turbo.
A rear-wheel drive version is still under consideration, however the high take-up rate of all-wheel drive – 90 per cent in markets where both rear- and all-wheel drive versions of the current car are on offer – means it is unlikely to be worth the development cost.
While performance will be in another league compared to the current car thanks to the traction on offer, Moers is confident that the driving experience will be the biggest step forward, thanks to incorporating features like the wider, stiffer rear axle from the new C63 Coupe.
We'll bring you more details as they come to hand.