Mercedes on Tuesday showed the most powerful E-Class ever, two weeks ahead of its public debut at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show.
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S puts out 603 horsepower, 26 more horsepower than the last model.
Both the E63 S and E63 dropped cover, and both use a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that uses twin-scroll turbochargers for the first time.
The S model churns out a massive 627 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm, which helps vault the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and push it to a top speed of 186 mph. The standard E63 AMG, which produces 563 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, isn’t much slower with a 3.4-second 0 to 60 mph run. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
To improve fuel economy, the V-8 has cylinder deactivation, which shuts down cylinders two, three, five, and eight in light load conditions. This technology first debuted on the SLK55 AMG.
The transmission is Mercedes’ AMG Speedshift MCT 9-speed automatic transmission. Both models come with a new AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system. Mercedes says this system is newly engineered, and it makes torque distribution fully variable front to rear for the first time, ensuring “optimum traction right up to the physical limit.”
The suspension is also re-engineered. It features a multi-chamber air suspension. Mercedes isn’t providing specifics of the changes, but says it has high camber stability, which probably means a bit more camber is dialed in, perhaps both front and rear.
As we reported, the E63 will have a Drift mode. It is activated within the Race program, and requires the ESP to be deactivated and the transmission to be in the manual mode. In Drift mode, the E63 S becomes strictly a rear-wheel-drive car.
Exterior details include a unique look ahead of the A-pillars. The wheel arches are .67-inch wider to accommodate the greater track and larger wheels up front. The new grille has two louvers in silver chrome, vertical black struts, and AMG lettering. An aggressive splitter sits up front, and Mercedes says the wide front fascia’s design was inspired by jet wings.
Look for more details on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 and E63 S when the car is shown in L.A. Both versions are set to go on sale in the summer of 2017. For more from the L.A. auto show, head to our dedicated hub.