The 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Is The Best Modern Super Sedan You'll Ever Drive.
Epic performance paired with fresh looks makes this AMG four-door brilliant.
Mercedes-AMG continues to ship all sorts of fast models across the German lineup, and for 2021, the E-Class was due for an update. For drivers who need a sedan that can rip its way along any twisty road or Autobahn, without catching too much attention, the E 63 S is ready to help.
Not long ago, I had a damn fun test in the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, and thought it was a brilliant four-door coupe supercar, but wanted to see what its more subtle sedan sibling was up to. Where the Mercedes-AMG GT four-door coupe is tuned for outright Nurburgring-slaying speed, the E 63 S is more suited to long runs along the Autobahn. Choosing which I'd rather have was a challenge, but I'm not complaining.
Presenting The Good Numbers And Updates
Slotting nicely in the Mercedes lineup as the just-right sized sedan, the 2021 E-Class got a refresh, complete with new exterior styling that doesn't immediately look different than the 2020 model, but it's a clean revision. Inside things are moderately upgraded in style and function, with a new multifunction steering wheel, sportier accents, and the upgraded MBUX infotainment system.
Under the hood you'll find the familiar 4.0-liter biturbo V8 that produces 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) of torque that's mated to a 9-speed MCT transmission, AMG's 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel-drive system, and an electric limited-slip differential out back. Employing all this hardware, the 4,600-pound (2,087 kg) Mercedes-AMG E 63 S will rocket from 0-60 MPH in 3.3 seconds--just .2 sec slower than the AMG GT 63 S--on its way to a governed top speed of 186 MPH. With EPA fuel estimates of 16/23/18 (city/highway/combined) you're getting decent economy from an engine with supercar power output.
Base price for the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S is $107,500, and after hitting a bunch of the option boxes (including plenty of carbon fiber inside and out, carbon ceramic brakes, the Burmester audio system, and a bunch of driver aids), the Graphite Grey Metallic tester I was sent hit a total MSRP of $140,160. Performance figures and pricing is right on-par with the BMW M5 sedan. If you want a bit more storage space and versaility without having to buy an SUV, Mercedes-AMG offers the E 63 in wagon form too, which goes head-to-head with the Audi RS6 Avant.
Tested on a back road with less than grippy pavement.
Commuting In A Total Sleeper
Without being flashy, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S buzzes around town in style. Even if you don't go with grey paint and black wheels, you'll sneak under the radar everywhere. Fortunately AMG stuffed plenty of performance under that sleeper sheet metal, and this sedan is perfect for the driver who wants to blast down the freeway during their commute, enjoy a quick rip around the car park, but not attract any unwanted attention. Of course you can tap the exhaust mode button to release the audible joy from that potent turbocharged V8.
I griped that the AMG GT 63 S was too harsh around town, and thankfully there's a balance of capability and compliance in the E 63 S, and it seems like there's a hint more attention given to NVH levels in the E-Class. Suspension dynamics are fantastic, with just enough response over any texture, but without rattling every interior trim fastener or dental filling out of place. Despite packing over 600 horsepower, the E 63 S doesn't feel like it wants to lunge forward at the slightest hint of throttle application, and was given tame behaviors when driving in the comfort drive mode. Steering is light yet direct, and there's the right amount of electric assist provided.
Cabin treatments are the perfect balance of cool and functional, with nice use of carbon fiber, neatly-stitched leather, and brushed metallic bits placed throughout. A pair of 12-inch displays rest before you, with the center screen now featuring touch controls as part of the updated MBUX infotainment system, and the instrument cluster offering plenty of customization options. Opt for the powerful Burmester audio system, and you'll enjoy some fantastic sounds and some of the coolest speakers in the business. When you fire up the E 63 S, you'll notice the tweeters twist out from the door panel near the mirrors, with the coolest touch of ambient lighting bringing them to life. The new steering wheel now has touch control buttons that aren't like normal buttons, and have some strange sensitivity that will take you some getting used to.
The E 63 S's seats don't look as sporty as other AMG options, but they hug you in all the right ways while offering heating, ventilation, and massage features. I took a road trip to the Houston area and back to Austin (possibly testing the comfort and steadiness at Autobahn-worthy speeds), and the support was spot-on, without a single gripe about stiffness after spending several hours behind the wheel. Back seat legroom is great for real adults, and there's a hint of bolster for those occupants should you fling the racier E-Class around the corners.
Go Find Some Twisty Roads
Dropping some serious coin on an E 63 S should be done with every intent of ripping up some back roads, and I can attest that this fast Merc absolutely slays. Flip the AMG drive select mode to sport or sport+, and get ready to haul some serious ass. Throttle response quickens effectively, dampers firm up, steering adds favorable weight, and the turbocharged V8 rumbles. With all-wheel-drive helping initial traction, the fast E-Class storms off the line, planting you firmly into your seat.
In typical car reviewer fashion, I tweaked my individual drive mode perfectly with the suspension in comfort, but went hardcore with everything else, including putting the customizable traction setting in Pro (allows a bit of slip angle while not fully killing off all driving aids in Master) mode. I love how AMG finely tuned its air suspension to give you a sporty feel, with rapid response, but just enough compliance to keep the 4,900-pound super sedan from getting upset on any road. A little suspension travel and body roll isn't a bad thing when it means that you keep traction and weight placed on the outside tires in a fast corner.
As you approach a bend, don't be afraid to carry some speed, as the trick driveline will work in harmony with the e-diff out back to give you optimal traction and rotation to shove you around smoothly. A few hidden steps in the settings will open up drift mode, enabling silliness Chris Harris would approve of. Hooking up in the bends is easy thanks to 265/35/20 front and 295/30/20 rear Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, which are still my favorite for any fast car driven by normal humans.
Speed sneaks up on you quickly in the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S, as the power and torque are plentiful under your right foot, and the delivery is seamless. Pair that with a comfortable ride, and it's easy to accidentally be topping triple digits between tight curves. Fortunately my tester was equipped with the $8,950 optional carbon ceramic brakes that eliminate speed with ease and fantastic pedal feel while shaking gobs of unsprung weight. I doubt most E 63 S owners are going to track this monster, but if they do, AMG loaded up the MBUX system with its track pace app, to help you make the most of all sorts of data and analysis to make you a track day bro hero.
The Ultimate Sedan Gets My Highest Praise
The first AMG model I ever drove was a 2000 E 55, and that was a perfect balance of speed and luxury in a cool four-door package. Ever since then, I've loved the AMG-tweaked E-Class, and its newest iteration is fantastic. It's understated outside, cool inside, and fast as hell in the most composed way.
Then we get to the price. At under $110,000 as a starting point, the E 63 S can get up to $150,000 if you load up the carbon fiber trim inside and out, while adding the carbon brakes, but when I built out my perfect E 63 S, the sticker was closer to $120,000. The GT 63 S is nearly $50,000 more to start, and can inch toward $200,000 in a hurry.
I love the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S for plenty of reasons, but the E 63 S is more subtle, more compliant, and more usable without sacrificing any of its true performance. Sure, the GT boasts a faster 'Ring lap time and flashier looks, but the E 63 S was tuned to be more enjoyable on your daily drive and along unrestricted parts of the Autobahn. For my money, I'll take the sleeper E-Class and pocket a ton of cash while still having a blast behind the wheel.