W​hy the E63S sounds so good...

H​ow AMG make their engines sound so absolutely filthy....

1y ago
11.4K

B​ack when in 2017 when the latest E63S was launched, many an AMG fan shed a tear or two. The mighty 6.2L naturally aspirated V8 was gone, replaced by a smaller 4L V8 with fancy turbos. Fortunately AMG don't care much for the saying "no replacement for displacement" making the current E63S the fastest, loudest, most sideways estate car money can buy. (I know that the Alpina exists, but so do to 800bhp+ tuned E's)

6​12hp and 850nm fed to all four tyres via an all new 4matic+ system. Especially exciting for us in the UK since we'd always been stuck with rear wheel drive AMGs when the continent has had 4matics for quite a while. Something like 90% of the previous gen E63S sold where 4matic...

A​s you all know each of the V8 and 4 cyclinder engines are hand assembled by one engineer. AMG are pretty proud of this hence their motto, "One Man, One Engine" Back in August 2019 I was lucky enough to behind the scenes around their factory in Affalterbach.

P​aul Beutel assembled the engine in ours, fantastic job Paul!

P​aul Beutel assembled the engine in ours, fantastic job Paul!

A​s you can imagine my favourite part was seeing the engines being assembled in the aptly named engine production building. On the ground floor the famous V8, and the first floor the all new 4-cyclinder. There are two types of V8s made on the ground floor, the M 177 twin-turbo used in the current 63 models, and the M 178, which goes into the 2 seater GT models. Each engine is made of around 600 different parts, taking between four to five hours for one technician to assemble. The model of car that the engine is destined for determines the different versions of the components fitted, eg the 612hp versions of the V8 have different seals, valves, turbos, etc compared to the 590hp version these slight changes have a large impact on the engines final sound. Its rather like comparing a Beethovenian orchestra to a Wagnerian orchestra, the core is the same, the latter just has more oomph. The guide also claims that every engine leaves with a few more ponies than it says in the brochure...

T​he room where the magic happens. Wasn't allowed to take photos, this is courtesy of AMG.

T​he room where the magic happens. Wasn't allowed to take photos, this is courtesy of AMG.

I also got to see the test rigs where current engines and prototype engines are continually enduring various challenges. One of these challenges is an endurance test. In this, the engine runs at full throttle for 400 continuous hours. Safe to say it gets rather hot. On they then submerge it in ice cold water to see how everything fairs...

The rig which I viewed had a current V8 undergoing testing, even behind the soundproofing you could hear the engine thundering away. It was interesting to discover just how important sound is to AMG, they consider it one of their core values and aim for each AMG model to have its own distinctive sound. According to Ralph Illenberger, AMG's Senior Manager Sound Development the AMG sound is “a full-body experience. The sound just takes you over.”

A​lso courtesy of AMG, a current V8 on the test bench. That exhaust glow.....

A​lso courtesy of AMG, a current V8 on the test bench. That exhaust glow.....

S​o, what does it sound like?

W​hen you're cruising it purrs away. That kind of low, warm sounding purr of a proper engine. Every E63S comes AMG's Performance Exhaust as standard, its entirely stainless steel and has uber clever valves in. In comfort mode the valves are closed (can be opened via a button, #exhaustonorelse) and all the other modes make the valves open. They also modulate the open-ness (very technical) depending on engine load, temperature etc. It's very clever and very cool.

W​hen the valves are open, you get that big block American V8 sound that AMGs have always had. I've always thought that they're the best sounding European V8 anyway! Put your foot down and its like you're in NASCAR. The engine roars, its guttural and raw, matching the AMG reputation for being extrovert. What I really love is the broadside of pops and cracks that fire from the exhaust when you go down a gear. Yes, the gearbox is especially programmed to double declutch and a little extra fuel is added but it sounds sooo good. Goes to show how important the visceral soundtrack is to AMG. After all, its probably why most customers brought one, why else would you buy a 612hp estate with drift mode?

G​o on, have a listen...

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Comments (6)

  • It really is an incredible sounding engine. Best of the turbo charged V8s for sure 🔥

      1 year ago
    • Definitely, though sadly one of the last of its kind 😭

        1 year ago
    • Not quite, they do have a V8 Hybrid powertrain incoming. E class and up will get it, how long that will last though is uncertain.

        1 year ago
  • I sooo want to swap my 2017 e220d wagon for one, better than the M5 and RS6. Maybe I’ll keep the diesel and have two, one sensible and one nutcase!

      1 year ago
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