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2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Preview

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGCriticalKnowledge:
  • Highest-performing Mercedes-BenzE-Class model
  • 6.3-liter V-8 engine rated at 518 hp
  • 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds
  • New AMG Speedshift 7-speed automatic transmission
  • New AMG ride control sport suspension
  • Optional AMG Performance package
  • On sale in November of 2009

Introduction
Mercedes-Benz hasbeen manufacturing midsize executive sedans for decades. In 1986, itlaunched the first officially-titled E-Class model. The sedan provedvery popular, and it was offered with a range of powerplants including6- and 8-cylinder engines. In 1988, archrival BMW introduced its M5performance sedan based on the 5 Serieschassis. With nothing in the performance segment, Mercedes-Benz wasforced to sit idle.

Partnering with Porsche, Mercedes-Benz launched the powerful 500E sportsedan in 1991 to go head-to-head against the BMW. The first in-houseAMG-tuned E-Class arrived in the States in 1999. It was called the E55,and it featured a 5.5-liter V-8 engine rated at 349 horsepower. Thatmodel was followed by the first-generation,507-hp E63 AMG in 2007.

Now on an all-new platform, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG features anupdated 6.3-liter engine, a new transmission, and a long list ofhigh-performance upgrades making it the most formidable E-Class to evercover ground in America. It is scheduled to go on sale in November of2009.

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2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGModelLineup
The new E63 AMG joins the existing Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup,complementing the 6-cylinder E350 and 8-cylinder E550. Differentiatingitself from the standard models, the E63 features unique exterior andinterior treatments and options.

The exterior features fenders that have been widened by 17 millimeters,new "6.3 AMG" badges, and a new front apron with integrated LED drivinglights. Special AMG-styled side skirts and a rear apron with a blackdiffuser panel complete the body upgrades. The hallmark of the AMGbrand, the sport exhaust, has been finished with chrome-platedtailpipes.

The interior features high-grade leather upholstery available in threedifferent colors. Twin AMG sport seats with improved lateral supportgreet front passengers, while the driver sits behind a special 4-spokesteering wheel with integrated shift paddles for the upgradedtransmission. The center AMG selector has one-touch logic, and directlyadjacent are the controls for the sport suspension, traction controland AMG driving modes.

Those customers seeking even higher levels of performance will want toadd the AMG Performance package. This upgraded option includeslightweight, forged, 19-inch, AMG-design light alloy wheels with255/35R19 tires in the front and 285/30R19 tires in the rear. Thesuspension is stiffened with AMG Performance spring rates, and arear-axle locking differential is added. The steering wheel is replacedby an AMG 3-spoke unit, and the top speed is raised to 186 mph,according to Mercedes.

Hardware
The heart of any performance-tuned Mercedes-Benz model is the engine,and the E63 AMG makes no exception. Under the hood of this all-new 2010model is a tuned 6.3-liter V-8 rated at 518 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft.of torque. A new AMG SpeedShift MCT 7-speed sport automatictransmission sends power to the rear wheels. According to themanufacturer, the E63 AMG will sprint to 60 mph in just 4.4 secondswith an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

Standard on the E63 AMG is a newly developed AMG Ride Control sportsuspension that features electronically-controlled damping, offeringhigh-performance handling on the track, yet civilized comfort on theroad. At the touch of a button, the driver is able to choose betweenthe three suspension modes of Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus.

To offer increased road feel and a better response, the steering systemis reconfigured to be more direct than in the regular models. Thestandard wheels are 18-inch light-alloy. Hidden beneath their spokesare massive internally-ventilated and cross-drilled brakes at all fourcorners.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGSafety
As expected, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG offers a comprehensivesafety package. This includes the use of high-strength steel alloysduring manufacturing and Mercedes' Pre-Safe preventative occupantprotection system with eleven standard air bags in each vehicle. Inaddition to the standard anti-lock brakes, stability control, tractioncontrol, and brake assist, the E-Class offers Blind Spot Assist(prompting the driver if another vehicle is in the adjacent lane), LaneKeeping Assist (alerting the driver if the vehicle is inadvertentlyleaving the lane), Speed Limit Assist (actively reading speed limitsigns for the driver), and Attention Assist (observing the driver forsigns of drowsiness behind the wheel). Night Vision Assist (improvingvisibility during low-light situations) is optional.

While the all-new E63 AMG had not been tested by the leading domesticcrash testing agencies when this preview was originally published,Mercedes-Benz boasts that its engineering team subjected the new sedanto more than 150 high-speed crash tests and more than 17,000 crashsimulations during development. All of these were done to ensure thehighest level of occupant protection during real-world conditions, theautomaker says.

Technology
While many vehicles are fitted with electronic stability control asstandard equipment, few offer the versatility and customization foundon the E63 AMG. The 3-stage "ESP" allows the driver to choose between"ESP ON," during normal day-to-day driving, "ESP SPORT," duringspirited driving when the driver is looking for a bit more feedbackfrom the vehicle, and "ESP OFF," most likely only used when the vehicleis being driven on the race track or stuck in deep snow or mud.

For more information:

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