2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Wagon First Test
Superwagon: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet? Just About.
If Superman had a family, he’d drive the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Wagon. Why? Well, for starters, he could haul up to three Superkids in the back seat. Not to mention 29.0 cubic feet of Superstuff in the rear hold (57.4, if the Superkids stay home). More important, though, as the man who’s faster than a speeding bullet, he’d want a ride that could live up to his reputation. And, boy, does the E63 Wagon do that.
Just how fast is Benz’s Superwagon? It tops out at a claimed 186 mph. That’s fast enough to Vmax alongside a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. To rocket from 0 to 60 mph, the E63 needs just 3.4 seconds, making it a clean 0.5 second quicker than Chevrolet’s all-new 460-hp C7 Corvette Z51. It’s even 0.1 second quicker than the 640-hp SRT Viper. Quarter mile? That takes only 11.7 seconds and hits 120.4 mph, again making it 0.5 quicker than the C7, which had a trap speed of 117.3. I don’t mean to pick on the new Corvette; I’m just showing just how crazy fast the E63 Wagon is. In fact, it’s quicker to 60 and in the quarter mile than the following exotic machinery: Aston Martin Vanquish, Bentley Continental GT Speed, BMW M5 and M6, Ferrari California, Jaguar F-Type V8 S, and the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. And remember: It’s a wagon!
Of course, it’s not just any wagon. No, this one utilizes a hand-built, 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 good for a staggering 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. So, despite weighing a hefty 4703 pounds, the E63 Wagon boasts an impressive weight-to-power ratio of 8.2 lb/hp, or 0.3 better than the 3401-pound C4S. That said, all that power and pound-feet are worthless if they can’t be efficiently put to the pavement, and that’s where the Superwagon’s standard rear limited-slip differential, seven-speed MCT automatic, and rear-biased 33/67-split 4Matic all-wheel-drive system come into play. Whether performing a drag-race launch, accelerating out of a hairpin, or making a pass on the highway, the E63 Wagon is always surefooted and ready to pounce.
And let’s not forget about the AMG-upgraded chassis, which keeps the Superwagon’s mass and oomph in check. Utilizing front struts with coil springs and a rear multi-link setup with air springs, as well as three-way adjustable dampers (Comfort, Sport, Sport plus) all around, the E63 Wagon can pull maximum lateral acceleration of 0.95 g, not to mention a figure-eight run of 24.3 seconds at 0.84 g. (Corvette fans, rejoice: The E63 cannot out-handle the C7, which puts down 1.11 g and 23.9 sec at 0.82 g, though it’s interesting to note that the Benz holds a higher lat g through the figure eight.) Plenty of that figure-eight greatness can be attributed to the massive brakes (14.2-inch vented and drilled discs with front six-piston and rear four-piston, red-painted calipers) and sizeable Continental ContiSportContact 5P summer rubber (front 255/35R19, rear 285/30R19), both of which collaborate to deliver a curt 60-0 distance of 110 feet.
So what’s the Superprice? Considering the stratospheric performance and baked-in wagon utility, a very reasonable starting point of $103,295. Thanks to respectable fuel economy of 15/21 mpg city/highway, the E63 Wagon isn’t saddled with a gas guzzler tax. Our Polar White tester came with a $2850 Carbon Fiber Trim Package, $1250 black-accented 19-inch 10-spoke alloys, and a $2800 Driver Assistance Package, bringing the total to $110,195. Of note is the Driver Assistance Package, which includes Distronic Plus radar cruise control with Steering Assist. In other words, in highway traffic, the Superwagon can basically drive itself -- a handy feature for when Clark Kent needs to change clothes on the fly.
|2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4-Matic Wagon|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$110,195|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door wagon|
|ENGINE||5.5L/577-hp/590-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||4703 lb (51/49%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||193.4 x 76.4 x 59.9 in|
|0-60 MPH||3.4 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||11.7 sec @ 120.4 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||110 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.95 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||24.3 sec @ 0.84 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||15/21 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||225/160 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||1.03 lb/mile|