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All-New 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63: It Is Still Possible to Drift

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2016

The all-new 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 has been officially unveiled -- and on paper, it seems utterly ridiculous. Here are the numbers: up to 603 horsepower, 627 lb-ft of torque and zero to 60 in 3.3 seconds. It's the most powerful E-Class of all time. It reaches 60 mph in the same time as a Ferrari Enzo.

I'll get back to all that in a second. But first, let's talk styling: The AMG E63 is hardly the sleeper car the older AMG E-Class models were, as it touts a highly aggressive front end, giant quad exhausts and a few other upgrades over the standard E-Class -- like new wheels, bigger brakes and some new styling touches. There are a series of interior updates, too, as the new E63 has AMG-ified the upscale cabin on the latest E-Class.

Now back to power. The base-level E63 makes 563 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque from its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, while the sportier E63 S boasts the figures above -- 603 horses and 627 lb-ft. It's the "S" model that does zero to 60 in 3.3 seconds, though the base-level E63 (if it could be considered such a thing) hits 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Both models come standard with all-wheel drive and Mercedes' 9-speed "MCT" transmission, which foregoes a torque converter for ultra-quick shifts.

The best part about the AMG E63? The Mercedes press release on the vehicle, acknowledging its all-wheel-drive setup may not be favored by some rear-wheel-drive-loving enthusiasts, actually uses the phrase "It is still possible to drift." That's because Mercedes includes a "Drift Mode" in the sedan, which transforms it into a purely rear-wheel-drive vehicle for drivers who want to go sideways (on the race track, of course).

Mercedes says the new E63 will be officially unveiled to the public at next month's Los Angeles Auto Show, with sales starting next summer. Pricing hasn't been announced, though we'd expect it to start somewhere around $100,000 with shipping. As for the Mercedes-AMG E63 wagon, there's no word yet -- but we suspect it'll be back.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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All-New 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63: It Is Still Possible to Drift - Autotrader