2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon first drive assessment: Save the unicorns!

The most effective model of Mercedes-AMG’s uber E-Class is again and principally higher than ever. Meet the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon. It is packing greater than 600 horsepower and all-wheel drive. It handles like a dream whereas boasting extra cargo area than many SUVs. And, in my instance’s Pure Blue Magno satin-finish paint, it is a damn-near-perfect super-sport wagon.

For 2021, Mercedes’ hottest E-Class wagon will get a contact of rhinoplasty with a restyled entrance bumper and splitter, in addition to tweaks to the AMG-specific grille. The LED headlamps additionally obtain the identical reshaping seen all through the 2021 E-Class lineup.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon is an attractive blue beast

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Other than a number of new paint colours, the remainder of the E63 property’s physique is basically untouched. The brand new hues embrace Graphite Gray metallic, Cirrus Silver metallic and my private favourite, Designo Good Blue Magno with its satin end. The semi-matte paint requires a bit extra care when detailing, however the look is completely value it.

The 197.1-inch lengthy E63 boasts 35 cubic ft of cargo capability with its rear seats upright, increasing to round 64 cubes when folded flat. From the driving force’s seat and second row, the pinnacle, shoulder and legroom are all about similar to (and as spacious as) that of the AMG E63 sedan I examined final yr.

The entire equipment rides atop staggered 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 265/35ZR20 entrance and 295/30ZR20 rear Pirelli tires. A revised AMG Sport Suspension with Air Physique Management dampers has settings for Consolation, Sport, Sport Plus and Observe. Apparently, whereas the journey will get noticeably extra responsive between the varied modes, it would not really feel any extra harsh. I can journey round comfortably in Sport Plus all day lengthy, even over among the extra poorly maintained highway surfaces in my space. 

At night time, the E-Class’ leather-based and carbon fiber are highlighted by customizable ambient lighting.

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Luxurious appointments meet motorsport-inspired type within the E63’s cabin. My instance mates new Titanium Gray Nappa leather-based upholstery with non-compulsory AMG carbon fiber trim, punctuated with contrasting yellow stitching by day and an in depth and customizable ambient lighting system by night time. 

Forward of the driving force’s seat is a brand new AMG Sport steering wheel with a split-spoke structure. I really like the suede texture and flat-bottom hoop design, and I particularly get pleasure from the brand new AMG Drive Unit controls. These two OLED pods reside on the wheel’s four o’clock and eight o’clock positions. You’ll be able to twist the best ring to shortly choose one of many E63’s drive modes — Snow, Particular person, Consolation, Sport, Sport Plus and Observe — and customise the left with toggles for quite a lot of automobile techniques, together with suspension settings, transmission modes, stability management programming, efficiency exhaust sound and extra.

I am not a fan of the brand new capacitive infotainment thumb controls, which fellow Roadshow editor Steven Ewing additionally complained about throughout his time with the E450 All-Terrain. These capacitive pads on the wheel’s left and proper spokes permit drivers to swipe and faucet to manage the 12.Three-inch digital instrument cluster and the MBUX infotainment system with out letting go of the wheel. The resized touchable areas at the moment are a lot smaller than earlier than to accommodate the wheel’s split-spoke design. This may make it troublesome to carry out exact inputs and sometimes detects vertical swipes once I’m making an attempt to go horizontal. It is irritating, particularly since I am an enormous fan of the outdated, bigger thumb pads. You may absolutely get the cling of it after some time, however I did not fall in love with this element throughout my few days of testing.

Drivers are in a position to customise the game wagon’s efficiency whereas conserving arms on the wheel with the brand new OLED AMG Drive Unit selectors.

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Happily, I am spoiled for selection with methods to work together with the MBUX infotainment system. Other than the thumb pads, there’s the big haptic contact pad on the middle console. The 12.Three-inch primary show itself can be contact delicate with a proximity sensor that enlarges the house display icon you are about to pick when it detects your hand approaching. Lastly, there’s the “Hey, Mercedes” voice command suite. The hotword detection appears to have improved since my final go along with MBUX, with not a single false constructive detection throughout all the week of testing.

As an entire, the brand new MBUX tech is a good enchancment over the E-Class’ outdated COMAND system, with wonderful augmented actuality navigation, normal Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a menu construction that, whereas advanced, is well organized. I might advocate you get acquainted with programming generally accessed options to the favorites menu and establishing some themes earlier than hitting the highway. MBUX additionally has AMG Efficiency and AMG Observe Tempo pages for monitoring automobile efficiency information and saving race observe maps, lap occasions and extra.

Lastly, my E63 tester includes a full suite of Mercedes’ driver-assistance applied sciences together with full-speed adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go help, a remarkably delicate lane-keeping steering help system with lane-change help, automated emergency braking help, blind-spot monitoring and extra. New for 2021 is a Parking Bundle which provides surround-view cameras to assist with precision parking.

I do know why you are actually right here and don’t fret, the 603-horsepower biturbo V8 is simply as candy as ever. 

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The E63’s primary attraction is the handcrafted, four.Zero-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine beneath its hood. Mated with a nine-speed, dual-clutch transmission and normal rear-biased all-wheel drive, this engine splits 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque between all 4 contact patches. In fact, when you’d want, there’s nonetheless the hidden Drift Mode that locks the E63 S Wagon in full rear-wheel drive for large, smoky drifts and burnouts.

Launching in its sportiest all-wheel-drive setting, the E63 S Wagon will hit 60 mph in simply Three.four seconds earlier than persevering with on to its electronically restricted 180-mph v-max. All of the whereas, the AMG Efficiency exhaust roars with a satisfying tone and punctuates every shift with pops and burbles.

As good as it’s, the fantastic thing about the E63 isn’t its overwhelming energy. Slightly, it is how the entire efficiency comes collectively. From the constant and highly effective stopping power of the non-compulsory carbon-ceramic brakes to the steering’s completely weighted really feel to the properly tuned air suspension, the E63 is a remarkably balanced journey.

The true fantastic thing about the E63 S Wagon is simply how balanced and versatile this highly effective grand tourer is in virtually any driving state of affairs.

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The 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon begins at $113,500 together with within the required $1,050 vacation spot cost. That is a rise of about $700 over final yr, which I feel is justified by further normal tools just like the AMG Drive Unit controls and MBUX tech. Optioned up with almost the entire driver-assistance, lighting, type and cabin tech choices in Mercedes’ arsenal, my instance arrives with a $141,050 as-tested value.

The E63 S Wagon arrives in US dealerships later this yr, simply in time to do battle with Audi’s RS6 Avant, the considerably costlier Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo and… nicely, that is about it. There aren’t many wagons left for American consumers to select from, not to mention super-sport wagons like this AMG. That makes the E63 S Wagon a little bit of a unicorn, and one value saving. It isn’t simply the final of a dying breed, it is also top-of-the-line.

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