2011 saw the E63 AMG's much-admired 6.2-litre V8 finally replaced with a more efficient twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 pumping out 525hp in standard tune, and 557hp in Performance Package trim. Just 4.3 seconds was all the standard saloon took to get to the 62mph benchmark, whilst a beefy 516lb ft of torque from a mere 1,750rpm (590lb ft with the Performance Pack) imbued the 2011 E63 AMG with consummate overtaking ability - at almost any speed.
And so we arrive at the latest evolution of the breed - the current facelifted M157-engined E63 AMG, packed with cutting-edge technologies like spray-guided direct injection, a lightweight aluminium crankcase, variable intake valve timing, air-to-water charge-cooling, generator management and a fuel-saving start/stop system. A far cry indeed from that first primal W210 E55 AMG.
The cutting-edge 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 is good for 557hp (with 62mph in just 4.2 seconds) yet claims an impressive average economy figure of 28.8mpg, and CO2 emissions of just 230g/km. The even quicker AMG S meanwhile boasts a whopping 585hp whilst the spec and ride quality put the E63 AMG S firmly in the luxury car category.
And that means the W212 depreciation curve over the next few years is likely to be steeper than an Olympic downhill ski course. "The very best low-mileage W212s will no doubt stabilise in value in the far future," says Glass's Robert Redman, "but at the moment they are in plentiful supply compared to other AMG E-Classes." So if you're worried at all about residuals steer clear.
As far as tuning goes though Oliver Stoner at Prestige Car Service sees huge potential. "The bi-turbo E63 AMG is so much better than the normally-aspirated, it's the best W212 model to tune," he reckons. "And with only a few modifications 700hp can be achieved."
Buy if: the cost is unimportant, or you want the definitive tuned AMG E-Class
Don't buy if: you care about residual values or you're after a future classic
We found: 2010 E63 AMG Saloon, silver, full service history, 28k miles, £30,950
Poor: Under £25,000
Good: £25,000 to £37,000
Special Editions: Performance Pack models £35,000 upwards
Photos: Tom Begley