There’s a new Mercedes-Benz E-Class out there now, which means - as sure as night follows day - there will be an AMG range-topper along soon enough. Probably two, in fact, if the last car is anything to by, with an E53 to sit below the ’63. A new fast flagship for the E-Class range is exciting news, too. Even with the demise of the V8 and a less than favourable response to the smaller C63, there have simply been too many very good E AMGs in the past for expectations not to be on the lofty side of high.
The last model was the best of them, too. Oh sure, the early cars rode pretty firmly and the twin-turbo V8 could never quite beguile like the old 6.2 - but for bringing together all the desirable supersaloon elements it was unmatched. The styling was well judged - not too meek and not too menacing - the powertrain was more characterful than the M5’s, the interior was appropriately sumptuous and the 4Matic+ all-wheel drive was a masterstroke.
Not only was this the first E63 to leave Affalterbach with more than 600hp, it could also deploy that incredible potential in a fashion completely alien to any previous model. And at the same time also relive former glories at a stroke (or a convoluted button bash) with a two-wheel drive mode. Nowadays, Drift Modes are pretty much mandatory for an enthusiast-focused four-wheel drive system, but in 2016 the AMG’s was genuinely innovative. Completely daft, sure. But innovative. Like putting an F1 powertrain in a hypercar or creating an 840hp plug-in hybrid V8 with eight miles of range, AMG knows what it’s doing when it comes to this kind of thing.
However, while the 213-era broadened the scope of E63, it never lost sight of the model’s core appeal. This was still a really nicely appointed E-Class with a honking great V8 up front that would pass most by unnoticed, and it could be used as such. Ride notwithstanding (it was improved with the facelift), there was no price to pay for this newfound ground-covering ability. Anyone familiar with E63s would have been staggered at the way this car could get from here to very far over there. By combining the new school AMG approach to tarmac-crushing composure first seen in the 2013 A45 with the traditional charm of a big V8 and rear drive (if you wanted it), the E63 quickly won itself a lot of fans.
In addition, like so many AMG favourites, both the W213 saloon and S213 estate have depreciated pretty hard. The last three years or so have probably prevented losses quite as drastic as before 2020, but just over £50k for this one must be something like half its price when new from 2018. Bar a tiny bit of crinkling on the driver’s seat bolster, its 48,000 miles have seemingly left no mark at all. Indeed, Hyacinth Red is a great choice for these cars, a welcome splash of colour in a sea of dark greys, blues and blacks. The removal of the rear badges, plus a less moody colour than usually seen, would surely go a long way to further convincing regular folk this was just any other E-Class.
This E63 seemed like a special one in period, and its reputation will surely only be embellished by the arrival of a straight-six replacement. That car may well shock us again and serve to make this one look short on tech, performance and driver appeal. But as the last V8 E63 as well as the first 4Matic+ car, it’s always going to have a special place in the heart of AMG fans. Especially, of course, as a wagon.
SPECIFICATION | MERCEDES-AMG E63 S 4MATIC+ ESTATE
Engine: 3,982cc, V8 bi-turbo
Transmission: 9-speed automatic AMG Speedshift MCT, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 612@5,750-6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 627@2,500-4,500rpm
Top speed: 186mph
MPG: 31 (NEDC combined)
Year registered: 2018
Recorded mileage: 47,906
Price new: £90,490 (2017, before options)
Yours for: £52,500
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