First Look: 2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

First Look: 2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

With a new Mercedes-Benz E-class already out in Europe and destined for U.S. dealerships this July, a new 2010 E63 AMG is also due.

In its battle with the BMW M5 and the Cadillac CTS-V the new AMG sedan again arms itself with a 6.2-liter V-8, revised to produce 525 hp (up from 507 hp) while torque output remains 465 lb-ft. A factory-estimated 0-to-62-mph time of 4.5 seconds is equal to today's model, although the top speed once again will be electronically capped at 155 mph (a higher limit available as an option). The E63 borrows the SL63 AMG's seven-speed automatic, with a new race start function and four different programming modes. The mellowest mode is called "Controlled Efficiency," and its early upshifts help the E63 eke out slightly better gas mileage.

The E63 chassis is updated with revised steering gear (which Mercedes calls Direct Steer, seen first in the SL63 AMG) and a new front suspension design (similar to the C63 AMG) that incorporates a wider track, and a revised rear setup. Airmatic, with three firmness settings, again is featured, and the stability control program features three modes: on, sport, and off. A button labeled 'AMG' can store and recall the driver's favorite settings for the various systems, a function similar to the BMW M5's 'M button'.

Like the lesser E-class sedans, the 2010 E63 adds a host of new driver aids including variable-beam adaptive headlamps, night vision, pre-collision automatic braking, and a drowsy-driver warning system.

The new E-class styling has more creases and straight edges than before; AMG enhancements include eighteen-inch wheels (with nineteens optional), unique front fenders, four square-tipped exhaust outlets, and a deck lid spoiler (also available in carbon fiber).

Although the E63 AMG again will be produced as a sedan and a wagon, the latter is unlikely to make it to the U.S. market this time. Fans of high-speed haulers might want to grab an '09 model before it's too late.

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