I picture the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S as a lion that has been raised with cheetahs. It prowls likes a lion cub, but races across the savannah with its adopted kin when needed. Eventually, though, it realises it is different, but never really understands why.

No one has told this large, super-comfortable saloon that it is not, and never will be, a lightweight, two-door super car. 

So it leaps from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds, sprints around corners at any speed you choose, and is as quick and muscular as a cheetah on performance-enhancing drugs.

But it also has all of the comfort and scale of a, well, Mercedes-Benz E Class.

Oh, and it has the sort of powerful brakes that make it stop in less time than a cheetah needs to fell a baby gazelle.

Some stats: the AMG E 63 S has a four-litre, direct-injection, bi-turbo engine that produces 450kW of power and 850Nm of torque. That’s more torque than the electric Audi RS e-tron GT. It is incredibly quick.

The standard version retails for an eye-watering $241,400, but the car I test-drive costs $262,200 – an extra $15,900 for AMG’s high-performance ceramic brakes, and $4900 more for the premium grey exterior. The brakes are worth more than my first three cars combined.

But it is the e-tron GT I keep coming back to as I drive the E 63 S. And I am left feeling that, for all its splendour, it is still yesterday’s car. 

From zero to hero - 100km/h in 3.4 seconds.


Mercedes-Benz has a plug-in hybrid version of the E Class available for $143,500. That uses 2.5 litres of petrol to travel 100km. The E 63 S needs 12.3 litres to cover the same distance.

Mercedes’ electric EQA and EQC, as well as sports cars like the e-tron GT, require zero petrol. 

The E 63 S pumps out 280 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven. Its plug-in hybrid electric sibling emits just 56.

It all just becomes a little hard to justify. And that’s even when I include the power closing doors, which eradicate the annoying issue of leaving the heavy Mercedes doors slightly open. 

So, the E 63 S is a gas-guzzling near dinosaur. But if you’ve got the spare money, buy one. It will be a collector’s car in the future. There’s no way Benz will be making these sorts of cars in a few years.

You can switch between eight comfort modes for the seats.


We haven’t seen it in New Zealand yet, but the electric EQS will slaughter the E 63 S soon enough. It’s the German marque’s new electric E Class, and the range-topping EQS 580 4Matic+ will reach 100km/h in about four seconds and have a top speed on 200km/h and a range of 720km. That’s all before the team at AMG, the Mercedes-Benz high-performance subsidiary, get their hands on it.

At one stage I am talking to a guy at a service station about the E 63 S and he is telling me, “They’ll never make an electric car as good as this.” After a few minutes of conversation, he changes his mind.

The E 63 S is fun to drive. The 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system, the air suspension and the incredible acceleration of the four-litre, bi-turbo engine mean it is all you can do to stop yourself breaking every speed limit you see. 

With an eight-year-old co-pilot, I take it for a spin on the road from Matakohe to Tinopai in the Kaipara region. The presence of such precious cargo means my driving style is more performative than performance, but my passenger veers between joy and terror as we eat up corners and tear down straights before braking hard at the last minute to do it all again. 

The AMG E 63 S boasts a high tech, stylish interior.


There’s not a lot on the road that can beat it, and certainly very little with this level of comfort. And, unlike an EV, it will accelerate and brake again and again all day long. If it runs out of juice, it just takes a few minutes at a service station fuel pump for it to be up and ready to go for another 600 or so kilometres. 

It has eight comfort modes for the seats alone. In comfort mode it is like driving a cloud, even on dodgy Northland roads. 

But hit the button to put it into sport, sport+ or the highly tuned individual mode and I’m suddenly driving a very different car.

Let’s just say if you need to overtake, it performs like a cheetah chasing a gazelle.

I really just wish I could have taken it to a race track.