by Jay Traugott
At exactly the same time the refreshed 2021 BMW M5 debuted, its arch-rival also received a mid-life refresh to make it an even better super sedan. Introducing the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 Sedan, a lightly refined and all-powerful traditional four-door sedan capable of doing more than many owners will ever need. This is one of the few sedans on the market that so perfectly combines serious performance, luxury, and ultra-refinement in a single package.
The latest generation E-Class, which it's based on, also received a facelift for the new model year and the E63 features many of those upgrades, specifically the new infotainment system. Initially launched in 2017, the fifth-generation E63 continues to offer the same and brilliant V8, and thanks to Affalterbach's team of aerodynamic specialists, this sedan rips through wind better than ever. Like every AMG model, the E63 can be had with several optional packages with both styling and performance in mind.
The most significant exterior update is the AMG-specific Panamericana grille, also found on the AMG GT. Other enhancements include reshaped LED headlights, three large functional air intakes, reshaped front apron and front splitter, and flared wheel arches moved further outwards. All of this was done to improve aerodynamics. For example, the new splitter helps to significantly reduce lift at the front axle.
Out back, there's a restyled rear apron and the rounded 90 mm trapezoidal twin tailpipes covered in titanium feature a new design. The taillights have also been tweaked and are now connected with a chrome strip.
There are new optional 20-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, with 19-inch 10-spoke light alloys coming as standard. New exterior paint colors include graphite grey metallic, high-tech silver metallic, and brilliant blue magno.
Buyers also have a few option packages to select from, among them the AMG Carbon Fiber Package Exterior II and AMG Night Package, both of which provide some additional style enhancements.
Already an excellent place to sit for up to five passengers, the E63's interior is updated with a new MBUX infotainment system with a touchscreen and touchpad in place of the old COMAND system, while the driver can switch display modes on a pair of 12.25-inch screens.
The MBUX system brings with it several impressive technologies, among them voice control activation. One cool example of its capabilities is to read out the local forecast in a number of languages.
A new AMG Performance twin-spoke design steering wheel with haptic controls can be covered in leather, microfiber, or a combination of the two. The AMG-exclusive sport seats are, like before, wrapped in exclusive Nappa leather. One new interior color option is the Black/Titanium Grey with yellow contrast stitching, pictured here.
The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 remains under the hood, producing a total of 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent to the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system through a 9-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can select the "Comfort" setting in order to engage cylinder deactivation, a system that shuts off four of the eight engine cylinders to conserve fuel.
Another feature enthusiast drivers will appreciate is Drift Mode, which is part of the optional AMG Dynamic Plus Package. It can be activated by simply shutting off the Electronic Stability Control and engaging Race Mode. The result is a switch from AWD to RWD. Significant improvements to the multi-chamber air suspension and adaptive damping systems have been made in order to improve the ride for daily driving.
Performance? Brilliant as ever. AMG claims a 0-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds while top speed is 186 mph. Not so many years ago, these were supercar specs.
The AMG E63 S' (US-spec versions are S models only) most formidable competitor remains the BMW M5. There is no Audi RS 6 sedan, only the Avant wagon. If you're looking for a naturally aspirated V8, then there's the Lexus GS-F, though it will be dropped after the 2020 model year.
Official pricing has not yet been announced though the automaker said to expect sales to get underway towards the end of this year. Chances are, pricing won't deviate much from the outgoing model, which started from $107,350.