Mercedes-Benz’s next-generation E-Class sedan is in the final stages of development ahead of its world debut early next year, most likely at January’s Detroit Auto Show, but it’s not just the regular E-Class being developed as engineers are out testing prototypes for the high-performance version from Mercedes-AMG too.
In line with Mercedes-AMG’s latest naming strategy, the high-performance E-Class will simply be badged an E63. There will also be an E63 S variant with a little extra poke. Both will receive their power from Mercedes-AMG’s new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. Rear-wheel drive will continue to be standard in most markets, while the U.S. should get 4Matic all-wheel drive as standard. It’s not clear at this point what transmission will be fitted to the car.
It’s also not clear how much power will be on offer but expect at least 550 horsepower in the standard model and upwards of 600 horses for the E63 S. Remember, Cadillac’s CTS-V is now rated at a staggering 640 hp, so the Germans have some catching up to do.
Further performance gains will come from the adoption of the lightweight and stiff MRA platform found in the smaller C-Class and GLC models. The current E63 AMG, though quick, weighs as much as 4,431 pounds in some guises. Autonomous driving technology is also a key element of the MRA platform. Autonomous systems more advanced than anything we've seen yet on a production car will feature in the new E-Class family.
At present, only the new E-Class sedan and wagon are expected to receive the Mercedes-AMG treatment, although we could see the next-generation E-Class Coupe included for the first time.
Stay tuned for updates as development continues.