The E63’s family tree contains a few sensible limbs—the E-class sedan and wagon are stupendously gratifying cruisers—and the AMG retains a sufficient degree of their serenity. It’s just that it’s all ate up with hedonism, too. The engine, of course, is what makes this punch so heady. Seeing as it’s available in nine vehicles—E63 sedan, S63, CLS63, CL63, ML63, GL63, G63, and SL63, as well as the wagon tested here—its stats are familiar by now, but to recap: It has eight cylinders and two turbos, displaces 5.5 liters, and is fashioned from a whole bunch of aluminum. Its output varies depending on application, but since Mercedes understands that people who want 500-plus-horsepower wagons are probably a little unhinged, it sells this one exclusively in the E63’s upgrade S-model trim, which means 577 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque.
Fun for the Whole Family
That’s 15 more horsepower than the Ferrari 458 Italia makes and as much torque as in the previous-gen Dodge Viper, and the effect is shocking. Mercedes only offers the E63 with four-wheel drive, so the only squealing you hear at launch will be from passengers. The full shove of 590 lb-ft lasts from 2000 to 4500 rpm, and the seven-speed automatic’s shifts barely interrupt the relentless forward progress. Zero to 60 mph takes 3.4 seconds, and the car roars through the quarter-mile in 11.7 at 122 mph. Line this thing up against a 2014 Viper, and unless its driver nails a perfect launch, your odds are good. The AMG wagon isn’t available with the rear-facing third-row seat of the E350, which is a good thing. If you engaged launch control with a couple of grade-schoolers in the way back, the only thing preventing serious neck injury would be them breaking their noses on the back glass.