Two months before the Estate version for the all-new 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is launched, the German manufacturer unveiled the high-performance E63 AMG Estate at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show. It is believed to be the fastest and most powerful version of the E-Class Estate yet. Prototypes of the E63 Estate were tested extensively.
Mika Hakkinen and race driver Klaus Ludwig were even recruited to finetune it. Similar to the E63 Sedan, the new AMG Estate is a bar above the standard E-Class Estate wagons due to its newly developed sports suspension system with electronically controlled damping, revised front suspension settings and unique exterior and interior design.
It develops 525 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque from its hand-built 6.2-liter V-8 engine and accelerates from 0-62 mph in just 4.6 seconds. It also offers a maximum luggage compartment capacity of 69 cubic-feet and a fuel economy rating of 18.3 mpg.
AMG's new SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission sends power rearward. Four driving modes are offered -- "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual). The modes can be selected using a rotary electronic switch in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Partial suppression of individual cylinders by interrupting ignition and injection during gearshifts under full load lets the transmission change gear even faster than it could otherwise. In M mode, the MCT swaps the gears in just 100 milliseconds.
The all-new speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering allows for a more direct steering feel. The steering ratio of 14:1 is 22% more direct than in the standard production models, while a more rigid steering column plus the reconfigured characteristic mapping of the speed-sensitive servo assistance ensure better steering precision and improved road contact. The addition of 18-inch light-alloy wheels has improved handling. Lightweight forged 19 inch AMG light-alloy wheels remain an option.
Other highlights of the exterior include wider fenders, unique LED daytime running lights and bi-xenon headlights. Well, there's sad news for those fans who live in North America since only the E350 4matic version of the new E-Class Estate will be brought in June. So far no other E-Class wagon variants are slated for American sale.