Luxury Automobiles

AMG E-Class Wagon: A Uniquely Exclusive American Tradition

The AMG E63 S Wagon went on sale in October 2017 as one of 22 AMG models in the U.S. that have standard all-wheel drive.  Although some of the well-known SUV models such as the G-Class, GLS, or GLE usually come to mind when referring to all-wheel drive, the E-Class Wagon has become synonymous for all-wheel drive capability, with a very exclusive customer base.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon attracts one of the brand’s highest median household incomes, with 23% of its U.S. customers being located between the New York and Boston metropolitan areas, and 22% in California alone. For more than five years, Mercedes-Benz has been without German competition in this size and class.

The customer base of the AMG high-performance variant of the E-Class Wagon is even more exclusive.  As the modern successors to the single S124 AMG Hammer wagon built at AMG’s independent U.S. headquarters in Westmont, IL in 1986 near Chicago, every generation of AMG E-Class wagons have always been special-order models in the U.S., never exceeding triple-digit sales.  Mercedes celebrates this exclusive group of owners.

“We’re proud of our American tradition of selling both the E-Class Wagon and its AMG high-performance variant,” said Bernie Glaser, General Manager of Product Management at Mercedes-Benz USA.  “Our ability to offer an AMG E-Class Wagon with standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive since 2014 has greatly enhanced our unique position, both in terms of performance capability and also for winter weather conditions in northern markets.”

The following is a summary of the 2018 AMG E63 S Wagon, as well as U.S. sales and product information regarding the AMG E-Class Wagons of the past, which follow in the original AMG Hammer Wagon’s tire treads.

AMG E-Class Wagon

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon offers all the connectivity and Intelligent Drive functions of the E-Class sedan and wagon, including the available Intelligent Drive systems. It’s a roomy, family-friendly wagon with 35 cu. ft. (SAE) of trunk capacity behind the second row, and a 40:20:40 split rear seatback to maximize versatility.

Priced at USD $106,950 (excluding a $995 destination and delivery charge), the 2018 E63 S Wagon can carry a second set of tires, plus tools and a jack for track. It is simply the quickest, fastest wagon in the world, with an estimated 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and a maximum track speed of 180 mph.  In fact, a German journalist recently ran a lap time of 7:45.19 on the Nordschleife of Germany’s world-famous Nuerburgring track.

Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 Biturbo Engine

The heart of this special vehicle is a handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, in this application using twin-scroll turbos nested in the hot inside V between the cylinder banks for minimal lag and pressure loss.  With an output of 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of peak torque, sustained from 2,500-4,500 rpm, the roar of the AMG V8 sound might not be family-friendly, but at least AMG Cylinder Management does its civic duty to help make an efficient engine even more efficient.

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission uses a wet clutch instead of a torque converter, enabling extremely short shift times and fast multiple downshifts. The E63 S Wagon is exclusively available with the innovative AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. This newly engineered, intelligent system brings together the advantages of various drive configurations. Fully-variable torque distribution is available between the front and rear axles, and ensures optimum traction right up to the physical traction limit. The driver is also able to rely on high driving stability and handling safety under all road conditions, whether dry, wet or snow- covered. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and back again is seamless, because intelligent control is integrated into the vehicle system architecture as a whole.

AMG 4.0L V8 Biturbo Engine

An electromechanically controlled coupling connects the permanently-driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque distribution is calculated continuously, according to the driving conditions and driver’s input. As a result, the performance wagon can be seamlessly driven from traction-oriented all-wheel drive to purely rear-wheel drive. In addition to traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive system also improves longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.

It is still possible to drift thanks to fully variable torque distribution. In a suitable, controlled environment, this is where Drift mode comes into its own as part of the standard specification for the E63 S Wagon. Drift mode can be activated in the “Race” drive program using the shift paddles, provided that ESP® is deactivated and the transmission is in manual mode. When drift mode is activated, the E63 S Wagon becomes a purely rear-wheel drive vehicle. Drift mode remains engaged until the driver deactivates it, or if the ignition is recycled.

AMG E-Class Wagon

Riding, Dynamically, on Air

All-new AMG multi-chamber air suspension with continuously variable damping ensures exceptionally high levels of camber stability, driving dynamics and steering precision. The air spring stiffness can be adjusted over a wide range to enhance comfort and handling, and the spring rate stiffens automatically to reduce roll and pitching in response to sudden load changes, fast cornering, hard acceleration or heavy braking. The adaptive damping offers three selectable modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Dynamic engine mounts quickly adjust from softer for comfort to stiffer to enhance agility, depending driving conditions and handling requirements.

The electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential reduces slip on the inside wheel when cornering without using braking system intervention, enabling more powerful acceleration out of curves. Sensitive and proactive control, and integration with the three-stage ESP® and all-wheel drive system allow higher performance thresholds.

The driver can also select from five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT programs: Comfort, Sport, Sport +, RACE and Individual to affect key parameters, including response of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP and all-wheel-drive. Independent of the drive programs, the driver can select the “M” button to switch directly to manual shifting mode, in which gearshifts are performed exclusively using the shift paddles. Individual suspension and steering settings can be selected as well. The “RACE” drive program sets all parameters for maximum performance on closed race circuits.

The E63 S Wagon stops with internally ventilated and perforated 15.4-in. compound front brake discs with six-piston fixed calipers. Rear brakes use 14.2-in. discs and single-piston floating calipers. The AMG Carbon Ceramic Composite Braking System is optional.

AMG E63 S Wagon Interior

AMG Interior

The full AMG cabin treatment includes an exclusive version of the E-Class’s dual-12.3-in. screen digital instrument cluster offering selectable “Classic,” “Sport” and “Progressive” display designs. Gauges in a carbon-fiber look and distinctive typography lend the displays an especially sporty touch.
An AMG Performance Steering Wheel in black nappa leather is standard, and for maximum occupant grip, AMG Performance Seats with integrated head restraints are available. Additional exclusive touches include nappa leather trim for the dashboard and door beltlines.

Steve Johnson

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