The New Mercedes-AMG E63 Will Come With Drift Mode

An unusual case of trickle-up techonomics.

byWill Sabel Courtney|
Mercedes-Benz News photo

Technology tends to trickle down through the automotive ecosystem, starting with luxury cars and before making its way down to the prolechariots of the world. But in this case, the usual flow has turned upside down: Like the Ford Focus RS, the new Mercedes-AMG E63 will come with Drift Mode, according to the head of Mercedes-AMG.

The ass-happy powerslide tech comes hand in hand with a potentially controversial choice: Mercedes-Benz will make all-wheel-drive standard on the Mercedes-AMG E63.

“It is four-wheel drive and we’re going to have a Drift Mode,” Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers told Autocar at the Paris Motor Show last week.

This won’t be a change for us in the U.S., where Mercedes-Benz has been equipping every E63 (and CLS63, and S63) with AWD for the last few years. In some other markets, however, the carmaker offers the AMG E-Class with a choice of traditional rear-wheel-drive and grippy four-wheel-traction.

But according to Moers, the AWD system will be capable of doling out 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels, and will be tuned for a distinctive rear-drive feel. He also didn’t hesitate to drop a few bold claims about the new E63’s potential.

“It’s going to be below and above 600 bhp,” he told Autocar. This, in all likelihood, suggests Mercedes will continue offering both E63 and E63 S models, packing slightly different states of tune and a handful of different performance features. Right now, the “regular” E63 makes 549 horsepower, while the E63 S cranks out 577 ponies.

Combined with the AWD, that power—which an earlier leak suggests will come from AMG’s latest 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8—will send the E63 sprinting from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds, according to the AMG bossman.

That wasn’t the only time he mentioned, either. “It’s going to be under seven minutes 50 seconds [on the Nurburgring],” Moers said, “[when fitted with] the standard tires.” Unless Mercedes manages to lower it significantly beyond that time, however, the new E63 will still be behind the likes of the latest Porsche Panamera Turbo and the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio at the famed track.

And while he was dropping truth bombs all over the motor show floor, Moers let slip when we’ll be seeing the AMG-ified E-Class in all its glory: the 2017 Detroit Auto Show in January. Which, let’s not lie, sounds like the perfect place and time to reveal in an all-wheel-drive sports sedan. Hey, Mercedes: How 'bout letting us drive one back to NYC after the festivities, eh?