Ntsako Mthethwa
4 minute read
28 Jun 2017
10:14 am

Mercedes-Benz launches brutal Stuttgart express E Class range

Ntsako Mthethwa

The E43 AMG has 155kW less, but feel just as fast as its more powerful brother.

Mercedes-Benz says it is all or nothing, and I honestly cannot disagree with the statement. The Stuttgart folks have always been getting almost everything right. And the latest addition of E63 S, E43 and E Coupes takes it a bit further.

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E63 S AMG 

Firstly, those desirous of supercar performance with everyday practicality need look no further than the E63 S AMG. I am not going to tell you about the standard E63.

Well, Mercedes-Benz SA says it expects most of its buyers to pay the extra cash for the higher power outputs and better specced S model, but that doesn’t stop you from getting the standard E63, as you can still order one.

The new E63 S AMG offers an exciting drift mode and performance claims so far beyond the usage requirements of mid-size Mercedes sedans.

Before I get into the laundry list of race car features that are too cool to have, here are the baseline numbers. V8 biturbo 4.0-litre that generates 450kW and 850Nm of torque.

Yes, the E63 S can get you to 0-100km/h in just 3.4 seconds, it is claimed, which is quicker than all its rivals, on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. If you think that’s not enough, you can opt for the performance package and the sedan will dash up to 300km/h.

The E63 comes with an AMG speedshift MCT nine-speed sports transmission. Trust me, engineers who worked on the car did a good thing by ditching the conventional torque converter for a wet clutch pack, the gears shifts are quick and smooth, even at low speeds (something that cannot be said of competitors’ dual clutch automatics).

The gearbox sends power to all four wheels via a performance-tuned version of Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.

The benefits of 4MATIC compared to the old rear-drive setup are numerous – it puts the sedan’s massive power to the pavement more effectively.

Drivers can switch between the three suspension modes of “Comfort,” “Sport” and “Sport plus” at the touch of a button.

Anyway, Drift Mode is real on the AMG S, and is activated by putting the car in Race Mode, manual (paddle-shift) transmission mode, and turning stability control off.

At that point, it is just rear-wheel drive without traction control but Drift Mode sounds way cooler.

The interior is as massively screened and as easily operated as a regular E-Class, except you do so in deeply bolstered bucket seats.

Pricing: E63 S AMG R1 186 400

E43 AMG

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Created to close the gap between series and performance models, Mercedes-AMG introduced its new E43 model. This one here brags a throaty 3.0-litre V6 with 295kW and 520Nm of torque also, with 4MATIC drive setup.

While it has a deficit of over 155kW versus its E63 S brethren, the E43 is no slouch in a straight line. Turn up the wick by switching over to Sport+ driving mode on the AMG Dynamic Select toggle switch and the nine-speed automatic jumps to life, ready to fire off shifts in quick succession, resulting in a sprint to 100km/h that feels quicker than MercedesAMG’s quoted time of 4.6 seconds.

And like all E-Class cars, the E43 can be equipped with no shortage of tech features. Adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking is standard.

I got to drive the E43 on the track and the engine and exhaust note sounds aggressive, especially in Sport Plus mode.

Pricing: E43 AMG R1 165 800

E Class Coupe

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The Mercedes E-Class Coupe has been built for rich, successful execs who would normally drive an E-Class sedan but – as the kids have finally got themselves cars – no longer need the four-door’s space and have a little extra money to burn, too.

Said execs will not be disappointed because the Coupe has the same smothering luxury of the sedan – thanks to an interior that has yet to be matched in this price bracket. Available from launch are four engine derivatives.

An E220d that runs a 143kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, backed by a torque-converting nine-speed automatic transmission, driving the rear wheels.

An E200 that features a 2.0-litre petrol engine that delivers 135kW/300Nm.

All that power is accessible through a nine-speed auto gearbox.

A 180kW/370Nm version of Merc’s popular direct injection 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine propels the E300, and it too sports rear-wheel drive and a nine-speed auto.

The E400 runs a 3.0-litre direction injection V6, with twin turbochargers helping to figures of 245kW/480Nm. It also uses Mercedes-Benz’s full-time AWD.

Model Pricing

E 200 R754 500

E 220d R806 500

E 300 R842 500

E 400 4MATIC R1 021 500