AMG IS preparing to give the BMW M5 plenty of headaches with its new E63 set to deliver the biggest step forward in fast E-Class history, according to AMG boss Tobias Moers.
Speaking at the launch of the new C63 S Coupe (p40), Moers confirmed that the new E63, due for release later in 2016, will introduce a number of firsts, including a specially-developed all-wheel drive system and AMGtuned version of Mercedes' latest nine-speed automatic.
The current W212 E63 is available in 4MATIC overseas, but the system is not able to be converted to right-hand drive. That's likely to change with the W213, the high AWD take-up rate in markets with both configurations making AMG question the need for a rear-wheel drive version at all.
While purists may baulk at the idea of an all-wheel drive muscle car, AMG boss Moers loves oversteer more than most and promises AMG's new all-wheel drive system will cater for "all the stupid things you do in rearwheel drive." Merc's current 4MATIC system offer a 33:67 front:rear split, but we'd expect this to make way for an on-demand system a la Porsche 911 Turbo.
A twin-turbo V8 will remain under the bonnet, however the current M157 5.5-litre twin-turbo unit will make way for a high-output version of AMG's latest 4.0-litre mill. While adamant he is keen to avoid start a power war, Moers admits he can't build a car with less grunt than the 430kW/800Nm offered by the current E63 S. We'd expect 450kW/800Nm which, combined with all-wheel drive traction, will slash the 0-100km/h time to around 3.5sec.
The new-generation E-Class is expected to be revealed at January's Detroit Motor Show, with the new E63 set for a debut later in 2016. Australia's love affair with AMG doesn't look like slowing down any time soon.