Automotive enthusiasts have long been fighting the anti-Crossover and SUV battle with friends and families. I’ve seen countless conversations online encouraging people to stop buying shapeless blobs of soul crushing driving anti-fun, and instead consider alternatives like the tried and true station wagon. Unfortunately, that battle seems to have been lost with SUVs and Crossovers dominating the new product and sales announcements month after month. In fact, there are currently less than ten true wagons on sale in the US as of this writing. Somewhere along the line, wagons became uncool, and took on a social ranking ever so slightly higher than the minivans of the world.
Thankfully, Mercedes-Benz is still building wagons that prove they’ve never been cooler. In fact, they are out to prove to the world that their 603-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 powered, all-wheel drive, carbon fiber adorned AMG E63S 4Matic Wagon is as good at hauling people and cargo as it is a hauling around a racetrack.
SIX HUNDRED AND THREE HORSEPOWER IN A WAGON. Those are legitimate supercar numbers, and the AMG E63S Wagon truly is one in every aspect. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine producing a mind-melting 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, which is distributed to all four wheels through AMG’s performance-oriented 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system and nine-speed automatic transmission. The AMG E63S Wagon includes AMG’s selectable drive programs which include a Race+ mode, Drift mode, and launch control. Mercedes-Benz says the AMG E63S Wagon will do 0-60 in a scorching 3.4 seconds.
These kinds of numbers can make for an intimidating driving experience in some cars, but it’s perfectly easy and controlled in the E63S Wagon. With launch control engaged, the wagon will rocket from a stop to full thrust in an explosive manner, putting all that power to the ground with almost no wheelspin, thanks to the amazing 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system. The car stays perfectly straight with no drama, helping the driver focus on the stupid grin that is inevitably placed on their face. Part of this is thanks in part to the absolutely mandatory but optional $1,250 AMG Performance Exhaust. The exhaust bellows just the right notes at wide-open throttle, then gives off a wonderful popping and snarling noise when coming off-throttle and is a must have option. It’s one of the best mechanical exhaust notes found in a vehicle today.
Driving the E63S is much more rewarding than doing the same exercise in a 2-door supercar, because you are in a wagon. It SHOULDN’T be this fast. It SHOULDN’T be making all those wonderful noises. All logic goes out the window, and you are left with such a giddy feeling of excitement every time the go-pedal is depressed. The E63S wagon is just that fast and it’s absolutely amazing.
More than a straight line behemoth, the AMG E63S Wagon handles exceptionally well in corners despite its 4,669lb curb-weight. The car handles transitions with ease, and the steering is weighted nicely, with plenty of feedback to the driver of exactly what the car is doing. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires provided plenty of grip, and never did the car feel like it was approaching any limits when driving it hard. Braking duties on our tester were handled by optional $8,950 AMG carbon composite brakes (carbon brakes on a wagon!) and are excellent as one would expect.
Possibly the best thing about the AMG E63S Wagon’s performance is that the driver can opt to turn it all off with a flick of a switch. Dial the selective drive setting to Comfort and the engine quiets down and sets the AMG Sport suspension into a perfectly smooth ride that soaks up road imperfections almost like a full-blown luxury car. The 20″ AMG wheels and performance tires never let you forget what you are driving, but the car can be relegated to comfortable family hauling duty with no discomfort to the passengers.
The design of the Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 sedan has always been a long-time favorite of the S:S:L staff, but the wagon version is even better. The long roof helps make the profile of the AMG E63S Wagon perfectly proportioned. Optional $1,700 20″ Black AMG Forged Cross-Spoke wheels really help set off the E63S Wagon’s aggressive stance, helped even further by the $2,950 AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package. Whether looking at the E63S Wagon from the front, side, or rear, there is simply no bad angle on the car. Head-on gives a wonderful view of the snarling front end, and aggressive flares on the wheel arches.
Open the doors of our tester E63S Wagon and you are immediately drawn in by the copious amounts of carbon fiber throughout the cabin. There was exactly $2,850 worth of carbon fiber trim in just the interior of our test car, and every bit of it is real. Interior lines are clean, and the high-quality materials and craftsmanship shine throughout the interior. Dual 12.3-inch displays that handle the instrument cluster and infotainment duties. Our tester was fitted with the $2,500 AMG Performance Seats, which most people might find themselves passing on if the car is going to see duty primarily as a family car.
Technology found inside the E63S Wagon is as modern as can be found in a new vehicle, and features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, full RGB spectrum ambient lighting, push-button start, heated and cooled front seats, and a fantastic Burmester stereo system. All these tech gizmos are standard kit on the E63S Wagon.
What makes the E63S Wagon truly unique is its ability to be a cargo hauler in addition to an outright performance machine. Open the power rear hatch and you are presented with 35 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear bench seats up, and 64 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. For comparison, the ever popular Audi Q5 SUV only has 60.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. The low loading floor of the E63S Wagon means loading and unloading is easy.
On the safety front, Mercedes-Benz is well known for building some of the safest vehicles on the road today, thanks in part to a whole cache of driver assistance and safety features. The E63S Wagon is no exception and the $2,250 Driver Assistance Package for AMG Seats includes lane departure assist, blind-spot and cross-rear monitoring, active lane change assist, steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and PRE-SAFE PLUS rear-end collision protection. There is no separate crash test for the E-Class wagon, but the standard E-Class is an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus, and earned a five stars rating by the NHTSA.
Coming in at a total as-tested price of $137,750, the AMG E63S Wagon isn’t the cheapest practical car you can buy, but I can promise you that it’s the most fun one you can buy. Shave off $8,500 of carbon fiber options, and another $8,950 in carbon brakes, and you are down to a price that is downright a bargain for the level of performance and versatility the car provides.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG E63S also proves that wagons are still cool, and provides the driver with a smile that no SUV on the planet can provide. At the end of the day, the AMG E63S Wagon truly is a supercar that can double as a track day superstar and one that can pick up groceries after getting little Timmy to soccer practice on time.
It’s a one of a kind vehicle on the market today, and is truly the Unicorn of the automotive enthusiast world. We hope that Mercedes-Benz keeps cranking these out as long as people still enjoy driving.
2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG E63S Wagon
Base Price – $108,850
Price as-Tested – $138,750 (incl. $995 dest. charge)
Warranty – 4 Year/50,000 Miles Bumper-To-Bumper
EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 16 city/23 highway/19 mixed
Observed Fuel Economy over 297 miles mixed driving – 14.9 mpg
Vehicle provided to Speed:Sport:Life with a full tank of gas by Mercedes-Benz for the purpose of review
Some Photos courtesy Mercedes-Benz USA