The radio should play only dark, ominous classical music.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4MATIC Sedan

Keeping your police department funded, one speeding ticket at a time.

By: Andrew Krok

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: October 17th, 2013

As the fleet company handed us the keys to this week's press loaner, they left us with a very ominous statement: "You're going to get in trouble with this thing." They were right. It's trouble incarnate.

Of all the cars we've tested this year, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4MATIC Sedan is easily the best of the bunch. Not just because it costs more than the rest - and boy howdy, it does - but because Mercedes has managed to pack everything you'll need (and then some) into its middle-of-the-pack luxury sedan, and the results are utterly astounding.

AMG is Mercedes' in-house insane asylum, where engineers shoehorn hand-built, high-powered engines into their standard offerings. Recently, they've succumbed to the pressures of the industry and moved away from their tried-and-true 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V-8 engine. Now, they're using a twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V-8 engine; while we loved the M156 deeply, the new M157 taught us that there in fact is a replacement for displacement.

Power is never in short supply with the E63. It's like having Dwayne Johnson over to your house for dinner - in all likelihood, it will be a sedate and marvelous time, but you'll always be aware that at any point, the man could stand up and kill your entire family without much effort on his part. Knowing that you can tap into this deep well of power is actually a little scary. Having your finger on the button demands responsibility, but that's just the issue; this car is so much fun, you'll want to be irresponsible at every possible moment.

But it's not like the E63 is geared just for wannabe hot-shoes that think a pile of money instantly gives them a license to drive a race car. It's eminently capable as a proper family-hauler - as our upcoming road-trip feature will explain in more detail - although in all likelihood, owners won't use them for this purpose, as they've likely never experienced a trip in anything other than business class.

Suffice it to say, adding all this power and technology to the E-Class did not mean sacrificing comfort in any fashion. It's easy to just turn the car on, putt down the street to the store, and briefly forget that you're piloting a two-and-a-quarter-ton death missile. It's also a brilliant road trip car.

  • Interior

    The interior takes luxury to its extreme. Literally every surface imaginable is covered in a material that not only looks premium, but feels it. Even the plastic bezel around the infotainment screen feels softer than normal plastic. The Alcantara roof liner is the best we've ever felt. The seats are very comfortable, but bolstered up enough so that the occasional sprightly jaunt doesn't have you sliding all over. And, if you start to get sore on a long ride, just turn on the driver's-seat massager - it's fabulous. The cabin is very driver-focused, with a variety of switchgears for the transmission, adaptive air suspension, and traction control pointed right at you. And since it's a Mercedes-Benz, it still has the phone-style keypad on the dashboard. Old habits die hard.

  • Exterior

    It's a German mullet, and we mean that in a good way. The front is all business; most won't be able to tell that it's an AMG from this angle, with the only giveaway being the massive air ducts in the front bumper. The new LED headlights are as beautiful as they are complicated. Move to the back, and now it's all party. The rear end receives AMG's signature dual exhaust, with a racy diffuser spanning the gap between the dual-tipped outlets. It adds up to a very strong-looking car, but it doesn't stray so far from the base E-Class styling that it becomes outlandish. It's just the right amount of crazy.

  • On the Road

    If you buy this car, "on the road" is exactly where you'll want to spend every minute of your day. Whether you have the air suspension set to Comfort, Sport, or Sport+, the E63 sucks up bumps and jitters in the road and translates them to the chassis in a method that's predictable and never overly jarring. The seven-cog, flappy-paddle gearbox has the same settings as the air suspension, with the addition of a fully-manual mode for DIY enthusiasts. Be careful, though; since it doesn't auto-upshift at redline, you'll need to time your paddle pulls precisely. And then there's the sound - turbocharged motors tend to carry less aural weight than their naturally-aspirated counterparts, but not when AMG comes into town. It sounds like Cthulhu tearing the world asunder. Again, it's a car that drives brilliantly at slow speeds, but it's also a car that begs to be flogged like Anastasia Steele.

  • Final Thoughts

    There are only so many times we can call this car amazing. It's elegant and supple when you're using it for utilitarian purposes such as driving the kids to school or picking up groceries. If you want to make use of your leaden right foot, you're given a performance sedan that gives the BMW M5 a very serious run for its very serious money. We're sad that the days of rear-wheel-drive E63s are gone, but the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive keeps this car composed whether the weather is perfect or exactly the opposite. It's very nearly the perfect vehicle. All too often, expensive cars don't really seem like they're worth all that money. The E63 AMG, however, is worth every penny.

  • Specs & Price

    Engine: 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V-8

    Transmission: Seven-speed, single-clutch, automated manual transmission

    Power Output: 550 hp / 531 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy: 16 city / 23 highway

    Base Price: $92,770

    As Tested: $96,995 (incl. $925 destination)

    Optional Features: Designo paint, 19-inch wheels, exterior carbon fiber package, AMG Night Styling Package (blacked-out exterior trim), roof spoiler, rear spoiler, AMG Performance steering wheel (Alcantara-wrapped), illuminated door sills, panoramic roof, Bang & Olufsen sound system, Lane Tracking Package (blind spot assistant, lane-keeping assistant), Driver Assistance Package (Lane Tracking plus laser-guided cruise control, predictive braking), carbon fiber engine cover, mBrace Package (mobile app, roadside assistance, remote horn and lights)

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Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, click here: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.