Four doors once meant “for bores.”
Big floaty Impalas and Galaxies and Coronets carried people with calculators on their belts to rousing meetings of the stamp-collectors club.
We would-be cool dudes, meanwhile, drove rumbling coupes and hardtops and convertibles – back before monster, concrete-shredding sedans like the 2021 AMG E 63 S forever put us in our places.
Consider this: The AMG E I had a couple of weeks back relied on a twin-turbocharged 4-liter V-8 capable of ripping to 60 mph in three seconds or less.
Heck, it sometimes takes me that long to blink.
So, here’s the deal: If you have the means to stroke a six-figure check for the AMG E, you get face-wrinkling power, handling, style, cachet and a backseat you can actually fit in.
Welcome to the Era of Everything, kids.
My dark metallic gray E 63 reinforced that message with low, slightly sinister elegance.
Well-proportioned and purposeful, the muscular mid-size sedan featured a broad AMG grille with 12 vertical strips across it – shining like well-polished teeth.
Sleek headlamps eased back onto fenders with short overhangs, topped by a long hood with crisp character lines in the center.
Although the sedan’s sides were mostly smooth, they bulged a bit with subtle, rounded muscle, while its wheel-arches settled tightly on multi-spoke 20-inch black wheels wrapped with meaty 265-35 tires up front and 295/35s in back.
(Yes, black wheels are truly tiresome, but I won’t argue the point with the lethal E.)
In back, a graceful carbon-fiber lip spoiler and four large-caliber black exhaust pipes keep the vibe going – loudly.
Germans know the sound. With places like Nurburgring and the Autobahn beckoning, fast cars are as much a part of the country’s culture as bratwurst.
The E’s sweet snarl comes from a hand-built 4-liter V-8 with twin turbochargers that pump massive amounts of compression through the all-aluminum engine.
The result: 603 bellowing horsepower gets blasted through a nine-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive system.
Slam the accelerator to the floor and the horizon begins to evaporate – accompanied by an Autobahn bellow.
Numerals on the car’s speedometer spun by so fast that it was hard to keep up, with 60 flashing by officially in 3 seconds, according to Car and Driver.
Sometimes during those little outbursts, the E’s transmission seemed slow to downshift, but its upshifts felt quick and positive.
Stay on the accelerator – which I wouldn’t advise unless you just enjoy spending time with lawyers – and you will see 186 mph.
At lesser speeds, you might see 16 miles per gallon from an engine producing nearly as much horsepower as a NASCAR racer.
Despite its 4,600-pound heft, the E 63 sliced cleanly into curves, holding a line with virtually no body lean with quick, communicative steering.
The burly sedan’s handling limits definitely exceeded mine.
Probably the biggest surprise was the E 63’s air-based suspension, which was firm but compliant, absorbing rough city streets well.
But, then, would you expect anything less from a car costing $140,000?
I’ve grown to mostly appreciate Mercedes’ upscale digital interiors, though they’re being used in so many Benzes now that they seem less distinctive.
The black interior in my E 63 featured two highly horizontal 12.3-inch side-by-side displays housing the instrument panel and infotainment center.
As I have grumbled multiple times in the past, the infotainment side requires the driver to tune the audio system through the touchscreen, adding a terrible, overly sensitive touchpad on the console. Just don’t cough anywhere near it.
Some days, I got so tired of retuning the system that I just turned it off and listened to the engine.
As with all of these M-B interiors, four round climate vents beneath the touchscreen added some retro-style character, while carbon fiber trimmed the dashboard, console and upper door panels.
The audio system offered Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the ever-present nannies included emergency stop assist, route-based speed adaptation, lane-change assist and cross-traffic assist.
Real drivers, I think, will find more satisfaction in the car’s black Nappa leather seats whose suede edges will keep them fixed in place.
The car’s seats also offered good leg- and headroom in back.
Like most German luxury cars I’ve driven, the AMG E 63 arrived with a staggering number of options, including carbon-ceramic brakes ($8,950); carbon-fiber trim ($2,950); Burmeister stereo system ($4,550); and a driver-assist package with multiple safety features ($1,950).
Even with all that – even with brakes that cost more than some entire cars -- the E 63 wasn’t perfect. But it might be as close as I’ll get.
2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S
- What I liked most: Just about everything in the super-speedy, stylish, special E 63.
- What I would change: That god-forsaken touchpad on the console, and give me a real knob or buttons, Benz, for tuning the stereo.
- MSRP: Base price, $107,500; as equipped, $140,160.
- Official color: Graphite Gray.
- Fuel economy: 16 miles per gallon in the city, 23 on the highway and 19 combined with filler on the right.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1,380 miles.
- Spare tire: None.
- Weight: 4,587 pounds.
- Length-width-height: 196.4 inches long/75.1 inches wide/56.6 inches tall.
- Fuel-tank capacity: 21.1 gallons.
- Towing capacity: Not applicable.
- 2021 AMG E 63 S sedan in a few words: One of those rare cars that rings every bell – with a vengeance.
- Warranty: Four-year, 50,000-mile overall protection.
- Final assembly location: Affalterbach, Germany.
- Manufacturer’s website: www.mbusa.com
- E-mail me at email@example.com
- Up next: 2021 AMG GLA35 4Matic
Credit: Mercedes-Benz AMG