They make it look so easy, these race car drivers. Tyres screaming for mercy at every corner, never missing the apex at a sharp turn, then straightening the nose and going flat out just when a straight is in sight. So, when Reinhold Renger, one of Mercedes-Benz’s two driving instructors, asked me to take the wheel after taking me around for a ‘hot lap’ in the new E63 AMG, I thought it’d be a breeze taming this luxury barge on steroids. Boy, was I wrong!
I had three laps to myself at Greater Noida’s Buddh International Circuit, where I was recently invited to experience the car. The track was empty, putting no limits on how hard I wanted to push this brilliant example of German precision engineering, but what made it even more special was the weather—a perfectly overcast morning with a light breeze. That cocktail, I think, is perfect for anyone looking to try something really stupid. You want to go all out, but someone inside your head plays the nanny and tells you otherwise.
Like most luxury barges from BMW and Audi, the power on tap in the Mercedes E63 AMG is maniacal—557bhp@5500rpm coming from a 5.5-litre V8 BITURBO engine, as compared to a ‘puny’ 184bhp that the new E200 delivers. If you’re sold on that, there is yet more. The deal clincher is really the mountains of torque, 720Nm coming in as low as 1750rpm but continuing till about 5250rpm. What that means? Well, the E63 AMG will still have more grunt left even after you have finished all of yours. It will keep going till its electronically limited speed of 250 kmph, while also promising a best-in-class 0-100 kmph time at 4.2 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than its main rival, the new BMW M5. All that power is sent to the wheels through a 7-speed AMG speedshift transmission, which offers modes like Sport, Sport + and Manual.
On the track, I admit I nearly always ended up underestimating the power under my command. Once at turn three, just before hitting the main straight, I skidded on to the gravel,