The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon is the family car you really want

February 1, 2017

With more than 600 horsepower on tap, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S station wagon may very well represent the most entertaining way to haul your family around. To say that it's nothing like the Buick Centurys and FordCountry Squires that once dominated suburbia is certainly an understatement.

The E-Class AMG wagon has become something of a legend in its own time. Its sales account for a mere blip in Mercedes' portfolio, but it's a flagship of sorts not only for the three-pointed star but for German performance in general.

MORE: Read our 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review

For 2018, the E63 S wagon is updated to the latest E-Class bodystyle. Under its more voluptuous hood sits a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four corners. Unlike the standard, 329-horsepower E400 4Matic wagon, the E63 S cranks out a thundering 603 hp and 627 pound-feet of torque. Combined with a souped-up version of Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system, the wagon can vault to 60 mph in an estimated 3.4 seconds, says the German automaker.

If you can find the space (not to mention a police force willing to look the other way), the E63 S wagon will top out at an electronically-limited 180 mph. 

Naturally, the E63 S wagon isn't just about going fast in a straight line. Underneath, its suspension has been tweaked by the experts at Mercedes' in-house AMG division. A full air setup sits underneath and it's three-way adjustable at the press of a button inside the cabin. An electronic rear limited-slip differential unique to the E63 S helps put power to the ground during hard driving. Bringing things to a halt are 15.4-inch front and 14.2-inch rear brake discs; slightly larger ceramic composite pads will be optional.

DON'T MISS: Should you buy a three-row crossover?

One downside: Unlike the E400 with its rear-facing third row of seats that expands capacity to seven seat belts, the E63 S is only a five-seater. That's due to packaging constraints underneath the E63's body that make it impossible for the brand to fit the stow-away seat seen in the less zippy E400. On the bright side, the E63 S can swallow up to 35 cubic feet of cargo while still hauling five passengers in luxurious comfort. 

While the E400 is set to hit the market in May, the E63 S won't be in dealers until this fall. That leaves plenty of time to sell off the family minivan. Mercedes will announce its price tag closer to its on-sale date, but we can't imagine it undercutting the 2017's over $105,000 base price. 

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