With the latest Mercedes-Benz E63, err, excuse me, Mercedes-AMG E63, set to hit the market next spring, I thought it a good time to look back and see where values of previous generations stand. The upcoming 2018 E63 has all the latest technology, and I do mean all of it, but it is also likely to carry a six figure price tag. If you can afford to go out and throw that kind of money at a car, bully for you. For those of us that cannot or simply don’t see the point in doing so, there is a-lot of value to be found in pre-owned AMG models, especially the post facelift W211 E63 AMG.
The W211 generation E-Class ran from 2002-2009, but it is the 2007-2009 cars that are really worth your consideration. Prior to the 2006 facelift, the top-dog E-Class was the E55 AMG which sported a supercharged 5.4-litre V8 that produced a very impressive 493 horsepower(despite the 469hp rating Mercedes gave it) and whopping 520 lb-ft of torque. This made the E55 the fastest production sedan in the world until Mercedes dropped the S65 AMG, and it even out performed the E63 AMG that replaced it thanks to it’s supercharged power plant. However, it is not the car I recommend bringing home to satisfy your super sedan desires.
The E55 AMG really shows its age in terms of interior design and appointments, whereas the E63 AMG feels just that little bit more modern. On top of that, pre-facelift W211 E-Class models were also wrought with issues, which you can read about in depth on this MBWorld thread, or many others. Mercedes addressed those issue with the facelift and the 2007-2009 E-Class is noted as being far less problematic, from the base E350 all the way up to the E63 AMG.
Compared to the competition of the day, the W211 E63 AMG is easily the winner. The “Bangle Butt” BMW M5 may have packed a V10, but it also drank fuel with shocking fervor and it was way down on torque, just 383 lb-ft of twist compared to the 465 offered by the hand built AMG V8. Besides the passing of time has hardly helped justify Mr. Bangle’s design choices. The E63 AMG remains a great looking car because not much was changed for the 2007 facelift. The grill is more upright, the taillight lenses were tweaked, and other very minor exterior changes were made, but on the whole, it is visually the same as the early W211. Another competitor, the C6 Audi S6 has also aged well in the looks department and the 5.2-litre V10 sounds incredible, but like all other Audis of the era with two pedals instead of three, it is dragged down by a sluggish 6 speed auto-manual transmission.
The E63 AMG on the other hand is equipped with Mercedes’ excellent 7G-Tronic transmission, which is happy to listen to what the driver wants to do, or figure things out for itself. Capable of skipping gears when downshifting and featuring a lockup torque-converter on all seven gears for improved application of power during hard acceleration, the 7G-Tronic is the transmission you want in a super sedan. For the final model year, Mercedes took things one step further and installed the AMG developed “Speedshift MCT” 7-speed unit in the E63. Offering four drive modes, Comfort, Sport, Sport plus, and Manual, this transmission is essentially a 7G-Tronic with the torque converter swapped out for a compact wet clutch. Working in unison with the computer to allow for double-declutching, this setup allows for 100 millisecond shifts in Sport + and Manual modes. This is the final nail in the coffin for the S6 and M5.
The gains made by the ’07-’09 E63 AMG were crucial in re-establishing the reputation of Mercedes-Benz, which had taken a big hit following the missteps of the early and mid ‘aughts. The AMG tuned Airmatic suspension brought impressive handling capabilities back to the brand and placed Mercedes firmly at the top of the performance luxury sedan segment. Of course you can also opt for the version of the E63 AMG that I prefer, the wagon, but good luck finding any sort of “deal” on one of those. The sedans are far more plentiful and are more likely to have been purchased by non-enthusiasts who will be happy to bargain with you. Do your homework, find a clean example, and you’ll be rolling in one of the last naturally aspirated V8 Benzes. Are they destined to be a classic somewhere down the road? Could take awhile, but looking at the high regard in which the large Mercedes sedans of the 70s/80s are held now, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.