Cognitive dissonance is an interesting concept. According to a well-known internet-based information repository (read: Wikipedia) this psychological term refers to “the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas or values at the same time.”
OK, that seems pretty logical. Someone might hate big corporations but still shop at Walmart, justifying this decision because it saves money. Make sense? Good.
What does any of this have to do with cars? Truthfully not a whole lot, but the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC Wagon is a perfect example of something that just does not make any sense. It’s a prudent family vehicle with copious cargo space and comfy accommodations, but it brandishes nearly 600 horsepower. That does not make sense!
The phrase “bringing a knife to a gunfight” is a fancy way of saying you’re outclassed. It’s akin to racing for pink slips in a stock Geo Prism; like Mitt Romney’s presidential bid you’re destined to lose.
Fortunately, this bad-boy Benz has the opposite problem; it’s massive overkill. The car is like eliminating mosquitoes in a forest by burning all the trees down, it’s like bathing in bleach to keep from getting sick or cracking walnuts with a wrecking ball. It’s totally awesome in the most over-the-top way possible.
The E63 S-Model Wagon accelerates with enough force to cause internal bleeding. The car is so fast it’s been known to collapse lungs and rupture spleens. According to Mercedes it can reach mile-a-minute speed in just seconds; terminal velocity is limited to 186 miles an hour.
Organ-bruising propulsion is provided by a 5.5-liter V8. Upping the ante, it brandishes a pair of turbochargers as well as direct fuel injection. Rivaling the thrust of a solid-fuel rocket, output totals an awe-inspiring 577 horses, but torque is even more impressive. Twist clocks in at 590 lb-ft.
Not that anyone’s going to buy this car for efficiency, but fuel economy numbers are still important. Accordingly, it stickers at 15 MPG in the city and 21 on the interstate. Combined it ought to deliver 18 MPG. Start-stop technology helps bolster those figures and it’s pretty seamless, unlike competing systems from other German luxury manufacturers, particularly ones headquartered in Munich, Bavaria…
Harnessing all of that scrumptious goodness is an AMG Speedshift MCT automatic transmission. It gives drivers seven ratios to play with. Interestingly it features a multi-plate wet clutch instead of a traditional torque converter. Supposedly this arrangement is better for both acceleration and fuel economy.
Ensuring every pony makes it to the pavement this wonder wagon is equipped with Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. It saves your bacon by keeping the car shiny-side up and it preserves tires by preventing the rears from going up in a cloud of acrid smoke. If you’re the curious type, 33 percent of available torque is routed to the front axle while the remaining 67 percent heads rearward.
Offering motorists plenty of choice over how the vehicle behaves, four selectable drive programs are available. They range from “Controlled Efficiency” for thrifty everyday motoring to “Sport,” “Sport+” and “Manual” for total control. Paddle shifters allow you to pick the gear you want.
Naturally a sport-tuned suspension is standard. Steel springs support the front end while load-leveling air bladders prop up the rear; the car’s dampers are electronically adjustable. Additionally, the brakes are suitably massive, with bright-red calipers clamping down on massive disks.