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Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG buying guide (2006-2011)

Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG buying guide (2006-2011) Classic and Performance Car
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (2006-2011) Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (2006-2011) Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (2006-2011) Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (2006-2011) Replacing the brutally quick and charismatic E55 AMG was never going to be easy. Its torque-rich supercharged 5.5-litre V8 – shared with such evo icons as the SL55 AMG – was the stuff of legend. The answer? For the next generation, Mercedes would give AMG free rein to build a completely new power unit, the first truly bespoke AMG engine. The result was the M156, a naturally aspirated 6208cc V8 that, when installed in the W211-generation E-class, produced a searing 507bhp.

Launched in autumn 2006, the new E63 AMG (saloon or wagon) was the most powerful E-class to date, capable of rocketing from 0 to 62mph in just 4.5sec in saloon form (quite something for a 1765kg leviathan), and while top speed was limited to 155mph in standard form, with the restrictor removed the E63 was hammering on the door of 200mph.

Sure, the 6.2-litre engine needed stoking to give its very best, but there was no doubt it was a mighty unit. The rest of the hardware was all about harnessing its might while making the E63 as civilised as a limo in city traffic. So you got a seven-speed multi-mode automatic gearbox with paddles for manual shifting, switchable air suspension, simply massive ventilated disc brakes and all manner of electronic goodies.

Three years later, in late summer 2009, Mercedes replaced the W211 with the W212. Behind the squarer snout was the same 6.2-litre V8 but with peak power slightly up, at 518bhp. It came with even more modes for the drivetrain and suspension (steel springs now at the front, for extra agility) and an ‘AMG’ button to call up your favourite settings. Carbon-ceramic brakes became an option, too.

This E63 ran until 2011, when Mercedes/AMG reverted to forced induction, as is the modern way. Twin turbos would see the V8 shrink to a familiar 5.5-litre capacity again, although the E63 name was retained. Power was unchanged at 518bhp initially, but in 2013 would rise to 549bhp, with a humungous 531lb ft of torque from just 1750rpm.

But it’s the naturally aspirated cars we’re focusing on here, and with prices from as little as £14k, they’re a lot of extremely rapid motor car for the money. Here’s what you need to know.

Performance and spec

Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (W211)
Engine V8, 6208cc
Power 507bhp @ 6800rpm
Torque 465lb ft @ 5200rpm
Transmission Seven-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Weight 1765kg
0-62mph 4.5sec
Top speed 155mph (limited)

Common problems

• While the E63 is a rare beast, the M156 engine appears in many models and is generally trouble-free provided it has 10,000-mile oil changes with the recommended Mobil 1.

• Early on, however, it developed a reputation for snapping its head bolts, with occasionally catastrophic results if coolant got into the combustion chambers. Most engines have had the bolts replaced but it’s important to be aware of the issue – the early symptoms are similar to head gasket failure.

• Also, listen for a tappety noise – common when the engine’s cold, but if it continues it means the hydraulic lifters are sticking and potentially causing premature wear to the cam lobes. Replacing the lifters will cost £2000 at a specialist and considerably more at a dealership, but ignoring the signs is potentially a lot costlier.

• Like the engine, the seven-speed auto ’box is generally robust and reliable, provided it’s properly maintained. That means a fluid change at 40,000-mile intervals. Just check the changes are smooth, particularly downchanges.

• All E63s have air suspension (though only at the rear on the later W212 model) and, while generally reliable, you might occasionally find leaking struts and inefficient compressors

• If the pump is noisy or takes an age to lift the car from the lowest to the highest ride height, it’s probably on the way out.

• Because it’s a heavy car, front lower ball joints and suspension arms can wear out, so listen for any clonks over bumps on the test drive.

• Also check the discs and pads to make sure there’s plenty of life left in them (replacing a full set will cost around £2000!).

• No corrosion issues as yet, so you’re checking for signs of accident repairs – inconsistent panel gaps, overspray, etc.

• Make sure any interior wear is commensurate with the recorded mileage and spend time checking that all the electronics are fully functioning, as any repairs or replacements are sure to be costly.

• Desirable options include front and rear parking sensors, the Comand infotainment system and the Harman Kardon hi-fi upgrade.

Useful clubs and website

- mbclub.co.uk (forums, advice, events)
- benzworld.org (forums, advice, classifieds)
- mbworld.org (US forums, advice)
- mercedes-amg.com (official AMG community)
- prestigecarservice.co.uk (servicing, tuning, parts)

Summary and prices

Early W211 E63s start at around £14k privately, but tread carefully. We’d recommend an inspection by a specialist to make sure no big bills lie in wait. James Jewiss’s car (‘I Bought One’), massively specced and clearly loved, is on pistonheads.com for just under £18k, which is the top end for an ’06/’07 car. An ’08/early-’09 car with low to average miles and a full history is going to be low-to-mid £20ks, while W212 cars (summer ’09 onwards) currently start at around £30k.

Words: Peter Tomalin
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (2006-2011) Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (2006-2011) Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (2006-2011) Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (2006-2011)
Last updated: 28th Jul 2015
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Mercedes-Benz E63
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  • Mercedes E63 AMG

    POA POA

    Very clean Mercedes E63 AMG Left hand drive 71000kms in total Black on black 2 keys Full service history, 7 services in total. A new one will be done prior the delivery Brand new rear tyres (branded) Totally original and unmolested More info and pictures to follow UK registration, COC available Worldwide shipping available € 28900 OTO

    • Year: 2007
    • Mileage: 44300 mi
    For sale
    POA POA
    Car4Passion
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 S 4MATIC+ Estate |

    £106,500 £106,500

    Specification MAKE Mercedes-Benz MODEL AMG E63 S 4MATIC+ Estate COLOUR Selenite Grey Metallic YEAR 2017/67 MILEAGE 20 DESCRIPTION We are delighted to be able to offer for sale this exceptional Delivery Mileage Mercedes-Benz E63S 4MATIC+ Estate. Finished in Selenite Grey Metallic with AMG Exclusive Nappa Black/Grey Leather. ( New On The Road Price £106500 ). STANDARD EQUIPMENT Anti Locking Brakes, Driver and Passenger Airbags, Apple Car Play, AMG Performance Media, Electrically Adjustable Memory Driver and Passenger Seats, Panoramic Glass Sliding Roof, Touchpad with Controller, Air Body Control, Electrically Adjustable Folding Exterior Mirrors, 360* Camera, Traffic Sign Assist, COMMAND Navigation System, DAB Radio, AMG Performance Seats, Adaptive High Beam Assist Plus, LED Intelligent Light System, AMG Carbon-Fibre Centre Console, Burmester Surround Sound system, Hands Free Access, Heated Front and Rear Seats, Interior Light Package, Keyless Go Comfort Package, Staged Ambient Lighting, AMG Performance Steering Wheel in Nappa Leather/Dinamica, Illuminated AMG Door Sills, Red Brake Calipers., Active Parking Assist. OPTIONAL EXTRAS Premium Package, AMG Carbon Fibre Trim, Head-Up Displa

    • Mileage: 93850 mi
    For sale
    £106,500 £106,500