Look, there isn’t a lot to like about the year 2020. If we could sweep entire years into proverbial dustbins, this one would be among the first in the pooper scooper. So, it’s with much relief that we can bring you this breaking—good!—news in the year 2020: The 603-hp Mercedes-AMG E 63 S wagon receives an update for 2021 and it will continue to sell in the United States. After Mercedes decided to axe the regular E 450 station wagon for the U.S. in favor of the less graceful, lifted and body-armored, as well as more Subaru-like, E-Class All-Terrain, we weren’t entirely certain the special-order-only AMG would survive.
If the options are having the E 63 S wagon exist on our shores or it not, we’ll gladly take the former even—if it’s accompanied by no increase in power. The 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S wagon’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 makes the same 603 hp it did last year. In fact, nothing about the AMG’s mechanical package has changed, meaning it still utilizes a nine-speed automatic transmission and a performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system that can be set to a rear-drive-only “Drift” mode at the press of a button.
Drummond Jacoy, Director Overall Vehicle Development Mercedes-AMG, said the engine carried over because executives are happy with its power and characteristics. It is a case of having the right power output for the car, not just pure numbers. The engine is part of the overall package to emphasize driving capability with precise and quick shifting for a car designed for both the track and a comfortable long-distance drive.
For 2021, Mercedes-AMG has opened up the E 63’s front end for better cooling, by enlarging the model’s grille and lower intakes. The wagon, like its similarly updated sedan sibling, also adopts Mercedes-AMG’s now-signature “Panamericana” grille design, which is recognizable by its large vertical strakes. There is a new front splitter that reduces front-end lift, per AMG, and the fenders are looks extra bulgier than before, as does the hood. On the whole, the E 63 continues to look pretty much the same—and subtly bad-ass in a way few modern vehicles do. Well, provided you avoid the bright blue paint color pictured here. To be fair, if you’re spending six figures on a 603-hp wagon, you do you. Speaking of which, pricing for the newest AMG wagon is arriving closer to the car’s on-sale date late this year. For 2020, it started at just over $112,000.
Other than a new steering wheel, which is in keeping with the rest of the refreshed E-Class family’s changes, and a switch to the three-pointed star’s latest MBUX touchscreen infotainment system, the E 63 S wagon is the same luxurious five-seat family hauler (that also hauls ass) as last year. AMG did enlarge and reposition the shift paddles behind the steering wheel, which can be used to manually select gears and serve as part of the initiation sequence for the aforementioned rear-drive-only Drift mode, in which the car’s all-wheel-drive system disengages the front axle for tail-out hooliganism.
Do your kids require a zero-to-60-mph time of around 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph to get to soccer practice on time? Who cares. Sometimes parents just wanna snap off a bit on their way to work or errands. And snap off the E 63 S wagon can, in a way few family vehicles are capable of. (Should things get out of hand or your commute resembles a racetrack, there are always the optional carbon-composite brake rotors for reigning things in without fade.) The AMG is certainly more interesting than the new E-Class All-Terrain, not to mention nearly every other station wagon available. Okay, that was perhaps an understatement, but hey, we’re excited about this rare bit of good news.