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Top of the E-Class range: the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+ delivers 450 kW and 300 km/h top speed (images:: Mercedes-Benz).

What we're driving: 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+

It isn’t every car maker that introduces its new car with a session on a tight and slippery test track. But when it’s a 1955-kg (4090-lb) sedan with 450 kW (603 hp) and 850 N·m (627 lb·ft) of torque available at the shove of a foot, it is a useful education.

That’s what Mercedes-Benz offers its UK customers of the new Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+ (and many other models) if they choose to visit Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands, near London.

This ultimate E-Class is a remarkable vehicle: a relaxed boulevard cruiser or a hugely satisfying mile muncher on any sort of road. Top speed is electronically limited to 300km/h (186 mph) via an AMG Driver’s Package option.

The E63’s technology list includes a 4.0-L V-8 with cylinder deactivation and dual twin-scroll turbochargers; a fully variable all-wheel drive system; 9-speed AMG Speedshift transmission with a wet start-off clutch instead of a torque converter and the use of BWI Group’s Gen 2 adaptive magnetorheological (MR) engine mounts. As well as preventing large transient powertrain events in the 2–22 Hz range from reaching the chassis, the high-tech mounts also provide isolation from smaller-amplitude movements in the 30–150 Hz range to provide added refinement.

The suspension has been re-engineered for the latest E 63 based on Mercedes’ three-chamber Air Body Control damping. A 4-link setup is used at the front, a freshened multilink at the rear. The E63 S also gets an electronically-controlled rear differential.

All this was all demonstrated on a challenging 2.5-km test track with tricky corners, as well as on an acceleration straight. But thanks to the tutelage of Mercedes’ driving expert Charlotte Burridge, this author managed to leave both scenery and car undamaged—and senses very impressed.

For those who want something “milder," there is the detuned version of the E 63 4Matic that generates less power and torque. It takes 0.1 seconds longer to reach 100 km/h (62 mph), though—3.5s versus 3.4s—so may not suit those in a real hurry.

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