Look at the two cars above, and you’d think it’s crazy to race the two. One is a heavy wagon designed for grubby children and groceries while the other is a grand tourer ready for a trek through the countryside to a fancy eatery four hours away. However, both are high-powered AMG models, and they’re similar in performance.
The E63 S wagon makes 612 horsepower and 626 (850 Newton-meters) pound-feet of torque. The AMG GT R, however, isn’t your standard model. It has a Renntech tune, upping the power from 577 hp to 672 hp and nearly 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque. The GT R has a seven-speed transmission while the E63 has a nine-speed. While the E63 is down on power, it does have one advantage – all-wheel drive. The GT R is rear-wheel drive.
The video puts the two through three different tests. One is a standing-start quarter-mile drag race. The next is a rolling-start race from 50 miles per hour. And the third is a brake test from 70 mph.
Surprisingly, the E63 S wins the quarter-mile race, but just barely. The E63 crosses the finish line in 11.2 seconds while the GT R finishes in 11.3 seconds, less than a car-length behind. The E63 got a sizable lead at the start thanks to its AWD, but the GT R’s superior performance quickly closed the gap. However, it wasn’t enough to pull ahead.
The standing-start race gives the GT R the advantage. It took the lead right from the start, leaving the E63 in the dust. The GT R also won the brake test, but not by much. It’s hard to tell in the video, but it appears the E63 stopped less than a car-length ahead of the GT R. Shmee attributes the close results to the brakes. The GT R has steel brakes while the E63 has ceramic units.
The race between these two shows that there’s more to success than just pure horsepower. Advantages like all-wheel drive and ceramic brakes can make a heavy wagon outperform and purpose-built grand tourer.