Starting Line: A New Reason to Live

Photos courtesy Mercedes-AMG

I don’t think about supercars much. I know a lot of car people do, because they ask me about them. And I have to admit that when I am asked about the latest McLaren, Ferrari or Aston Martin, I usually sidestep the subject. I just don’t spend much time reading dream car-type magazines or their equivalent websites.

Still, new cars–both fast and slow–are very much a part of our world. We sample them on a regular basis through press introductions and our weekly press car loaners. Our parking lot features an endless parade of usually mundane SUVs and sedans mixed with the occasional bright spot like a new Shelby Mustang, Corvette or M-badged product.

Why, I usually ask myself, should I buy this expensive new car when there are so many old Miatas, Mustangs, WRXs and clapped-out BMWs waiting for me on the backlots of America?

That was my life until last week, when a press car arrived that changed my entire view on everything. This machine gave me a new reason to live, a new goal in life, and an excuse not to retire until I am able to buy one.
And this incredible car is a station wagon.

Yes, the first all-out, mind-blowing supercar that I have ever really noticed is a station wagon. That probably tells you enough to guess what it is: a new AMG E 63S Wagon that the nice folks at Mercedes-Benz dropped off for us to try.

This new AMG wagon produces 603 horsepower and 627 lb.-ft. of torque. It also has torque-sensing AWD, Brembo brakes the size of small condominiums, and Michelin Pilot Sport tires. The handling is otherworldly–I know this because I also drove the car at the fantastically technical NCM Motorsports Park. Its maker says that the wagon can reach 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.

This wagon truly does it all. I used our loaner to pick up some lumber and retrieve a pair of BMW 2002 bumpers for my buddy, then proceeded to take a constant stream of inquisitive friends for ride-alongs at speed. Switching from comfort to race mode totally transforms this beast: You can let the transmission call the shots, or manually run it through the nine speeds yourself. My passengers screamed in glee.

Margie asked what the fuss was about, so I threw her the fob. She came back laughing and babbling, “This thing makes me want to teach and preach and make everyone feel my power.” A little weird, perhaps, but her words show just how overwhelming this machine is.

I did a quick review after I sampled the AMG E 63S at NCM during its press introduction, but there is something about having a car in your driveway and using it in your daily routine that really lets you get to know it. I got that chance last week, and I learned this car fits into my life really, really well–or it will until it gets me arrested.

In fact, this superwagon (say it with a German accent and it’s even cooler) has me rethinking my whole life and formulating schemes to put one in my garage to keep forever. The thought of hauling stuff on Saturday and then decimating Ferraris and Porsches at track days on Sunday–all with the same car–holds so, so much appeal to me. A wagon like this is all image in the best way, offering little of the guilt or assumptions that in my mind follow the iconic shapes of most Porsches or Ferraris. Heck, it even gets decent fuel mileage if you can keep it out of racer mode.

Ours carried a $123,000 price tag–base is $108,850–so my first thought was to look for a used one. A quick search reminded me that the wagon just came out this year, while 3-year-old coupes and sedans were still in the $80,000-$90,000 range.
So should I wait five to 10 years and pick up a worn-out one, as I have done with almost every other car I own? Can I possibly wait that long? I know I’m constantly weighing this option, but maybe I should clear out my fleet–or what are kidneys worth these days? I have two.

Besides, will AMG’s superwagon even depreciate? The Ford GT never really did. Will this one follow its lead?

Who’s with me on this one? I’m not totally wrong, right? Is there a car you would buy if you suddenly won the lottery or inherited a bunch of money? I now know that my personal bogey features five doors and a three-pointed star.

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Comments
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Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
11/6/19 8:51 a.m.

In reply to Tim Suddard :

Just consider it a replacement for the van. 

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy Reader
11/6/19 9:18 a.m.

This is why wagons reign supreme.

I just know the likelihood of it coming down in price will not happen anytime soon.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
11/6/19 9:45 a.m.

$106k? Nope, not for me. Though a super wagon is appealing for sure.

The good news is they should be available for pennies on the dollar in 10 years.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
11/6/19 10:38 a.m.

In reply to Toyman01 :

Sadly the top tier wagons don't depreciate like the more common stuff. Look at an older e63 wagon; I think they're still in the $50k range after 5 years or so. So sad.

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
11/6/19 11:01 a.m.

I've driven some pretty fast wagons, and i do love wagons. I actually have two fairly slow wagons in my current DD rotation.  The question for me is how fast does it have to be before i care enough to spend big money. My experience so far tells me that number has to be at least 600hp.  For that reason, I am going to avoid all 600+hp station wagons. I'm just not ready to be filled with angst about getting one! cheeky

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
11/6/19 11:02 a.m.
dculberson said:

In reply to Toyman01 :

Sadly the top tier wagons don't depreciate like the more common stuff. Look at an older e63 wagon; I think they're still in the $50k range after 5 years or so. So sad.

This is a sad truth.

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
11/6/19 11:16 a.m.

I might say the CTS-V wagon with a manual *could* be held in higher regard, but man these things are just amazing. It is a shame they don't depreciate like the rest of the lineup.

I am constantly trying to figure out what is the closest thing to this E-AMG-wagon under $20k (my budget), but obviously no such thing exists.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
11/6/19 11:46 a.m.
dculberson said:

In reply to Toyman01 :

Sadly the top tier wagons don't depreciate like the more common stuff. Look at an older e63 wagon; I think they're still in the $50k range after 5 years or so. So sad.

The wagons do bring extra money. I found a 07 listed for $23k, but 10 year old AMG sedans are under $15k and several are down around $10k. With list prices at $90k+, that's in the pennies on the dollar range to me. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/6/19 11:49 a.m.

In reply to CobraSpdRH :

Probably one of the non-AMG Benz wagons with a V8.  A quick bit of searching shows a lot of them and many for far under your budget, thanks to more normal luxury car depreciation. 

I remember when I first read this column in the magazine.  Made me want one then as well.  Also doesn't help one of my MINI club friends bought an E450 wagon last year.

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
11/6/19 12:05 p.m.

See also:

Don't think MB imported these, though.

grover
grover HalfDork
11/6/19 1:41 p.m.

So this is how we find out the magazine is for sale? I kid. 
 

 

I drove the older model a few times and loved it. 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
11/6/19 2:11 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01 :

Sure but price a big standard 10 year old s class. $90k cars new now $5k. That's the depreciation I would like to see on these but we never will. That's pennies on the dollar to me. 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
11/6/19 2:12 p.m.

Tim,

Stepping over to the "dark side" of Mercedes Is allot of fun.  I recently acquired a BiTurbo CLS 550 4matic .  0-60 under 4 seconds.  The response you get from passengers is very entertaining.   Giggling, screaming, turning white and clutching on to things, a constant uncontrolled babbling of expletives are all part of the fun you can expect from your passenger.  It is especially entertaining from those that say something to the effect that "It is a Mercedes how fast can it be" before you take them for a ride.  

The combination of the exhaust note on acceleration and the crackling overrun on downshifts just never gets old. 

People say you don't need a car like this. I think it really is a case of people just don't know they need a car like this. 

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
11/6/19 4:09 p.m.

The Audi Avant S6 was a pretty mean wagon, too, but it wasn't quite as amazing as the Merc.

captdownshift
captdownshift UltimaDork
11/6/19 8:14 p.m.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next AMG wagons are hybrid based, if that's the case these won't depricate. 

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy Reader
11/7/19 8:33 a.m.

Did a search of 500 miles from my KC Metro location and these are the only AMG wagons available on Cars...

 

 

Same dealer. These guys actually tend to have a plethora of pretty cool cars every time I'm searching for something specific.

 

Both expensive as all hell.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
11/7/19 8:39 a.m.

I friend of mine has '16ish version of this car.  In brown.  Traded in a C6 Z06 for it.  He loves it.

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