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In late November, barely 12 months after the introduction of the most recent Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, we were offered the opportunity to ride along with AMG’s top managers during a sign-off drive of the upcoming 2014 E63.

What’s more, this will mark the third major revision of the E63 since the current-generation E-class, the W212, was introduced to the press in the summer of 2009 as a 2010 model. Among the luxury-car competition, Mercedes seems to put a higher priority on the prompt introduction of its high-performance variants than do the others.

The motivation for this latest change is the midcycle enhancement to the E-class line as a whole. Most of the German carmakers operate on a six-year interval between major redesigns, with a face lift halfway through the cycle. The face-lifted E-class arrives with the 2014 model year and the E63 is not far behind.

U.S. cars go AWD

Of course, we wouldn’t bother with a new E63 if it received nothing more than differently creased sheetmetal. But this 2014 model will come with something that we’ve never before experienced on an AMG passenger car—all-wheel drive. Not only will the E63 have the Mercedes 4MATIC system, but that’s the only way it will come to America, although the rest of the world will still be able to order a rear-drive version.

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Move over Audi RS6, 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic First Look

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