2019 Mercedes AMG E 63 vs. 2018 Audi S8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG E 63 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Audi S8 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The middle row seatbelts optional on the AMG E 63 inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The S8 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

To help make backing safer, the AMG E 63’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The S8 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The AMG E 63’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The S8 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The AMG E 63 has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The S8 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the AMG E 63 and the S8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and available lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the AMG E 63’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the AMG E 63 has a standard 850-amp battery. The S8’s 450-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The AMG E 63’s 4.0 turbo V8 produces 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (627 vs. 553) than the S8’s 4.0 turbo V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mercedes AMG E 63 is faster than the Audi S8:

AMG E 63

S8

Zero to 30 MPH

1.1 sec

1.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

2.9 sec

3.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

6.7 sec

7.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

3.8 sec

4.3 sec

Quarter Mile

11 sec

11.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

128 MPH

121 MPH

In a Car and Driver race course test, the Mercedes AMG E 63 S Sedan was clocked 8.2 seconds faster than the Audi S8 Plus (175.4 sec. vs. 183.6 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the AMG E 63’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The S8 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes AMG E 63, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the S8.

Brakes and Stopping

The AMG E 63 stops shorter than the S8:

AMG E 63

S8

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

156 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the AMG E 63 has larger rear tires than the S8 (295/30R20 vs. 275/35R21).

The AMG E 63’s 295/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S8’s standard 35 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The AMG E 63’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The S8 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The AMG E 63’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.3% to 44.7%) than the S8’s (56.4% to 43.6%). This gives the AMG E 63 more stable handling and braking.

The AMG E 63 S Sedan handles at 1.01 G’s, while the S8 Plus pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The AMG E 63 Sedan is 6.2 inches shorter than the S8, making the AMG E 63 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The AMG E 63 Wagon has standard seating for 7 passengers; the S8 can only carry 5.

The AMG E 63 Sedan has .2 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more rear headroom than the S8.

Cargo Capacity

The AMG E 63’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The S8 doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

The AMG E 63 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The S8 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

If the windows are left open on the AMG E 63 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor). On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the S8 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The AMG E 63 offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The S8 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The AMG E 63’s Active Parking Assist can parallel park by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The S8 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes AMG E 63 comes in sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi S8 isn’t available as a station wagon.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the AMG E 63 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the AMG E 63 will cost $2875 less than the S8 over a five-year period.

The AMG E 63 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the AMG E 63 will retain 48.19% to 49.83% of its original price after five years, while the S8 only retains 40.18%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes AMG E 63 will be $21474 to $23520 less than for the Audi S8.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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