THE three-pointed star is to be found on the hoods of some of the best limousines on the market today - the new E-Class, a groundbreaking mid-sized model, and the larger S-Class, which still remains desirable even though it is already midway through its life cycle.
But when it comes to high-performance sports sedans, the jury is still out.
Case in point - the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
AMG is the German luxury carmaker's tuning division and the E63 is a souped-up version of the latest E-Class.
It is the latest in a long line of mid-sized Mercs that have been given the AMG treatment and replaces the previous-generation E55 AMG.
Unlike the E55 with its 5.4-litre supercharged V8 engine, the E63 has a bigger 6.2-litre V8, but without forced induction.
This naturally aspirated unit produces 525 horses and 630 Newton-metres of torque, to be delivered in a more linear and useable fashion.
But apparently, someone forgot to tell Merc that another adjective had crashed the party - 'boring'.
The big V8 provides lots of oomph, but little pizzazz. Floor the accelerator and the E63 takes off - speedily, but undramatically.
The growly exhaust is aurally addictive, but that seems to be the only entertainment available.
Where the E55 was manic, the E63 is mild.
Perhaps the E63's rakish looks raise expectations unreasonably high.
The buffed up E-Class is a joy to behold, with its flared front wings and sculpted aerodynamic add-ons.
Just looking at the huge brake callipers and manhole-sized cross-drilled discs will slacken most male jaws.
Then, there is the cool cabin with its proliferation of gadgetry.
Apart from the obligatory perforated leather steering wheel with its shift paddles, other beautiful details can be found on the lower centre console.
Here, a slick, small and surprisingly ergonomic electronic gear lever sits beside a metal-finished bank of knobs.
One of these is an electronic dial to select the desired mode for the AMG seven-speed sports transmission.
This automatic gearbox has a wet start-up clutch instead of a torque converter for better response and improved fuel economy.
Its swift and seamless gearshifts are praiseworthy, with downshifts automatically accompanied by angry throttle blips.
Also brilliant is the AMG Ride Control sports suspension, which can be set to Comfort, Sport or Sport Plus.
Comfort offers such good cushioning that those in the back might think they were in an S-Class.
Unfortunately though, Sport Plus does not make the E63 feel more alive or nimble.
That and the inert steering contribute to the E63 being more lumbering giant than slick sports sedan.
|Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
|Engine: 6,208cc V8
Transmission: 7-speed auto
Power: 525 bhp @ 6,800 rpm
Torque: 630 Nm @ 5,200 rpm
0-100kmh: 4.5 secs
Top speed: 250 kmh (limited)
Price: $451,888 (with COE)
Distributor: Cycle & Carriage
The E63 just doesn't feel special enough - it comes across as an E-Class with a powerful engine and nicer soundtrack, rather than a finely honed, high-performance saloon.
It may look the part with its aggressive bodykit, but its performance means it is too bland to warrant the AMG badge on the bootlid.
But blank out those three letters, think of it as an E630 and this muscular Merc could not be more perfect.