The Focus RS soon won't be the only all-wheel-drive car with a "Drift Mode." The Mercedes-AMG E63, which will come standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive, will get a rear-biasing driving mode as well when it arrives next year, according to a report from Autocar.
The revelation comes from AMG chief Tobias Moers, who told Autocar in an interview: "[The E63] is four-wheel drive and we're going to have a Drift Mode." This is to ensure that the car retains the rear-drive feel of the previous model.
We knew that the E63 would be offered exclusively in all-wheel drive, but the addition of a drift mode should come as good news to buyers looking for that rawness the E63 has been known for. Autocar says the all-wheel drive system will be fully variable, capable of sending 100 percent of the car's power to the rear wheels. The mode will allow for power oversteer and drifting when engaged. While the AMG-tuned 4Matic all-wheel drive system and its Drift Mode will make the E63 fun, it will also will make it fast.
"It's faster on the [Nrburgring] Nordschleife than ever," Moers said. "It's going to be under 7 minutes, 50 seconds [when fitted with] the standard tires."
It's unknown how much under 7:50 the E63's lap time will be, but if it wants to hang with other fast four-doors like the Porsche Panamera Turbo and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, it'll need to be in the 7:30-7:40 range.
Like the previous E63, the new model will be offered with one engine in two states of tune. That engine will be a version of Mercedes' twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, available in "below and above 600 bhp" flavors, according to Moers. In top trim, the E63 will do 0-62 mph in "three point something" seconds. Expect it to be in the low threes, as a 2014 Mercedes-AMG E63 equipped with the old 577-hp 5.5-liter engine and all-wheel drive did 0-60 in 3.4 seconds in our tests.
Drift Mode has caused controversy for the Focus RS. In Australia, safety advocates have called for a ban on the RS until Ford can restrict Drift Mode use to the track. Their concerns aren't unfounded, as many RS owners have been filmed getting into accidents on the street.
We should see the new Mercedes-AMG E63 at the Detroit auto show next year.