Despite, living in a world of increasingly stringent emission standards where the wholesale adoption of electric cars seems inevitable, the fast-sedan arms race between German manufacturers is showing no signs of abating. Look no further than the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S for proof — a 603-hp supercar in all but looks that will rocket you and four companions to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.

With 603 and 563 hp, respectively, Mercedes says the E63 S and E63 are the most powerful E-Class variants ever. We don’t doubt it. Power comes from Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8. It’s also worth pointing out that this is the most horsepower AMG’s newest bespoke engine has produced to date. It should be interesting to track how much more power can be extracted from this small, yet clearly potent engine.

Power is channeled through a redesigned 4 Matic nine-speed drivetrain, which provides both the stability of all-wheel-drive and the rawer nature of rear-wheel-drive. Torque distribution is fully variable, both front rear. This is where AMG takes a page out of the Focus RS playbook. After switching to the Race setting and turning off ESP, you’ll have the option to activate Drift Mode, which turns the E63 into a rear-wheel-drive tire vaporizer.

From the outside, it would be hard to mistake for a lesser E-Class (that said, we usually have to look twice to distinguish the C-, E- and S-Classes within Mercedes’ current design language). The front is all gaping intakes, while the rear gets the AMG-requisite, quad-trapezoidal exhaust exits.

Pricing is yet to be announced, but it should land in dealers by summer 2017. The only question you need to ask yourself at this point is, do you pull the trigger on this, or wait and see what the next BMW M5 brings to the table?