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There's something about Death Valley that makes spotting a trio of AMG-tuned Mercedes test mules more sinister than it actually is. After all, it's only a few engineers behind the wheel of these 500hp burners, not whiskey-soaked stagecoach pilots. Nonetheless, it's more fun than a snakebite to see a pack of dusty AMGs: the 2007 Mercedes S63, along with a pair of family wagons — the AMG 2006 M-Class and 2006 R-Class. According to Phil Lienert, writing for Edmunds Inside Line, the three models are powered by a brand new, motorsports-derived 6.3-liter V8. It's the same high-revving, large-displacement eight-banger, developed completely by AMG, the company introduced to the world yesterday.

As Mercedes announced, the high-compression (11.3 : 1) motor cranks out 510 hp at 6800 rpm, making it — according to the company — the world s most powerful naturally aspirated eight-cylinder production engine, though it shares no parts with any other Mercedes-Benz eight-cylinder powerplant, and like other AMG-built motors, each one is signed personally by its builder.

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Spy Shots: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG [Edmunds]

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