Mercedes-AMG is continuing to place the AMG badge onto everything. A few years ago, the high-performance brand came out with the E43 Sedan. The model was aimed at consumers that wanted something potent, but didn’t want to make the stretch to the E63. Now, AMG has taken the E43, added a mild-hybrid setup, and created the 53 lineup of vehicles
Just like the E43, the new 53 models – the CLS53, E53 Coupe, and E53 Cabriolet – are powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. The engine gets some assistance from a 48-volt electrical system that’s called EQ Boost. An electric compressor helps build boost at low revs, while an electric motor-generator replaces the traditional starter motor and alternator.
With the electric components, combined output for the 53 models are rated at 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. That’s a noticeable amount more than the E43, which is rated at 396 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. AMG claims that while the 53 models have the same output as a V8 engine, fuel economy will be approximately 20 percent better than an eight-cylinder motor.
The electric motor-generator accounts for 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which it doles out under hard acceleration. Under braking, the motor-generator recovers energy to help charge the battery. The system, though, doesn’t allow the E53, E53 Coupe, and E53 Cabriolet to run on electricity alone.
A nine-speed automatic transmission routes power for all of the 53-badged models to all four wheels via an all-wheel-drive system. AMG claims the vehicles can get to 62 mph from a standstill in roughly 4.4 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155 mph. Opt for the optional AMG Driver’s Package and top speed is raised to 168 mph.
In addition to the added performance, the models also get some new exterior touches. There’s a redesigned hood with a few power bulges, high-gloss chrome trim pieces, available 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, circular exhaust tips, and a chunky rear diffuser. On the inside, the new models get unique sport seats with AMG seat upholstery, red seat belts, carbon fiber trim, red contrast stitching, a performance steering wheel, and plenty of AMG badges.
A sedan version of the E53 is expected to be offered as well, as is a wagon variant. The latter, though, probably won’t make it to the United States. An exclusive Edition 1 will also be offered for the AMG CLS53, which will have numerous bespoke touches. AMG hasn’t announced available yet, but the 53 series should come out later this year as a 2019 model.