Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC: Bred for speed
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Mercedes-AMG takes a further step towards a hybridised future of its sports models with the new E 53 4MATIC+ sedan, coupe and cabriolet models.
The model range is powered by a new electrified six-cylinder in-line 3-litre engine featuring twin-turbocharging through an exhaust gas turbocharger and an electric auxiliary compressor.
The engine generates 320kW of power and delivers maximum torque of 520Nm.
Its EQ Boost starter-alternator provides an additional 16kW of output plus 250Nm of torque within milliseconds, and feeds the 48 V on-board electrical system.
The result is quick, seamless and smooth progress when you accelerate, with Mercedes-AMG claiming the car accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 4.4 seconds.
These cars are seriously quick, as Driven found out during the launch in Melbourne.
They use an AMG Speedshift TCT 9G transmission, and the fully variable all-wheel drive system, AMG Performance 4Matic+.
While the E 53s are luxury sports sedans, coupes and convertibles, they come with the appropriate AMG soundtrack, thanks to the AMG sports exhaust ensuring there is plenty of crack and pop.
Several hours on motorways, and relatively traffic-light B and C roads northeast of Melbourne showed the models are not only quick off the mark but handle varied road conditions well.
The ride is surprisingly smooth for such a high-performance model, no doubt helped by the sophisticated air suspension set-up developed by AMG.
The steering has plenty of feel and the models stick stubbornly to the road, no matter how twisty it becomes.
Distinguishing the AMG E 53s from their mainstream models are a twin-blade radiator grill, AMG side sill panels, a rear apron with diffuser insert and the round chrome twin exhaust tailpipes.
“With the new 53-series models we are extending our portfolio in a first step towards a hybridised future with a combination of sporty design, performance and efficiency,” said Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers.
He said the spontaneous response to the accelerator pedal being pressed, the precision and focus on driving dynamics were all hallmark features of AMG.
Certainly the coupe and cabriolet models take off with a roar, although without any road drama as the all-wheel system efficiently transfers the power to the ground.
The four-door sedan E 53s have yet to arrive, but are expected to join the coupe and cabriolet models in showrooms within the new few weeks.
The EQ Boost starter-alternator combines a starter motor and alternator in an electric motor, and is fitted between the engine and transmission.
The aim of the technology is to improve performance and driving dynamics, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Supported by the EQ Boost starter-alternator when moving off, the electric auxiliary compressor builds up a high charge pressure without any delay, for a faster increase in torque for acceleration until the large exhaust gas turbocharger is deployed.
As a result the engine provides a quick response, without turbo lag.
The Ride Control+ air suspension developed by AMG helps provide more agility and neutral cornering performance, and greater traction, says Mercedes-AMG.
A continuously adjustable damping ADS+ adaptive damping system helps combine sharp driving dynamics with high ride comfort.
The damping at each wheel adjusts to suit the driving situation and the condition of the road.
The damping characteristics can also be pre-selected in three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
Inside the cars is the now-familiar widescreen cockpit, and the driver has the choice of different display styles — classic, sporty and progressive — while also being able to configure the information and views he or she wants.
Via the AMG menu, it is possible to display the engine and transmission oil temperature, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, engine output and torque, boost (charge pressure), tyre temperatures and pressures as well as the current vehicle set-up.
The touch-sensitive Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel give the driver control of the infotainment system without having to take hands off the steering wheel.
The CLS 53 4Matic+ features the latest driving assistance system generation from the S-Class.
Among features fitted as standard are Active Braking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and attention assist.
The Driving Assistance Package includes Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Braking Assist with Cross-Traffic Function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Pre-Safe Plus.
Active Distance Control Distronic and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer.
In addition, the Driving Assistance Plus package includes Pre-Safe Impulse Side, a system that braces the front occupants for a side impact by nudging them sideways to reduce the risk of injury.
The AMG E 53 4Matic+ Sedan goes on sale this month for $175,500, the coupe for $180,200 and the cabriolet model for $187,500.