South Africa

Mercedes-Benz E-Class returns from AMG school as new E53

With the wraps having come off the all-new W214 generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class in April last year, the three-pointed star’ AMG division has unveiled its first take in the guise of the new E53.

Exterior typical AMG

Stuttgart’s latest 53-badged model after the CLE in December, the E53 effectively provides the first preview of what a E63 could look like should approval be given.

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Confirmed to be offered as either a sedan or estate once again, the E53’s visual differences from the E-Class comprises an EQ-esque AMG grille with vertical slates, the AMG-wing front apron, extended wheel arches with cooling vents, a deeper lower air intake and AMG alloy wheels ranging from 19-inches to the optional 21-inches.

Mercedes-AMG unwraps all-new E53
Alloy wheel sizes range from 19-inches to 21-inches. Image: Mercedes-AMG

Continuing the exterior differences are more prominent air inlets on the side of front bumper, extended door sills, an AMG bootlid spoiler on the sedan and an AMG rear diffuser with integrated exhaust outlets on either side.

As before, buyers can also add the AMG Night Package or Carbon exterior package available from the options list.

Not just aesthetics

Underneath, Mercedes-AMG has been equally busy as apart from the AMG-tuned 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, the adaptive AMG Ride Control steel springs have been retuned for the E53, the track of the front axle increased and the rubber mounts on the rear axle stiffened-up.

Elsewhere, the rear-axle steering system has been revised, the Electronic Stability Programme’s software updated and the Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings of the dampers reprogramed to suite the E53’s drivetrain.

Mercedes-AMG unwraps all-new E53
Europe will again be privy to an estate aimed at the Audi RS6 Avant. Image: Mercedes-AMG

The final update comes by way of the brakes resplendent not only with a new electromechanical brake booster, but also sharper stoppers themselves made-up of a four-piston caliper setup at the front and single at the rear, with respective disc sizes of 370 mm and 360 mm.

As part of the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package, an electronically locking rear differential comes standard, along with a six-piston front brake caliper design, dynamic engine mounts and a red finish on the calipers.

Inside

Inside, transformation from E-Class to E53 has been comparatively smaller as aside from different graphics and readouts within the optional MBUX Superscreen and standard display, the electric AMG sport seats have been added at the front together with the Nappa-clad AMG steering wheel.

New Mercedes-AMG E53 revealed
Subtle changes have taken place inside. Image: Mercedes-AMG

From the off, the seats are trimmed in Artico man-made leathers and microfibres with red stitching, with the option being the AMG Performance chairs.

Past V12 power minus six

Up front, the E53 remains motivated by a six-cylinder engine, albeit no longer in the guise of a mild-hybrid setup all ‘53’ badged models, since the nomenclature debuted on the now discontinued AMG CLS 53 six years ago, had featured.

Instead, the 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six is now paired to a 21.22-kWh battery pack that powers an electric motor producing 120kW/480Nm on its own.

In combination with the straight-six’s 330kW/560Nm, the now plug-in hybrid E53 outputs a combined 430kW/750Nm delivered to all four wheels through the double-clutch 9G TCT transmission.

New Mercedes-AMG E53 revealed
E53 now becomes a plug-in hybrid whereas the previous generation sported a mild-hybrid setup. Image: Mercedes-AMG

While limited to 250 km/h and able to get from 0-100 km/h in four seconds, opting for the AMG Dynamic Plus pack not only adds a Nappa leather-covered steering wheel to the mix, but also a Race Start mode to the Dynamic Select mode selector.

This means that for a few seconds, the E53 produces 450 kW, exactly the same as the earlier M275 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 engine used in among others, the S63 AMG and CL 63 AMG from the late 2000s.

The AMG Dynamic Pack also includes the AMG Driver’s Package, which sees top speed increase to a limited 280 km/h and 0-100 km/h reduced to 3.8 seconds.

According to Mercedes-AMG, the claimed all-electric range varies between 93 km to 101 km, with emissions free driving capable up to 140 km/h.

Arrival unknown

Going on-sale later this year with Europe being privy to both the sedan and estate, the E53, for now remains a mystery for South Africa as the E-Class’ projected arrival before the end of 2023 never materialised.

While expectations are it will soon be introduced, for the time being, a date of arrival, plus the availability of the E53, remains open to speculation.

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