Alternative AMGs have been expected for a while now, what with the
and the launch of
of electrified vehicles. Here is the first look at AMG's electrified future, so look away now if you thought turbos were bad: the AMG 53s have arrived.
Launched initially as a CLS53, E53 Coupe and E53 Cabriolet, the new cars usher in electrified turbos for Affalterbach products. So they use a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six, but one of the turbos is an electric compressor - technology similar to that used in the Audi SQ7. An EQ Boost starter-alternator supplies the 48v onboard subsystem (which then powers the compressor, and supports the gliding mode and stop-start) as well as providing an additional 21hp and 184lb ft. Described as the "first step towards a hybridised future" by AMG, the turbo arrangement should help eliminate lag - working until the big, old fashioned turbo is spinning - and also reduce fuel consumption.
Each AMG 53 produces 435hp and 384lb ft, sufficient in a CLS53 for 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and 155mph, with additional claims of 200g/km and 33.6mpg. All the 53s are four-wheel drive, though it's described as AMG 4Matic+ with "fully variable torque distribution"; sounds like they could perform the E63's little party trick, then...
Power reaches all four wheels via the nine-speed 'AMG Speedshift TCT' automatic, promising "very responsive" behaviour whether using the paddles or left to its own devices. The familiar Mercedes drive modes - Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual - feature, with standard AMG Ride Control+ air suspension, plus new steering knuckles, more rigid elastokinematics and more negative camber at both axles. There's continuously adjustable ADS+ damping (with three characteristics) as well. And pneumatic self-levelling. So if your 53 is pitching, rolling, or displaying any movement whatsoever, something is probably wrong.
Steering is electro-mechanical and speed sensitive, with braking provided by 370mm ventilated front discs and 360mm ventilated rears. Weight is from 1,895kg for an E53 4Matic+ Coupe (without a driver), through 1,905kg for a CLS and 1,980kg for an E53 cabrio.
Distinguishing the 53 cars from their more humble brethren (but not stepping on the toes of the 63s), each of these new electrified AMGs receives new twin-blade front grilles, "AMG-specific side sill panels" and twin exhausts. There's even - hold your excitement here - mudflaps which contribute to improved airflow and a small spoiler that can be had in carbon fibre.
The usual Mercedes loveliness abounds inside, with the 53 also benefitting from an AMG Performance wheel, AMG badges and new seats. There's no word yet on a seven-seat E53 estate, however...
Mercedes has shown its range of 53 models off to the world at Detroit, so keep a look out for them in the shadow of the G-Class somewhere. Expect full UK prices and specs in due course too, with sales imminent. The AMG family continues to grow!