Johannesburg - A trio of 53-badged Mercedes-AMG models have hit South African streets, all sharing the same hybridised straight-six heart.
The CLS 53 4Matic+ retails at R1 491 600, while the E 53 4Matic+ is yours for R1 311 700 in Coupe guise and R1 430 600 as a Cabriolet. The latter two replace the previous E 43 derivatives, and join the newly launched E 53 sedan.
All Mercedes-AMG ‘53’ models are powered by the company’s new 3-litre straight-six engine, which in AMG form produces 320kW and 520Nm. It features a conventional turbocharger in addition to an electric auxiliary compressor, for quicker, lag-free pull-offs. This is powered by the 48 volt electrical system, itself fed by an ‘EQ Boost’ starter-alternator, which is positioned between the engine and nine-speed automatic gearbox, and which is capable of directly feeding the drivetrain an additional 16kW and 250Nm in short spurts.
What all this means out on the street is a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.5 seconds for both the CLS 53 and E 53 Cabriolet, while the E 53 Coupe will get you there in 4.4 seconds.
Power, in all three cases, goes to all four wheels through an AMG-specific 4Matic AWD system, with fully variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles.