Affalterbach - Mercedes-AMG is aiming to broaden its audience with a new ‘53’ series that’s presumably aimed at those seeking a less extreme, and more affordable, alternative to the wild ‘63’ models.

First out the starting blocks are the 53 versions of the CLS and the E-Class Coupé and Cabriolet models, which the company revealed for the first time on Monday.

All three are motivated by the most powerful iteration yet of Merc’s new 3-litre straight-six engine, producing 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.

It’s basically a ‘mild hybrid’ then, if we go according to the modern definition thereof, and you can expect to find something similar in a much wider range of Mercedes and AMG products in the near future.

4.5 seconds to 100

According to Mercedes, the CLS 53 and E 53 Cabriolet can screech from zero to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, while the E 53 Coupé takes 4.4s. The standard 250km/h electronically limited top speed also applies to the trio, although they can be liberated to 270km/h if the Driver’s Package is ordered. 

All three 53-series cars are fitted with a ‘4Matic+’ variable all-wheel drive system and AMG-tuned air suspension. Drivers can configure the cars' driving characteristics through five drive modes.

The 53 models also get various AMG design features in the form of a unique ‘A-wing’ front apron, twin-blade grille, AMG-specific side sill panels, rear apron with diffuser and 19-inch alloy wheels (with larger 20-inch rims available to order).

For the cabin, AMG 53 buyers get to choose between a wide range of interior colours and materials, while the standard fare includes a new AMG Performance steering wheel, AMG-specific upholsteries and trim elements, and the CLS is fitted with integral sports seats upfront.

Mercedes-Benz SA is at this point not confirming if or when the new 53-series models will reach South Africa, although historically speaking the company has never held any significant AMG models back from our market.

IOL Motoring