Mercedes-AMG 53 models on the way

CLS and E-Class models first to receive ‘electrified’ 3.0-litre engine

Mercedes-AMG, the performance arm of Mercedes, has unveiled 53-series versions of the CLS, E-Class Coupe and E-Class Cabriolet at the Detroit Motor Show. Prices and a UK on-sale date have yet to be confirmed.

The new high-performance models feature a 3.0-litre petrol engine with two turbochargers to boost power, one of which is electrically powered. The result is 429bhp and, Mercedes says, a more responsive engine. A separate ‘EQ Boost’ starter-alternator provides extra low-down power when pulling away, while also running the cars’ modern 48-volt electronics. As well as strong performance, the new system offers reasonable fuel economy – Mercedes claims a combined figure of around 34mpg for all three models.

You can identify the new models by their ‘twin-blade’ grilles, updated front bumpers and new rear bumpers set off by new round exhaust tips. A small spoiler is also added, along with aerodynamically optimised rear mudflaps.

Mercedes-AMG 53-series technology

All three Mercedes-AMG 53 models come with four-wheel drive as standard, along with Mercedes’ nine-speed ‘SPEEDSHIFT TCT’ gearbox. It’s a combination that puts the new engine’s power to the road efficiently, with 0-62mph times of 4.5 seconds for the CLS 53 and E53 Cabriolet and 4.4 seconds for the E53 Coupe. All three have an electronically limited top speed of 155mph, although this can be increased to around 168mph if the AMG Driver’s Package is selected.

The 53-series cars get Mercedes’ speed-sensitive power steering, fade-resistant brakes, and ‘AMG DYNAMIC SELECT’ – a system which allows you to select from five drive modes to best set up the engine, gearbox, suspension and steering to your preference.

Meanwhile, ‘AMG RIDE CONTROL+’ air suspension promises sporty cornering ability and comfort in one system, thanks to three selectable modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The suspension also automatically levels out to counter the weight of people or luggage on board, lowers itself at speed to improve stability and can even be manually raised to negotiate speed bumps and ramps.

Interior

The usual high-quality, high-tech interiors of modern Mercedes cars feature on the 53-series models, here with a range of model-specific trim materials and optional extras, plus an all-new AMG Performance steering wheel as standard. Sports seats, red seatbelts and carbon-fibre or glass-fibre trim can be specified.

A pair of 12.3-inch infotainment screens can be specified on all 53 models to create what Mercedes calls a ‘Widescreen Cockpit’; this displays everything from driver information to sat-nav directions and infotainment, as well as being used to change driving modes and other settings. The system can be operated using touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel, the touchpad on the centre console or Mercedes’ sophisticated ‘LINGUATRONIC’ voice-control technology.

Mercedes CLS 53 Edition 1

The CLS 53 4MATIC+ Edition 1 has also been announced and will be available from launch. The model features copper-coloured trim throughout its interior, plus black Nappa leather, 64-colour ambient lighting, Mercedes’ ‘Memory and Mirror’ package and the inclusion of a dashboard clock made by Swiss watch manufacturer IWC.

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