Mild hybrid fun
Though the fifth generation E-Class is now getting a little long in the tooth, a replacement is coming soon. To tide enthusiasts over, however, Mercedes-AMG revealed a face-lifted E 53 last year highlighting fresh styling, a revised cabin and the introduction of the company’s high tech Mercdes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) infotainment system.
"Following the Sedan and Wagon, our new E 53 models also offer a perfect synthesis of performance, elegance and comfort as a coupe and cabriolet. With specific measures on the exterior and in the interior we have re-sharpened the brand identity somewhat and we are continuing to drive forward the revision of our entire E-Class family successively. For lifestyle-oriented customer groups with discerning requirements in terms of performance and efficiency, both two- door models from Affalterbach are the perfect offerings," says Tobias Moers, Mercedes-AMG GmbH management board chairman.
By swapping in flatter LED headlamps and a contemporary A-shaped AMG-specific grille featuring the signature vertical slats, the front fascia looks much sportier than before. The lower central intake has also been reworked some to complement the latter, containing five vertical struts that replace the outgoing mesh providing a clear view of the intercooler. The outer air inlets are now shrouded in gloss black matched to the modified splitter below.
Either standard 19-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels or upgraded 20-inch versions are equipped, painted in matte black or titanium grey. The rear wheel arches are slightly massaged to improve aerodynamics. And around the back side, the taillights take on more of an angular shape and the quad exhaust tips are hidden inside a subtler bumper diffuser.
Classic quality Mercedes-AMG materials fill the inside of the coupe, and a perfect example of this is the AMG-specific three split-spoke steering wheel covered in leather and DINAMICA microfiber. The built-in thumb touchpads are intuitive to use to navigate both the combination instrument cluster using the left side and the media display with the right. Like across the modern lineup, MBUX allows occupants to control various vehicle functions.
Back in 2018, the E 53 gained the manufacturer’s 3.0-litre inline-six turbocharged mild hybrid engine. Outputting an impressive 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, there’s also an EQ Boost electric motor installed between the internal combustion engine and nine-speed transmission (and complementary lithium-ion battery at the rear) providing up to 21 horsepower and a whopping 184 lb-ft of torque temporarily — think overtaking on the highway or just booting it on an empty road. The bonus performance comes on seamlessly as well.
In addition to providing an extra kick, EQ Boost is part of a 48-volt on-board electrical system serving as an alternator and helping run components like the air conditioning compressor and water pump taking the load off the conventional powertrain. And, the ICE has the ability to turn off at lower speeds so the car can “glide” in zero emissions mode.
Weighing a hefty 2,000 kilograms, the all-wheel drive vehicle still manages to handle beautifully riding on adaptive AMG RIDE CONTROL+ multi-chamber air suspension. Continuously measuring road conditions and steering/throttle/brake input, the setup softens while cruising and stiffens during spirited operation. Alternatively, Comfort, Sport or Sport+ modes are available to pre-select to suit a particular mood.
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe starts at MSRP $93,700.
MSRP: $93,700 (base)
Motor: 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six + electric motor
Horsepower: 429 @ 6,100 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 163 @ 1,800 rpm
Gearbox: nine-speed automatic
Layout: front engine, all-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 12.3 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)
Photos courtesy of Mercedes Pressroom.