The New Mercedes-AMG E53 Is A Six-Cylinder Hybrid With 603 HP

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The next AMG to get a charging port is the new Mercedes E-Class in the “53” flavor, available for both sedan and wagon body styles. While electrification typically comes along with a downsized combustion engine, that’s not the case here. Not only does this AMG Lite version still have an inline-six, but the 3.0-liter gasoline mill even makes more power than before.

The old AMG E53 had 429 hp on tap whereas its replacement has had the turbocharged six-cylinder mill massaged to deliver 443 hp. The combustion engine now works together with an electric motor rated at 161 hp, enabling a total system output of 577 hp. Activating Race Start, which is marketing jargon for launch control, the combined output increases to a temporary 603 hp. With 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) on tap, you get a massive torque boost since the preceding model had to make do with 384 lb-ft (520 Nm).

It’s enough electrified muscle for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds for the sedan whereas the slightly heavier wagon takes an extra 0.1s. Both are electronically capped at 155 mph (250 km/h) but the optional AMG Driver’s Package loosens up the limiter to 174 mph (280 km/h) for the saloon and 171 mph (275 km/h) for the long-roof model. When running solely on electric juice, the new E53 models top out at 87 mph (140 km/h).

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The sedan and SUV duo follows the latest GLE 53 in adopting a plug-in hybrid setup. Mounted underneath the trunk floor is a battery pack with a usable capacity of 21.22 kWh. Mercedes claims it’s enough to cover more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) in the WLTP cycle without sipping any gasoline. The battery pack provides its energy to an e-motor built into the nine-speed automatic transmission to save space.

Compared to a non-AMG E-Class, the “53” has a stiffer body, bigger brakes, and standard rear-wheel steering. The fully variable AWD system is combined with an adaptive suspension with variable damping. The sporty E gets a slightly more aggressive design with wider front fenders, an illuminated grid-like grille, and quad exhaust round tips. Interestingly, the front axle is slightly wider than on a regular E-Class.

Mercedes isn’t planning two-door versions since the AMG E53 Coupe and AMG E53 Convertible are not coming back for a new generation. However, the posh German brand is replacing those cars with the new CLE53 models. These also have an inline-six engine but are not plug-in hybrids.

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A new E63 is also coming, and that one too is expected to get a charging port. Sadly, the brawny V8 is going away to make room for an inline-six. The four-cylinder C63 and V8-powered S63 have already been electrified, showing the days of AMG performance cars with pure ICE setups are numbered.

As one would expect, Mercedes-AMG is only bringing the sedan to the United States. It’s due to hit dealers later this year, with pricing to be announced closer to launch. The old AMG E53 retailed from $81,300 MSRP.