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2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 - Six is the new Eight


2024 Mercedes-AMG E53


Shedding two cylinders and gaining a hybrid system, the replacement for the V8 E 63 has some rather large and loud shoes to fill. We take a close look at the newest iteration of the executive express.


Knowing the idiosyncrasies of any car manufacturer’s model naming system is black-belt-grade car nerdism - yet Mercedes-AMG’s current naming convention is enough to send any carate practitioner cross-eyed.


The chaos can be traced back to the introduction of the iconic M156 6.2-litre V8 in the E63 super-saloon of 2006. Traditionally, an AMG product always had the series classification followed by the engine capacity, but such was the stir created by this mighty naturally aspirated V8, its “63” designation stuck around for the later downsized, but no less bombastic M177 4.0L biturbo V8. In the current C63, the engine bay has been gelded again to the same 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder as the A45 AMG hatch, much to the derision of fans of the marque. Blame Brussels.


Among the variety of 63 models, AMG introduced a new range to compete with the BMW “M-lites” and Audi S-models so all naming logic went out the window. Cue the A250 Sport Engineered by AMG, C450 AMG and the GLE450 AMG, before the names were changed again as the AMG 43 and 35 range were introduced a couple of years later. Replacing the short-lived E 43 and slotting under the range-topping E 63 almost apologetically, was the E 53 with its 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged mild hybrid straight six and 435 bhp. The new E 53 however, suddenly finds itself in the spotlight because there will be no more V8 E 63s - the future 700+ bhp M5-rivalling monster is rumoured to utilise the same straight six but a different hybrid system to this car.


We all knew the V8 was out thanks to emissions - all good things must end at some point. A V8 fix from AMG now starts with an S, SL or GT. Or carries a winged Aston Martin Badge. No doubt there will be a silly SUV in that mix, but who cares?



2024 Mercedes-AMG E53

2024 Mercedes-AMG E53


2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 - Powertrain and Performance

So, to give the new 2024 Mercedes-AMG E 53 HYBRID 4MATIC+ its full title, what exactly can interested parties expect? A significant jump in power and performance over the old 429 bhp car, that's for sure. The straight six itself might only be up by 14 bhp thanks to a new turbocharger increasing boost from 1.1 bar to 1.5, but the addition of a 158 bhp electric motor lifts the total output to 577 bhp and 750 Nm (553 lb ft).


If you’re thinking that doesn’t add up and it doesn’t quite match the output of the E 63, you’re correct as the full 603 bhp is delivered in “Race Start” mode, which is only available as a part of the AMG Dynamic Plus Package. Thus equipped, 0-62 mph takes 3.8 seconds and the traditional 155 mph limiter is raised to 174 mph. Power is sent to all four wheels via AMG’s 9-speed “speedshift” twin-clutch automatic.


The compact electric motor is located between the engine block and the gearbox, and fed by a 28.6 kWh battery, of which 7.38 kWh are always reserved for “boosting performance driving” - even with 0% charge showing in the E 53, full power for overtaking can still be called upon. The remaining 21.22 kWh are enough to give the E 53 an electric propulsion range of over 60 miles in optimum conditions with the ability to reach 87 mph. The car can be recharged in around 3 hours using a home wall box or topped up in 20 minutes using a 60 kW DC input. Using regenerative braking, the E 53 can feed power back into the battery at up to 120 kW - double the input from DC charging. The model is configured to always start in silent electric mode until a pressure trigger is passed in the haptic throttle pedal - a far cry from the V8 bellow of the M156 or M177!



2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 estate

2024 Mercedes-AMG E53


2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 - Chassis Technology & Driving Modes Galore

On the ride & handling front, AMG started off by increasing the strength of the bodyshell, reinforcing the chassis by adding a strut brace between the front suspension strut mounts, which is connected to the longitudinal beams by additional struts. The rear suspension features additional struts from the side members to ensure greater stability and driving precision.


As expected, the dampers are electronic, with two-valve adjustability allowing individual wheels to adapt to the current driving demands as each damper contains separate valves for the tension and compression directions. The throttle, steering, braking and damping response of the car can be further tailored and customised by flicking between the driving modes of Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Slippery and the fully tweakable Individual. On top of this, two additional modes govern the hybrid behaviour: Electric does what it says on the tin whilst Battery Hold switches off the hybrid drive and feeds power to the battery whilst driving using the straight-six engine to keep charge levels up for when you arrive in a city or at a track.



2024 Mercedes-AMG E53


The four-wheel drive system itself is continuously variable, with an electromechanically controlled clutch distributing the torque variably to the front and rear axles in each driving programme. Also influencing all four wheels is the steering, thanks to standard equipment rear-wheel-steering. Up to 62 mph, the rear wheels steer up to 2.5 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels to increase agility. Above 62 mph, they steer up to 0.7 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels which has the effect of lengthening the wheelbase and increasing high speed stability. This does take a bit of getting used to but it can help a car of this size to feel quite nimble.


The performance - and no doubt significant kerb weight that Mercedes-Benz has conveniently omitted from the press release - are reigned in by four-piston fixed callipers clamping 370 mm discs on the front axle and a single-piston, 360 mm set-up on the rear. During extreme driving conditions which may induce brake fade, the electromechanical brake booster can increase the balance towards the regenerative braking of the hybrid part of the powertrain, reducing the load on the hydraulic system thus allowing a quicker thermal recovery and maintaining overall braking performance.


Things get far more interesting if the AMG Dynamic Plus package option is ticked. This introduces a larger, composite braking system at the front with 390 mm discs and six-piston fixed callipers, identified by red paint. The four-wheel drive system gains an electronic locking rear differential, and the engine is mounted more securely in place with dynamic engine mounts. These mounts make use of two interlocking cylinders connected to a magnetorheological fluid, which continuously changes viscosity through a magnetic field (just like adaptive dampers).



2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 saloon and estate

2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 interior

2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 interior


2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 - Launch Models

The 2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 HYBRID saloon and estate are anticipated to go on sale in the UK in late spring, with deliveries coming from Germany towards the middle of summer. Mercedes-Benz has not released any prices or full specifications yet, but we expect it to arrive fairly fully loaded with the top-end Burmester sound system, head-up display and full-width Superscreen three-display dashboard which lets you play Tetris while stationary. Of more interest to us though is the Edition 1 launch model which will be available for the first year of production.


Buyers can choose between Alpine Grey solid or Opalite White matte paint, complete with 21-inch forged wheels in matte black, and unique black badging with white AMG scripture. The same look is also applied to the brake callipers. The Edition 1 also ticks all the exterior package options, introducing carbon fibre and black gloss trim highlights with a black chrome radiator grill.


Inside, the Edition 1 will feature two-tone “AMG Performance“ Nappa leather seats contrasted with yellow stitching, embossed headrests and an engraved centre console. Yellow flashes are also applied to the seatbelts floormats and carbon fibre weave. The steering wheel is upgraded to the AMG Performance variant. A car cover will also be included in the introductory model. We’re not completely sure if this will make it to the UK but we are hoping that it does!


We’ll update the prices when the information lands from Mercedes-Benz UK, but we think that the E 53 won’t be the only new AMG E-Class forever - watch this space!


 

2024 Mercedes-AMG E53 Specifications;

Engine: 3.0 litre straight-six biturbo

Drivetrain: front-engine, all-wheel drive

Transmission: 9-speed twin-clutch automatic

Max power combined: 577 bhp (603 bhp with Race Start)

Max torque combined: 750 nm (553 lb-ft)

Battery: 21.22 kWh (usable)

Electric range: over 62 miles (tbc)

0-62 mph - saloon: 3.8 seconds

0-62 mph - estate: 4.0 seconds

Top speed - saloon: 174 mph*

Top speed - estate: 170 mph*

*with AMG Driver’s Package


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