The short-lived Mercedes-AMG E43 nameplate has been assigned to history in favour of the E53, which switches out the old car’s 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 for a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six producing additional grunt with the help of Benz’s EQ Boost mild-hybrid tech.
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The new engine with its conventional turbo and 48V electric compressor produces 320kW/520Nm, a marginal increase over the E43’s 295kW/520 Nm, but there’s another 16kW and 250Nm of electric assistance on tap thanks to the 48-volt EQ Boost starter-alternator that sits between the engine and transmission.
All told, the E53 boasts a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.5-seconds, on its way to a top-speed of 270km/h. That sprint time is just 0.1-seconds quicker than the E43, though Mercedes cites additional benefits including noticeably less turbo lag and a drop in fuel consumption from 9.3L/100km to 8.4L/100km.
Perhaps more importantly, the E53 is AMG’s first electrified step towards hybrid models with more electrical assistance. The new powertrain retains the AMG Speedshift nine-speed transmission and fully variable 4Matic+ all-wheel drive.
Inside, the E53 sedan and wagon gain AMG’s new Performance steering wheel wrapped in black Nappa leather with a red 12 o’clock marking.
Other AMG E53 body styles complementing the sedan and wagon will include a coupe and cabriolet, and the CLS53, which is effectively a four-door E-Class coupe.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed the E53 sedan will arrive in Australia toward the end of 2018 along with the CLS53. Coupe and cabriolets will arrive after that. There are no plans to bring the wagon version.