MERCEDES-AMG has launched its long-awaited 53-series "AMG-lite" badge, introducing three new models featuring a 320kW 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line six-cylinder engine, and an electric compressor and motor.
The fastback-styled CLS saloon, and the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet will be the first models to wear the new badge. Combined with the 16kW/250Nm electric starter motor/altenator fitted between the engine and the transmission and powered via a 48-volt system, and mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the combined power unit is good for a 4.4-second 0-100km/h sprint in the E53 Coupe, with drive in all three cars sent to all four wheels.
You’ll be able to pick that the 53 is different to other AMG-badged models, featuring a distinctive twin-blade radiator grille and an A-frame front apron.
"With the new 53-series models we are extending our portfolio in a first step towards a hybridised future with a leading-edge combination of sporty design, performance and efficiency,” Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers said.
“The basis for this is a contemporary drive configuration in the form of a six-cylinder in-line engine with electric auxiliary compressor, EQ Boost starter-alternator and 48-volt on-board electrical system,” Moers said.
“The very spontaneous response to accelerator pedal input, the precision and the design focusing on driving dynamics are hallmark features of AMG As such we are providing an additional lifestyle-oriented customer group with a further attractive offering from Affalterbach."
The electric compressor allows the 53-series to provide the in-line six with a big dose of torque low down in the rev range – right where turbo lag would have bogged it down. “Supported by the EQ Boost starter-alternator when moving off, the electric auxiliary compressor builds up a high charge pressure without any delay, for a faster increase in torque for acceleration until the large exhaust gas turbocharger is deployed,” the car maker said.
“As a result the 3.0-litre engine reacts extremely spontaneously and provides a highly dynamic response without turbo lag. An additional bonus is the high level of refinement of the six-cylinder in-line engine.”
The 53-series cars also introduce a new AMG Performance steering wheel to the Mercedes-AMG line-up. The wheel wheel is wrapped in nappa leather, with options available including wood inserts in piano lacquer or Dinamica microfibre in the grip area.