New Mercedes-AMG E53 arrives with 612hp plug-in hybrid engine

March 11, 2024 by

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Hotted-up E-Class dumps V8 for plug-in power, and manages 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds.

  • New Mercedes E53 to use 3.0-litre straight-six engine
  • PHEV system produces up to 612hp in short bursts – as much as the old E63 S
  • Can do up to 62 miles on battery alone
  • To be joined by even hotter E63
  • AMG treatment for chassis and bodywork
  • Full-width Superscreen available as interior option
  • On sale later in 2024, anticipated price over £100,000

It was only a matter of time before Mercedes’ in-house tuner, AMG, got its hands on the very latest E-Class. Now it has, and it’s revealed the E53 – a plug-in hybrid performance saloon with as much power as the previous-generation E63 S. Like the old car, it’s also available as a cavernous estate.

But compared with the old E63’s twin-turbo V8 engine, the new PHEV E53 looks set to be a very different beast – and previews some of what we can expect from the latest E63 when it’s launched. Read on for more info.

New Mercedes-AMG E53: engine and performance

The old E53, based on the previous-generation E-Class, was introduced in 2016 and sat between the less powerful E43 and the range-topping E63 and E63 S. With the current E-Class, though, only the 53 and the 63 will be available.

And while the old cars all used twin-turbocharged petrol engines – six cylinders for the 43 and 53 and a V8 in the 63 – the new ones will have plug-in hybrid powertrains, based around a 3.0-litre straight-six engine with a battery and electric motor mounted into the transmission providing a power boost.

The new E53 produces a chunky 449hp from its petrol engine alone, while the electric motor can output up to 163hp – making for a total of 612hp, identical to the old V8 E63 S. However, all that power is only available when the optional AMG Dynamic Plus Pack is specified, and even then it’s only available in ‘Race Start’ mode. Most of the time, peak power is a still-impressive 585hp.

That leads to a 0-62mph figure of 3.8 seconds, 0.4s slower than the old E63 S. Power’s put to the road via a nine-speed gearbox and all-wheel drive.

Mercedes-AMG E53 battery and EV range

The slower acceleration compared to the old E63 is likely due to weight. The new E53 has to accommodate a hefty 25.4kWh battery pack which, like the standard plug-in hybrid E-Class, sits underneath the boot floor. A pack of this size can weigh a good couple of hundred kg, and though weight figures for the new E53 haven’t been revealed yet we’d expect this as well as the additional upgrades from the old car to result in an increase of around 300-400kg.

The battery pack does come with some advantages, however. Mercedes-AMG claims an all-electric range of up to 62 miles, which based on our experience of other Mercedes hybrids should be around 50 miles in the real world. That’s a really useful figure, especially so considering how powerful the electric motor is – you won’t feel like you’re powering the Titanic with a sewing machine.

It also contributes to a remarkable official fuel economy figure of 348mpg, with CO2 emissions of 18g/km – making the E53 a very viable company car proposition. Of course, the real figure will vary hugely depending on how you drive the car – plug in regularly and stick to short journeys and you might come close, but make use of that impressive performance and you’re unlikely to see much above 30mpg.

New Mercedes-AMG E53 chassis and styling

The E53’s underpinnings have been given a significant beefing-up to cope with the additional power. A wider front track is hidden under bulging bodywork, while instead of the air suspension most AMG models get, there are coil springs with adaptive dampers that can change according to the drive mode for better comfort or improved cornering performance.

New, larger brakes sit behind AMG-design alloy wheels of 19-, 20- or 21-inch diameter. Rear-wheel steering is also standard, both reducing the turning circle at low speed and improving high speed stability.

The updated design isn’t quite as steroidal and eye-catching as the old E63 S, but Mercedes-AMG is likely saving that for the next version of this model. The new E53 is still recognisable, though, standing out from the rest of the E-Class range with a new vertical grille that’s illuminated as standard.

There’s a new front bumper with wide air intakes, and AMG-specific side skirts. At the rear, there’s a diffuser and a boot lip spoiler, plus quad tailpipe trims.

The inside gets a less drastic makeover, but there are still sports seats with artificial leather and microfibre trim, a sports steering wheel, and AMG-specific menus and themes for the infotainment. Mercedes’ massive ‘Superscreen’ infotainment system is available as an option.

Mercedes-AMG E53: how much is it?

Pricing information hasn’t been revealed yet, but it will be a sizable sum more than the regular E300e plug-in hybrid, which starts at more than £70,000. A final price of over £100,000 wouldn’t be unexpected given the performance on offer. The all-electric Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 starts from around £115,000.

Keep an eye out for more information about the new Mercedes-AMG E53, including a release date, within the coming months.

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