Words and photos courtesy of Mercedes-AMG
AFFALTERBACH, Germany — With a more striking design, enhanced options for individualisation and the MBUX infotainment system, Mercedes-AMG is enhancing the E 53 4MATIC+ Saloon and Estate business-class models (combined fuel consumption: 9.0-8.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 207-200 g/km). The completely restyled front view lends the Performance E-Class an even more powerful appearance. The AMG-specific radiator grille with its A-shaped contour reinforces the impression of width, as do the flat LED headlamps. Extensive design measures also make the rear view of the saloon look even more muscular. They include the two-piece tail lights, the new rear apron and the new diffuser insert. The interior is also characterised by more sportiness in the form of large displays, the new AMG Performance steering wheel and the AMG-specific MBUX functions. The electrified 3.0-litre engine with twin turbocharging via an exhaust gas turbocharger and an electric additional compressor generates an output of 320 kW (435 hp) and produces a peak torque of 520 Nm. Its EQ Boost starter-alternator briefly provides an additional 16 kW of output plus 250 Nm of torque and also feeds the 48 V on-board electrical system. Other technical highlights include the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission and the fully variable all-wheel drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+.
“Our revised E 53 4MATIC+ is extensively enhanced, both as a saloon and an estate. The visual update offers our customers real added value, which is impressively underscored by our hallmark AMG grille. With the electrified 3.0-litre engine we have retained the proven drivetrain. The extensively revised suspension now offers even more of a range between long-distance comfort and precise dynamism”, says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
The further visual characteristics of the Saloon and the Estate include the bonnet with two distinctive powerdomes, the large outer air inlets with two cross louvres and the new front splitter in silver chrome. The flics in high-gloss black improve the aerodynamics where it matters. The key identifier on the tail end are the round twin tailpipe trim elements, which are available in high-gloss chrome or high-gloss black (as part of the Night Package). The Saloon is given new, two-piece all-LED tail lights, the Estate adopts their new interior design.
The dynamic appearance is rounded off by restyled 19-inch light-alloy wheels in an aerodynamically optimised 5-twin-spoke design. 20-inch light-alloy wheels in a 5-twin-spoke design are optionally available, also aerodynamically optimised and with a wider rim edge, painted in a choice of matt black or high-gloss titanium grey.
With the optional AMG Night Package the new E 53 models can take on an even sportier appearance. The front splitter, mirror caps, disc frame, longitudinal member inserts, trim strip in the rear apron and tailpipe trim elements are styled in high-gloss black here. In conjunction with the Night Package, the darkened AMG radiator grille is available as a further optional extra. It adds a final individual touch to the front design.
The interior of the new models welcomes the occupants with AMG-specific appointments, luxurious materials and the latest-generation MBUX infotainment system. The synthesis of exclusivity and sportiness is embodied by the sports seats in black ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with an AMG design, red contrasting topstitching and an AMG badge. As an option, AMG Performance Seat Packages can be ordered for all the available upholsteries, both in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre and in nappa leather. There are also red seat belts and various trim elements.
Visually the two displays for the instrument cluster and multimedia displays blend beneath a shared glass cover to form the Widescreen Cockpit. The customer can choose between the three AMG display styles “Modern Classic”, “Sport” and “Supersport” for the instrument cluster. The “Supersport” mode is particularly striking with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter. Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays such as Engine Data, gear speed indicator, Warm-up, Set-up, G-Meter and RACETIMER. With individual AMG displays such as visualisation of the drive programmes or telemetry data, the touchscreen multimedia display likewise underlines the dynamic configuration.
AMG TRACK PACE, the virtual race engineer, is also optionally available for the E 53 models: The software is part of the MBUX infotainment system, and when negotiating a race circuit it continuously monitors more than 80 vehicle-specific sets of data (e.g. speed, acceleration). On top of this, lap and sector times are displayed, as well as the respective difference from a reference time. The MBUX Augmented Reality function also allows the ideal line of a stored race track to be displayed on the multimedia display or optional head-up display, allowing the driver to improve lap times with a virtual instructor on board.
With a fresh design and seamlessly integrated buttons the new AMG Performance steering wheel creates an even closer link between human and machine. The three rounded twin spokes combine stability with lightness, and the steering wheel rim is a hallmark motorsport feature. The cover is selectable in leather, in DINAMICA microfibre or as a combination of leather and microfibre – on request with steering wheel heating. In the steering wheel rim there is also a capacitive sensor mat to recognise “hands-on”. If the system detects that the driver does not have their hands on the steering wheel for a certain time, a warning cascade is started, which finally activates Emergency Brake Assist if the driver continues to be inactive.
The capacitive switches which are seamlessly integrated into the surfaces of the horizontal twin spokes are new and sport a very elegant look. Haptic sensing aids in the area of the symbols make control easier. Via the left-hand sensor surface on the upper steering wheel spokes the instrument cluster is operated, the media display via the right-hand sensor surface. The lower spokes contain the controls for the cruise control/DISTRONIC (left) and telephone/hands-free system/volume control (right). The optional AMG steering wheel buttons for actuating the drive programmes and further, individually definable functions include even more brilliant displays and are now both round.
Via the metal shift paddles arranged on the left and right behind the steering wheel rim the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission can be operated manually. The restyled paddles are ergonomically adapted to the new AMG Performance steering wheel, slightly larger than previously and positioned further down.
The 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine of the E 53 models is characterised by top performance and intelligent electrification. The EQ Boost starter-alternator combines a starter motor and alternator in a powerful electric motor and is fitted between the engine and transmission. It is not only used as an electric alternator, but also performs hybrid functions. These include boost with 16 kW of output and 250 Nm of torque, recuperation, shifting of the load point, gliding mode and the virtually imperceptible restarting of the engine with the start/stop function. This innovation as well as the intelligent charging via an electric additional compressor and an exhaust gas turbocharger all have the same goal: to enhance the hallmark AMG performance and driving dynamics, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The starter-alternator provides support with its boost when moving off, plus the electric additional 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. As a result the 3.0-litre engine reacts extremely spontaneously, and provides a highly dynamic response without what is known as turbo lag. An additional bonus is the high level of refinement of the six-cylinder in-line engine.
The AMG Driver’s Package allows the electronically limited top speed in the new E 53 models to be increased to
270 km/h (standard: 250 km/h). The high-performance brake system is naturally appropriate for the power and performance: the front axle features cross-drilled and vented discs of size 370 x 36 mm with four-piston fixed callipers and AMG lettering, the rear axle is fitted with vented discs of size 360 x 26 mm with single-piston floating callipers.
The new 3.0-litre in-line engine is coupled with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission, which impresses with extremely short shift times, fast response to shift paddle commands, a double-declutching function and multiple downshifts. Whether automatic or initiated by the driver using the steering wheel shift paddles, upshifts or downshifts are implemented instantly. Especially in the “Sport+” drive programme and in manual mode, the transmission is very responsive. Dynamic acceleration and very short shift times are just as available as a fuel-efficient driving style, depending on the selected mode.
With the five DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+” and “Individual”, the characteristics of the new 53-series models can be influenced by the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. The modes modify key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes, the driver has the option of switching directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension set-ups can also be selected specifically as needed.
AMG DYNAMICS vehicle dynamics control is integrated into the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes. In the “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Pro” levels, it influences the control strategies of the ESP ® (Electronic Stability Programme) or the all-wheel drive, for example. The intelligent pilot control anticipates the desired vehicle behaviour based on the driver’s actions and the sensor data. The spectrum ranges from extremely stable to highly dynamic. Via the AMG steering wheel buttons the AMG DYNAMICS functions can also be individually selected.
More agility, neutral cornering performance and greater traction come courtesy of the AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension developed in Affalterbach. The multi-chamber air suspension with particularly sporty spring/damper set-up and continuously adjustable damping ADS+ (Adaptive Damping System) combines outstanding driving dynamics with high ride comfort. A harder spring rate, for example, when cornering and braking, effectively reduces body roll.
The damping at each wheel is adjusted to suit the current driving situation and the condition of the road. This is done rapidly and precisely, using two separate valves for the rebound and compression forces in the dampers. The damping characteristics can also be preselected in three modes, “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”, allowing a significantly more noticeable differentiation between excellent long-distance comfort and sporty driving dynamics.
The fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive combines optimal traction for dynamic driving fun with a high level of driving safety in all conditions: in the dry, in the wet or in snow. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa is seamless, because the intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture.
For an even more emotively appealing driving experience the optional AMG Dynamic Plus Package pools technical and visual equipment details previously reserved for the eight-cylinder models. The highlights include the RACE drive programme with Drift Mode. The AMG Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfibre or in leather has steering wheel buttons for fast control of the drive programmes and further settings for the driving dynamics. Brake callipers painted in red visually underscore the sporty character.