The New Mercedes-AMG 53-Series Models
By Kyle Lindsay
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 10:50
Affalterbach. Mercedes-AMG is extending its product range with the addition of three new models and at the same time introducing a new model designation: the 53-series models of the CLS, E-Class Coupé plus E-Class Cabriolet (combined fuel consumption: 8.5 – 8.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 204 – 200 g/km).
They combine powerful performance with sporty style and high efficiency. At their heart lies a new, electrified 3.0-litre engine featuring twin-turbocharging by means of an exhaust gas turbocharger and an electric auxiliary compressor.
The 6‑cylinder in-line engine generates 320 kW (435 hp) and delivers maximum torque of 520 Nm. Its EQ Boost starter-alternator momentarily provides an additional 16 kW of output plus 250 Nm of torque and furthermore 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+.
Distinguishing features which are common to the three new 53-series models comprise the twin-blade radiator grille, the front apron in A-wing design, the AMG-specific side sill panels, the rear apron with diffuser insert plus the round exhaust tailpipe trim elements in high-gloss chrome.
“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. 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 V on-board electrical system. 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,” explains Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Six-cylinder in-line engine with EQ Boost starter-alternator
The six-cylinder in-line engine is characterised by top-of-the-range 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. This innovation as well as the intelligent charging via an electric auxiliary 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. And this move has been a successful one: the CLS 53 4MATIC+ accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds, and with the Driver’s package achieves a top speed of 270 km/h. The combined fuel consumption is 8.4 l/100 km, and the combined CO2 emissions 200 g/km. (see table detailing technical data for figures for E-Class 53-series models).
High torque without lag
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. 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.
Paving the way for hybrid functions: 48 V on-board electrical system
The power for the 48 V on-board electrical system is generated by the EQ Boost starter-alternator. The conventional 12 V network is likewise supplied from the new network – using a DC/DC converter. Thanks to the 48 V battery, the overall battery capacity in the vehicle is increased, enabling more electrical energy to be made available ‑ and therefore also allowing innovative functions to be introduced, for example. The 48 V on-board electrical system is therefore paving the way for further hybridisation. An additional advantage: the same power requires only a quarter of the current of a conventional system. The result is that the wiring can be thinner and therefore lighter, which indirectly contributes to saving fuel. The existing 12 V system supplies power to consumers such as lights, cockpit, infotainment displays and control units.
Hybrid functions thanks to EQ Boost starter-alternator
The EQ Boost starter-alternator is a key component of the 48 V system and not only serves as an alternator, but is also responsible for hybrid functions. This allows fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology. For the first time, the EQ Boost starter-alternator is also responsible for idle speed control.
The hybrid functions 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.
Because the belt drive for ancillary components on the front edge of the engine is omitted, the installation length of the new six-cylinder engine is also significantly reduced compared with conventional six-cylinder engines. This creates space for an exhaust gas aftertreatment system mounted near the engine, which is therefore particularly efficient. The standard-fit particulate filter is the only part of the exhaust system that is under the floor.
Exterior: twin-blade radiator grille and round twin tailpipe trim elements
Visually, too, the new 53-series models have a distinctive unique look. A distinctive feature common to the models is the twin-blade radiator grille in silver chrome, previously reserved for the V8 Performance models. Instead of the diamond radiator grille with individual pins, the grille in front of the central radiator now features a black lattice pattern.
The front apron in an A-wing design is equipped with black flics and a front splitter in silver chrome. The outer air intakes have two horizontal fins in silver chrome. AMG-specific side sill panels lend the 53-series models a more dynamic silhouette.
When viewed from the rear, it is not just the redesigned rear apron that stands out, but also the classic, round twin tailpipe trim elements in high-gloss chrome. The design of the sides of the mud flaps improves the aerodynamics at the rear: As a result this provides for better air flow around the wheel arches. The spoiler lip on the boot lid is painted in the body colour, but is optionally also available in carbon-fibre.
Exterior: additional features of the CLS 53 4MATIC+
The front apron of the CLS 53 4MATIC+ features additional side air curtains: the air flows over them in a targeted manner, thereby improving the aerodynamics at the front and reducing the Cd figure. The front splitter connects seamlessly with the air curtain and reduces lift at the front axle. The outer lines of the radiator grille widen towards the bottom and lend the CLS a powerful appearance. Also making a contribution here are the sharply cut, narrow headlamps.
The exterior mirrors are positioned on the doors, as in the AMG GT models, ensuring an even more dynamic look.
The two-section tail lights visually reinforce the sense of width of the rear and as an additional practical benefit allow for the large boot opening. The broader track width combines better cornering with a perfect look thanks to the wheels being positioned further out. As standard the CLS 53 comes with 19-inch aerodynamically optimised light-alloy wheels, and as an option 20-inch wheels can be ordered.
Interior with innovative display concept and operating system
The interior of the new AMG models welcomes passengers with model-specific, exclusive appointments, luxurious materials and significantly extended options. On top of this there is the innovative control and display concept with bright, high-resolution displays optionally with 12.3-inch screen diagonal in each case. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasise the horizontal orientation of the interior design.
By way of instrument cluster, the optional Widescreen Cockpit contains a large display with virtual instruments in the direct field of vision of the driver, as well as a central display above the centre console. Because the cockpit is fully digital, the driver can choose the look from the three different display styles “Classic”, “Sporty” and “Progressive” and also configure the information and views relevant to him/her at will. Via the AMG menu, it is possible to display the engine and transmission oil temperature, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, engine output and torque, boost (charge pressure), tyre temperatures and pressures as well as the current vehicle set-up.
The touch-sensitive Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel respond to swiping movements. They enable the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take his/her hands off the steering wheel.
The infotainment system can also be operated via the touchpad with controller in the centre console and by LINGUATRONIC voice control. Voice control has been extended to include vehicle functions. Now the air conditioning and seat heating/ventilation, interior lights and the optional head-up display can also be controlled by voice commands.
New AMG Performance steering wheel as standard
The synthesis of exclusivity and sportiness is also underscored by the sports seats (featuring an integral seat look in the E 53 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet) with AMG-specific seat upholstery layout and AMG badge, red seat belts plus trim elements in carbon fibre or glass fibre in matt silver. The interior is rounded off with the new, standard-fit AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather with individualisation options such as wood inserts in piano lacquer or DINAMICA microfibre in the grip area.
When it comes to interior colours and materials, the three new 53-series models boast significantly more options than the preceding 43-series models. For the appointments, there is a choice of ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, nappa leather and designo interiors. In addition to classic black with red or grey contrasting topstitching, for the E 53 4MATIC+ Coupé and Cabriolet there are now also combinations in black/saddle brown, black/white, black/classic red, designo titian red/macchiato beige and designo titanium grey/black.
For the CLS 53 4MATIC+, alongside the designo appointments there is also a choice of colour combinations in macchiato beige/magma grey, black/Bengal red and espresso brown/magma grey, in which case the ambient colour is also repeated on the steering wheel rim. The colour concept is systematically continued through to the rear area (wave design). In the CLS 53 4MATIC+, the integral seats with adjustable head restraints have also been redesigned and enhanced in terms of their shape, colour and material choice. This includes all aspects relating to optimisation of comfort, ergonomics, sportiness and safety.
The rear seat row has also been redesigned with three full-size seats. The seat backrest which folds in a 40:20:40 split as well as height-adjustable head restraints enable greater flexibility and everyday practicality.
Short shift times, high efficiency:
the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission
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, 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+” and in manual driving modes, the transmission is very responsive.
Fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive
Power is transferred to the road by the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, which also comes as standard. This intelligent system combines the advantages of different drive concepts: the fully variable torque distribution between the front and rear axle not only ensures optimal traction, but the driver is also able to rely on high handling stability and a high level of safety under 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.
An electro-mechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque split is continuously computed according to the driving conditions and driver’s input. It is thus possible to drive in a continuously variable way from traction-oriented all-wheel drive to purely rear-wheel drive. Cross-fading takes place continuously based on a complex matrix. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.
Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
With the five DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes “Eco”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+” and “Individual”, the driver can tailor the characteristics of the new 53-series models even more to suit personal preferences at the press of a button. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the “M” button to switch 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 if desired.
Independent AMG RIDE CONTROL+ suspension
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 front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimised in terms of rigidity. A more negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics. The elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. All these measures improve agility, and boost the dynamics.
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.
Thanks to pneumatic all-round self-levelling, the 53-series models maintain a constant ride height regardless of the vehicle load. To increase the ground clearance, for example on steep entrances in underground car parks or on ramps, the level can be raised at the press of a button. The level is lowered automatically when driving at higher speeds. This improves handling stability thanks to a lower centre of gravity.
Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
The electromechanical speed-sensitive steering features a variable ratio in the 53-series models. It impresses with its precise, authentic feedback. Steering power assistance is available in a choice of two modes – “Comfort” or “Sport”. The corresponding characteristics are automatically activated based on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT drive program. In “Sport” mode, more feedback is conveyed about the vehicle status.
Fade-resistant and reliable: the compound braking system
The large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs provides reliable and quick deceleration of the 53-series models. Perforated and internally ventilated brake discs measuring 370 x 36 mm with 4-piston fixed callipers and AMG lettering are fitted at the front, with internally ventilated discs measuring 360 x 26 mm and single-piston floating callipers at the rear.
Wellness on long-distance journeys: ENERGIZING comfort control
The optional ENERGIZING comfort control is available for all 53 models. It links various comfort systems in the vehicle and uses specific functions of the air conditioning and seats (heating, ventilation, massage), surface heating and steering wheel heating plus lighting and music moods. Depending on the mood or requirement of the driver, it generates a special wellness set-up to enhance well-being and performance.
Intelligent Drive: technology from the S-Class
The CLS 53 4MATIC+ features the latest driving assistance system generation from the S-Class. The range of driving assistance and safety systems is modular in structure. Fitted as standard are Active Braking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, Speed Limit Assist plus the occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®. New and also part of the standard specification is PRE-SAFE® Sound (prepares human hearing for the anticipated accident noise when there is a risk of a collision).
The optional Driving Assistance Package consists of Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Braking Assist with Cross-Traffic Function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE‑SAFE® PLUS. Active Distance Control DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of bends or junctions. Active Lane Changing Assist has also been significantly improved (country-specific differences are possible for individual functions). In addition, the Driving Assistance Plus package includes PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side. This system can brace the front occupants for a side impact by nudging them sideways to reduce the risk of injury.
In addition, the CLS 53 4MATIC+ adopts the enhanced camera and radar systems from the Mercedes-Benz CLS and thus has an ideal view of the traffic conditions. For the first time it also makes use of map and navigation data to calculate vehicle behaviour.
Exclusive Edition 1 for the CLS 53 4MATIC+
From the time of market launch, the exclusive Edition 1 will be available for the CLS 53 4MATIC+ which boasts the COPPER ART interior design. Numerous highlights in a fine copper colour help to ensure a particularly high-quality interior atmosphere. The leather upholstery in black nappa also features copper-coloured contrasting topstitching, as do the instrument panel, armrests, centre console, door panels and piping on the floor mats.
Trim elements and the centre console in carbon fibre with COPPER ART copper stitching and the Performance steering wheel with Edition badge equally underscore the vehicle’s exceptional position. The luxurious character is furthermore reinforced by the ambient lighting with 64 colours, the Memory and Mirror package and the exclusive IWC analogue clock.
The new 53-series models celebrate their world premiere on 15 January 2018 as part of the American International Auto Show in Detroit/USA.
New nomenclature in the full-size segment
With the new models the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach is also introducing a new model designation: the 53‑series models, which are making their debut in the guise of the CLS, E‑Class Coupé and E‑Class Cabriolet.