The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is coming in for its midlife facelift and model update, and that means there's time for a fresh AMG performance derivative. This comes in the twin forms of the new E 53 4Matic+ Saloon and Estate, replacing the old E 43 and using the part-electric drivetrain as seen in the CLS 53 and GLE 53 Coupe.
Minor visual enhancements
Mercedes has subtly tweaked the looks of the E-Class, the front end being the aspect of the car where the changes are easier to spot. Redesigned headlights sit either side of a Panamericana-shaped grille to give a cleaner appearance that's more in keeping with M-B's latest corporate style, while at the back of the Saloon model the wider lights are sure-fire giveaways that you're gazing upon the updated E-Class. The Estate's updated rear clusters are less obvious, but these AMG models gain new rear aprons and rear diffusers, so you shouldn't miss them. Also, they sit on either 19-inch (standard) or 20-inch (optional) light-alloy wheels that are apparently aerodynamically optimised, while if you're a colour geek you might spot the new hues of Graphite Grey metallic, Mojave Silver metallic or High-Tech Silver metallic.
Inside, light fettling of the Mercedes Widescreen digital dashboard has taken place, with specific displays for the MBUX operating system that pertain to the AMG models' sportiness. These include screens on Engine Data, Gear Speed Indicator, Warm-Up, Set-Up, G-Meter, Race Timer and the optional AMG Track Pace - this last one will map a race circuit for you and display lap times, sector times, differences in reference times and even the ideal driving line in the multimedia cluster or optional Head-Up Display, which is all rather Gran Turismo. The most obvious physical change comes in the form of the AMG Performance steering wheel, which incorporates the new control methods of the E-Class' infotainment and thus now is arranged in a three-rounded-twin-spoke format.
435hp peak power
Under the bonnet of the E 53 Saloon and E 53 Estate is a straight-six, 3.0-litre, turbocharged petrol engine, augmented by a 16kW (22hp) EQ Boost motor that can also dollop in an additional 250Nm of torque when you need it. The EQ Boost system performs all manner of environmental- and performance-enhancing functions for the drivetrain, with a system peak of 435hp at 6,100rpm allied to maximum torque of 520Nm from 1,800-5,800rpm. That results in a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds for the E 53 Saloon and 4.6 seconds for the E 53 Estate, as both models have the traction advantages of 4Matic+ all-wheel drive and a fast-acting nine-speed AMG Speedshift TCT gearbox. The top speeds of both models is limited to 250km/h, but there's the choice of increasing the limiter to 270km/h if you so wish. Large 370mm front, 360mm rear brake discs with four-piston callipers at the nose and the AMG Ride Control+ air suspension round out the technical make-up of the AMG E 53s. Expect 8.5-8.8 litres/100km (33.2-32.1mpg) fuel consumption with 194-200g/km CO2 emissions for the Saloon, and 8.7-9.0 litres/100km (32.5-31.4mpg) with between 200-207g/km CO2 for the Estate.
"Our revised E 53 4Matic+ is extensively enhanced, both as a Saloon and an Estate," said Tobias Moers, the chairman of Mercedes-AMG. "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."