It wasn’t all Gelandewagen talk for Mercedes Sunday night before the Detroit auto show. The company also introduced the new “53” designation for the CLS, E-Class Coupe and E-Class Cabriolet. The new lineup will use a new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that, when combined with an electric auxiliary compressor, EQ Boost starter-alternator and 48-volt electrical system, can deliver momentary boosts of 568 lb-ft of torque and 450 hp.
“With the new 53-series models, we are extending our portfolio in a first step towards a hybridized future with a leading-edge combination of sporty design, performance and efficiency,” said Tobias Moers, Mercedes-AMG chairman.
Mercedes says that with the EQ Boost electric starter/alternator fitted between the engine and transmission, the AMG CLS53 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds. It adds 21 hp and 184 lb-ft to the I6’s 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Basically the electric motor spins the auxiliary compressor, which builds up boost early in the rev range, before the larger exhaust gas turbocharger gets going.
The 48-volt electrical system responsible for all that hybrid power also allows for the omission of the belt for accessory components, which also saves space under the hood. Mercedes then filled that space with an exhaust gas after-treatment system.
All 53s get the AMG Speedshift nine-speed transmission with paddle shifters and AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive. Drive modes adjust engine response, transmission, suspension and steering. AMG’s air suspension with adaptive damping and self-leveling is also standard.
Visually, the 53 models will get the company’s twin-blade radiator grille in chrome with a black lattice pattern. The front splitter and air intakes are chrome too, while the rear bumper is redesigned.
In the cabin you’ll see the typical outstanding AMG details, starting with the customizable twin 12.3-inch “Widescreen Display” controlled by the central dial or steering wheel controls (or your voice). It’s all under one piece of glass so it looks like one continuous screen. Material choices are wide ranging and include faux leather, faux suede, premium leather and Mercedes’ top-tier Designo leather in an array of colors and patterns. Wood, piano black lacquer and carbon fiber is available for the hard parts.
Like the last few Mercedes models, the CLS line will begin with “Edition 1” cars featuring unique interior treatments with copper accents, carbon fiber and ambient lighting.
The CLS53, E53 Coupe and E53 Cabriolet will go on sale in late 2018 as 2019 models.