Mercedes-AMG 53 | Inline-six turbo hybrid and a bounty of tech

Mercedes-AMG 53 | Inline-six turbo hybrid and a bounty of tech

The new high-performance models feature a 3.0-litre petrol engine with two turbochargers to boost power, one of which is electrically powered. The EQ Boost starter-alternator also acts as a kind of mild-hybrid unit for the vehicles, motivating the auto during throttle-off cruising and allowing the engine to shut down and restart nearly imperceptibly, according to Mercedes. "The starter uses the extra power provided by 48v - conventional automotive systems have just 12 volts - to boost the engines" horsepower and torque significantly.

The key is a powerful turbocharging system that includes an electric compressor providing nearly instantaneous boost, and then a conventional exhaust-driven turbo providing boost once spooled up.

The 53-series models on the CLS and E-Class Coupe/Cabriolet cars will be available to order soon from Mercedes, with further debuts as Mercedes updates other cars in its range. However, there's also an electrified surprise under the hood.

Mercedes-AMG 53 | Inline-six turbo hybrid and a bounty of tech

The starter-alternator also means there's no more belt assembly at the front of the engine, making it easier to fit the inline six, and creates room at the engine for an after-treatment system for exhaust gas. The torque megaboost helps deliver the strong, quick throttle response that's AMG's hallmark. Under braking, the motor-generator recovers energy to charge up a battery for later use.

This is where the new 53-series gets interesting.

Mercedes-Benz SA is at this point not confirming if and when the new 53-series models will reach South Africa, although historically speaking the company has never held AMG models back from our market.

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The engine output is routed through a nine-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels via the specially tuned AMG Performance 4Matic Plus all-wheel-drive system.

All three cars use combine Mercedes's new 3.0L straight-six engine with a 48-volt starter-alternator.

When fitted with the new engine, CLS 53 models can go from 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 167mph when the Driver's Package is specified. Additionally, the Dynamic Select modes also control the firmness of the air suspension. All three have distinguishing features, such as twin-blade elements in the grille, and an "A-wing" design to the front bumper, along with a unique split 5-spoke wheel design. All models get sport seats and red seat belts, with the AMG Performance steering wheel as standard.

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Inside, dual 12.3-inch high-resolution screens under one shared glass cover merge to form a widescreen cockpit display that places virtual instruments before the driver and extends to the center of the console. Pricing will be confirmed closer to the 2019 AMG CLS 53's release, later in 2018.

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