The AMG E53 Convertible is new the newest addition to the mid-range AMG models. And what better way to take this car on a sunny weekend drive?
The Mercedes AMG E53 Convertible was introduced as a new addition to the AMG line-up. Where the AMG 43 was considered to be less than sufficient in bigger models like the E-class and CLS, the 53 monniker was brought to life.
Sweet but psycho
While the 43 used a V6, the 53 borrows the same 3.0L inline-six you would find in the CLS450. So not the one man, one engine like you’ll find in the 63 range. However an additional electronic compressor is fitted to provide sufficient response throughout the whole rev range. And this gives the AMG E53 a 435 hp, 520 NM strong powerplant. A 45 hp increase whilst torque stays the same compared to the 43 range. But something called EQ-Boost makes all the difference. The 48-volt electric motor mounted to the transmission gives you an extra 22 hp and 250 Nm’s of torque. This shoots the AMG E53 to 100 kmh in just 4.5 seconds before stopping at 270 kmh with the optional AMG Driver’s package which this car had.
The engine really is a masterpiece however. It’s smooth as silk like you’d expect from a straight-six and it sings beautifully. The perfect engine for a convertible GT cruiser. However when you want it to be aggressive, it can definitely be that. Acceleration from idle can be surprisingly harsh thanks to the electronic compressor and the 48-Volt motor and the acceleration after that follows the same impressive pace.
Let your foot halfway the rev range off the throttle and the car will give you these great pops and bangs. And although it’s one of my least favorite trends on modern sports cars, it’s really well balanced on the E53.
A true grand touring machine
The AMG E53 convertible rides on an AMG tuned air suspension chassis with continuously variable dampers that can be set to 3 different settings: When driving in Comfort, the car rides beautifully over even the roughest cobblestone streets. Not as comfortable as the CLS we tested but it’s an AMG after all and it still really surprised us.
Turn the button down to sport and you’ll instantly feel the dampers stiffening up for more grip. Put it into Sport+ and again the dampers get even stiffer but now the 9-speed gearbox also goes in full attack mode. This resuls in a lot of fun when driving on backroads but less than desirable to drive with slowly. The aggressive setting for the gearbox combined with the instant torque of the electric compressor resulted in a few whiplashes.
I enjoyed the AMG E53 most with the roof down and in Sport. On twisty roads with speeds between 50-80 kmh is where the E53 shines along with an occasional swift acceration out of a slow corner thanks to the electric motor. The way this thing pulls gets a smile on everyone’s face.
And for a 2 tonne convertible car, it manages to hide its weight very well during cornering. And even under braking there’s very little sign of how heavy this car actually is which goes to show how well AMG has tuned this chassis.
Mercedes really nailed the looks of their latest E-Class. Especially in this Designo Diamond White Metallic it shines. The front is very nicely shaped with the muscular hood bulges and the big side intakes.
Naturally the car looks more sexy topless (with the roof down). And it’s great to be able to open it whilst driving up to 50 kmh. All this happens in less than 20 seconds so that means you’ll never have to stop to open or close the top. And the benefit of having no roof is that you can fit oversized boxes in with no problem.
From the side profile you really get to see how long this car actually is. This means that there’s enough space to fit 4 full sized adults without any problem. We haven’t seen many other convertibles that offer that much legroom in the back.
And speaking about the back. The new exhaust design for the 43 and 53 is a huge improvement over the previous design. The silly split tailpipes are now replaced with 4 big round canons that spit out the sweet inline-6 symphony. The carbon mirrors and rear spoiler lip give that final sporty touch whilst staying relatively discreet.
The interior is in typical Mercedes fashion just outstanding. The widescreen cockpit is surprisingly bright even when driving convertible with the sun shining right into it. The seats have contour adjustment, massage function, full bottom and back heating and something extra that’s perfect for convertible driving. Mercedes calls it the “Air Scarf” and what it essentially is, is a small heating fan in your headrest blowing hot air in your neck. And this makes it possible to drive the AMG E53 open even when it’s a little chilly outside.
Worthy of being called an AMG?
As with the C43 Convertible, the AMG E53 continues to impress. The power is much more useable than the 63. And whilst more power equals more fun. But for more day to day driving, knowing that you can use the power a lot more can provide equal fun. Combined with the joys of open top driving and the E53 Convertible might be one of the better GT cars on the market right now.