A quick shot of electric power for the four-door ’Bahn burner

Merc has been making the CLS-Class since the early 2000’s, dropping the first-gen with a debut at the 2004 New York International Auto Show. Framed as a sleek sedan packing top-shelf luxury, a sporty exterior, and no shortage of power under the hood, Merc quickly ushered in the go-faster AMG iteration at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. The second-generation CLS arrived in 2011, with a hot-to-trot AMG 63 hot on its heels. Now, there’s a third-gen model on the table, with the latest CLS dropping at the 2017 Los Angeles Show. As is tradition, Mercedes brought along a new AMG iteration as well, introducing the new 53-Series model alongside two other high-powered luxury rides from the boffins at AMG, including the 53-Series AMG E-Class Coupe and the E-Class Cabriolet, all of which arrived in style at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. All told, the latest AMG CLS 53 4Matic comes packing with superlative Mercedes-Benz styling, the latest technology in the cabin, a high-performance attitude, and all the requisite power to back it.

The new four-door coupe also comes a supplementary electric system that adds a good deal of low-end torque on demand, a feature that makes the heavy-hitting luxury cruiser even more frisky when you dig into the skinny pedal. “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,” says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management at Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Sounds good. But how good is it, really? Read on for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC.

  • 2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-6
  • Transmission:
    9G-TRONIC 9-speed
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    435 @ 6100
  • Torque @ RPM:
    384 @ 5800
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Exterior

  • Looks elegant and refined, yet aggressive
  • Four-door coupe body style
  • Wide and low stance
  • Graceful roof line
  • Pumped-up AMG cues front to back
  • Tweaked styling in the nose
  • Extended and rounded rear end
  • Polished metal and carbon fiber trim
  • Subtle yet effective rear trunk spoiler
  • Standard 19-inch wheels
  • Optional 20-inch wheels
2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
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When it comes to the underlying philosophy driving the CLS-Series, there seems to be two main schools of thought – elegance and power.

When it comes to the underlying philosophy driving the CLS-Series, there seems to be two main schools of thought – the first is elegance and refinement, which is to be expected considering the three-pointed star badge fixed to the nose. The other half of the equation is power and performance, both traits that get triple underlined when dealing with something from AMG.

As such, the AMG CLS 53 4Matic looks like a powerful, low-swept grand touring machine. The wheelbase is long, as is the hood line, while the stance is wide and close to the ground. The headlight housings pull back into the fenders with a triangular shape and check-mark daytime running lights, while the roof line is rounded, falling back into an equally rounded rear end with a graceful, unbroken arc. The tail section is square in its proportions and rounded at the edges, enhancing the car’s visual length with an extended overhang.

Updated features for the latest 2018 model year are numerous. Let’s start in front, where we find a twin-blade radiator grille, a design once relegated exclusively for the V-8 models (this one’s got a ’six under the hood, by the way). The main intake is complemented by black mesh insert, as is the lower horizontal intake. A dividing middle character bar stretches from side to side and comes finished in shiny metal. There’s also an A-wing front apron that incorporates black flics, while a front splitter juts out from the lower bumper section and comes finished with chrome detailing. Further horizontal elements in the outer intakes also add to the car’s visual width, while additional air curtains specific to the model help to reduce drag.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
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The AMG CLS 53 4Matic looks like a powerful, low-swept grand touring machine. The wheelbase is long, as is the hood line, while the stance is wide and close to the ground. New features include a restyled grille and extra aero efficiency.

Moving over to the car’s profile, we find AMG-specific side sills that bring the car just a little closer to the ground. Higher up, there’s a set of side-view mirrors that are positioned further back on the body in a manner that’s reminiscent of the AMG GT sports car. We also love how that roof line naturally draws the eye rearwards into the well-proportioned rear end.

Speaking of the rear, the tail of the machine sports mud flaps that were redesigned to be more aerodynamically efficient, moving air around the wheel arches. The rear apron comes with a diffuser insert that completes the car’s squarish rear profile, plus there’s a quartet of round exhaust tips finished in a high-gloss chrome that do well to enhance the car’s sporting demeanor. Up top is a body-colored trunk lid spoiler, a feature that’s also offered in an optional carbon-fiber finish. At the sides are two-section taillights, which Mercedes says allow for a bigger trunk opening. Their shape also gives the car a wide and low stance that looks great with its wider track.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
- image 761051

Finally, the AMG CLS 53 4Matic comes standard with 19-inch wheels made with an alloy construction, but buyers can also get theirs with the optional 20-inch wheels if preferred.

Interior

  • Horizontal layout dripping with opulence
  • Large infotainment screen connects with the driver’s screen
  • Several options for upholstery materials and colors
  • Multiple display modes for the screens
  • Carbon fiber trim material dominates throughout
  • Sport seats keep limbs in place
  • Brushed metal adds extra bling
  • Voice control and touch pad for inputs
  • Energizing comfort control provides synergy
  • Latest safety tech included
2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
- image 761073
Horizontal cues appear to be the predominant style here, with a broad, sweeping dash that wraps its way fully around the cabin in an almost unbroken slab.

Like its exterior appearance, the interior of the AMG CLS 53 4Matic looks to combine elegance with sportiness. However, this go-faster four-door definitely leans heavily towards the sporting side of things thanks to its copious AMG-specific equipment and trim bits.

But before we get into all that, though, let’s first examine the layout and design. Horizontal cues appear to be the predominant style here, with a broad, sweeping dash that wraps its way fully around the cabin in an almost unbroken slab. Air vents are placed in the corners, while a quartet of vents are mounted in the middle, all coming with a rounded shape and exaggerated rifling inserts. The center console is equally large and wide, as is the infotainment and gauge cluster screens (more on those in a little bit).

In back, we find a wave design seating arrangement, which Mercedes says was tweaked this time around to provide more comfort. There’s a new shape, new colors, and new materials, with an overarching focus on providing the utmost in comfort, ergonomics, sportiness, and safety. There’s also an adjustable head rest height. There’s seating for three in the rear, which in addition to the two up front, brings passenger capacity to five. Additional practicality is offered with the 40:20:40 split in the bench, making the most of the available space in the trunk.

Now let’s talk about all that AMG gear, shall we? The CLS 53 comes standard with an AMG steering wheel wrapped in nappa leather, offering a flat bottom, four spokes, red contrast stitching, and a red top center mark. The wheel is also optional with wood inserts in piano lacquer, or a Dinamica microfiber, if preferred. There’s highly bolstered sport seats up front as well, with an AMG-specific upholstery appointment, plus more of that red contrast stitching. AMG badges are added in numerous places, and there are red seat belts to keep you in place. Carbon fiber trim is the dominant material of choice, but you can also get it with glass fiber in matte silver. Brushed metal and aluminum add extra bling.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
- image 761070
The CLS 53 comes standard with an AMG steering wheel wrapped in nappa leather, highly bolstered sport seats, AMG-specific upholstery appointment, AMG badges, and red seat belts to keep you in place. Carbon fiber trim dominates.

The top-shelf materials don’t stop there. Options include Artico leatherette and Dinamicra microfiber, nappa leather, and designo interior gear. Meanwhile, the color combos include macchiato beige with magma grey, black with bengal red, and espresso brown with magma grey. Several colors are also added to the rim of the steering wheel and the rear seating.

High-end materials and slick upholstery appointment are great, but no modern luxury mobile worth its animal hide would be complete without a modern infotainment system to keep passengers entertained and properly informed. As such, the AMG CLS 53 gets a new “control and display concept,” plus an optional 12.3-inch diagonal screen. This unit combines to create a Widescreen Cockpit view, stretching across the dash to join up with the digital gauges behind the wheel. Users can adjust this to suit their taste using a lineup of display styles, which include “Classic,” “Sporty,” and “Progressive.” It’s also configurable to view parameters such as the engine oil temperature, the transmission oil temperature, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, engine output, torque levels, boost pressure, tire temperatures, tire pressure, and other info, plus the current vehicle system settings (and yeah, there’s a lot of them).

User inputs are made via touch-sensitive buttons placed on the steering wheel, enabling swiping motions akin to what you’d use on a smartphone or mobile device. There’s also a touch pad controller in the center console, and a new Linguatronic voice control system, the latter of which can be used for additional functions and features, such as the air conditioning, seat heat and ventilation, interior lights, and the optional heads-up display.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
- image 761022
One of the more interesting features is the optional “Energizing comfort control,” which connects a variety of different systems for a holistic cabin experience.

One of the more interesting features is the optional “Energizing comfort control,” which connects a variety of different systems (air conditioning, seat heating/ventilation/massage, surface heating, steering wheel heating, lighting, and “music moods”). With all these systems properly connected, the comfort control will generate “a special wellness set-up to enhance well-being and performance,” depending on the driver’s moods and requirements. While the description is a little vague, we see it as a bit like a holistic climate control, encompassing more than just the temperature of the air coming through the vents to more accurately fulfill the needs of the passenger.

The AMG CLS 53 4Matic also pulls tech from the Mercedes S-Class for the safety gear. Standard spec throws in features like Active Braking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist, and the Pre-Safe system, while the optional gear includes Active Distance Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Braking Assist (plus Cross-Traffic Function), Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and Pre-Safe Plus. Making it all work is the onboard camera and radar systems, which also throw in navigation data “to calculate vehicle behavior.”

Drivetrain

  • 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine
  • Twin turbochargers pump up the output
  • EQ Boost adds electric efficiency and low-end shove
  • Peak output rated at 435 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque.
  • 0-to-62 mph done in 4.5 seconds
  • Top speed rated at 168 mph with optional Driver’s package
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic AWD
  • Multiple drive modes
2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
- image 761056
The big news in this department is the new EQ Boost starter-alternator, which can “momentarily” provide another 21.5 horsepower and a remarkable 184.4 pound-feet of torque.

Pop the hood on this four-door, and you’ll first find a big plastic engine cover, as is tradition these days. However, under all that plastic, Mercedes is hiding an electrified 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, which gets pumped up by a twin-turbo set-up that includes one turbo spun by exhaust gases and a second turbo spun by an electric auxiliary compressor.

Of course, the big news in this department is the new EQ Boost starter-alternator, which can “momentarily” provide another 16 kW (21.5 horsepower) and a remarkable 250 Nm (184.4 pound-feet) of torque. The added muscle is great, but in addition to the extra go, the EQ Boost will also provide juice to the 48-volt onboard electrics.

This feature manages to combine a starter and alternator into a single electric motor, which Merc then mounted between the engine and transmission. According to the automaker, “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.” We’re all for that first bit, but if Merc can one-up the output while also decreasing the fuel consumption, we’re all for it.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
- image 761025
A system like this should provide a really solid whomp way down low in the rpm range, and once the engine is spinning fast enough, the gas-driven turbo will kick in for even more peak power.

Indeed, a system like this should provide a really solid whomp way down low in the rpm range, and once the engine is spinning fast enough, the gas-driven turbo will kick in for even more peak power. That means that despite the high-boost applications, there’s no turbo lag, thus offering more refinement (less turbo thrash) and a super-sharp throttle response as well. Very nice.

All told, look out for this system to make into future hybrid applications from AMG. Even with a shift in priorities to higher efficiency, systems like this will keep the brand in the high-performance game. “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,” Mercedes says. “The 48 V on-board electrical system is therefore paving the way for further hybridisation.”

While we’re on the subject, we might as well mention the fuel and energy savings that come with the 2018 model year. These include the previously mentioned 48-volt electric system, an energy recuperation system, and an engine start/stop system now offering smoother transitions between engine on and engine off. There’s also a glide mode that’ll let you coast when most appropriate. With all those systems combined, the AMG CLS 53 4Matic manages 8.4 liters per 100 km (28 mpg), as well as 200 grams per km in CO2 emissions.

More importantly, though, is output, which is rated at 435 horsepower and 520 Nm (384 pound-feet) of torque. All that muscle makes it quick, with the 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) test done in only 4.5 seconds – solid sports car territory. Toss in the Driver’s package, and top speed looks like 270 km/h (168 mph), also impressive for such a large luxury four-door.

It’s also worth mentioning that the engine is shorter this time around, as Mercedes deleted the ancillary component belt drive. As a result, Merc was able to install the exhaust gas after-treatment system closer to the engine, yielding even higher levels of efficiency.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
- image 761032
Output is rated at 435 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. All that muscle makes it quick, with the 0-to-62 mph test done in only 4.5 seconds – solid sports car territory.

Making the connection with the engine is an AMG Speedshift 9G automatic transmission. Merc prides itself on the nine-speed’s short shift times, and the quick-response you get from the shift paddles behind the steering wheel. Stand out features for the transmission include a double-declutching function, plus the ability to execute multiple downshifts at a time. Sport+ is the mode of choice for the most crispiest shifts possible, while the box also offers a fully manual mode for a more hands-on approach to the cog swaps.

After the transmission, power is fed into a fully variable all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4Matic+ system as standard. This comes with an electro-mechanically controlled clutch, as well as variable torque transfer between the front and rear axles. That means it can go full RWD when needed. Of course, we wouldn’t expect Mercedes to offer a “drift” button to smoke the rear meats on demand – it’s more about optimal grip, rather than burnouts. Pity.

Finally, there are multiple drive modes offered, which can be selected via the Dynamic Select knob in the cabin. The drive modes include names like Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual, and the modes affect a variety of systems, branching out into the engine, the transmission, the suspension, and the steering.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.0-litre 6-cylinder in-line engine with exhaust gas turbocharger and electric auxiliary compressor
Displacement 2,999 cc
Output 435 HP @ 6,100 RPM
Add. output with EQ Boost 22 HP
Peak torque 384 LB-FT @ 1,800-5,800 RPM
Add. torque with EQ Boost 184 LB-FT
Drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G
Fuel consumption - combined 8.5 l/100 km
CO2 emissions - combined 201 g/km
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.5 s
Top speed 250 km/h (155 mph)

Chassis And Handling

  • Independent air ride suspension components
  • Continuously variable dampers
  • Enormous brakes as standard
  • Self-leveling ride height
  • One-touch nose raise for steeply angled drives
  • Variable-ratio steering
2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
- image 761055
The AMG CLS 53 4Matic uses an advanced AMG Ride Control+ system, which offers multi-chamber air dampers to keep it all shiny side up. The damping is adjusted by way of two separate valves for the rebound and compression, and AMG matched it with spring tuning that keeps it feeling appropriately sporty.

To keep this heavy luxury barge feeling as sprightly as physically possible, Mercedes utilizes a fully independent suspension layout with a multi-link set-up in the rear. The headline in this area is the advanced AMG Ride Control+ equipment, which offers multi-chamber air dampers to keep it all shiny side up. The damping is adjusted by way of two separate valves for the rebound and compression, and AMG matched it with spring tuning that keeps it feeling appropriately sporty. It’s also continuously adjustable for the damping, offering harder settings while cruising through the corners to help reduce the car’s inherent body roll.

The air suspension also offers a self-leveling feature for a consistent ride height “regardless of vehicle load.” Another perk is that the driver can raise the front end on demand to help maneuver up highly angled driveways or whatever else might be in the way. Just hit it with one button touch, and you’ll be good to go. The car will then automatically lower back to the normal ride height as you drive along.

Merc also mentions that there are special steering knuckles in front and new load-bearing joints as well, while extra negative camber was added this time around for crisper turn-in characteristics. Speaking of turning, there’s an AMG speed-sensitive steering on board as well, offering a variable steering rack ratio and more feedback with the sportier drive modes.

Finally, the brakes are appropriately large for the application, measuring in with 370 mm (14.6-inch) by 36 mm (1.4-inch) discs in front, clamped by four-pot calipers. In back, there are 360 mm (14.2-inch) by 26 mm (1-inch) discs, clamped by single-pot calipers.

Prices

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Official pricing was not announced as of this writing, but it’s probably safe to assume it’ll be around the $80,000 mark, considering the current V-8 powered 550 4Matic starts at $77,650 and the fire-breathing CLS 63 S starts at $108,900.

If so inclined, buyers can act early and get into the Exclusive Edition 1 version. The big ticket item here is the Copper Art interior, which adds the color to various interior bits, with copper-colored contrast stitching for the black nappa leather, plus more added to the instrument panel, armrests, center console, door panels, and floor mats. The center console is also done up with carbon fiber, while a Performance steering wheel, a number of “Edition” badges, 64-color ambient lighting, the Memory and Mirror package, and an IWC analogue clock round it out.

Competition

Audi S7

2015 Audi S7 High Resolution Exterior
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Truth be told, Mercedes isn’t alone in offering four-door sports machines with coupe-like roof lines. Audi’s take on the formula is the S7, which comes with a handsome exterior that’s rather understated considering what it’s got in store under the hood – namely a 450-horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, which sends power to the ground by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and permanent all-wheel drive system. Properly motivated, the S7 can hit 60 mph in a scant 4.5 seconds, all while coddling passengers in the utmost luxury. Pricing starts at $81,200.

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi S7.

Porsche Panamera

2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Exterior
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Despite a rather questionable take on the four-door coupe styling aesthetic, the Porsche Panamera has plenty in reserve when it comes to performance. Buyers get a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 sending power exclusively to the rear axle in the base model, but theAWD and twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 in the mid-range model would be a better fit for the AMG CLS. There’s even a hybrid model, if you’re so inclined. If performance and speed are at the top of your priority list, then the Panamera is likely the better buy.

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche Panamera.

Conclusion

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic
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The latest Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic is a great example of one of those niche vehicle segments that’s so popular these days. It’s elegant and luxurious, with four doors to get in and out and a well-appointed interior dripping with premium touches. At the same time, it’s sporty and performance-oriented, with loads of go available with every stab of the right pedal and a svelte coupe roof line to boot.

Now, it looks like Merc is stepping down a third path with the model, one that leads towards extra efficiency. Posting a 28-mpg fuel return figure for a machine like this is impressive, and we have no doubt the German brand will look to expand that number in the future.

All told, the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic is a great choice for those looking for something that can do it all. If the price is right, it’s definitely worth a drive.

  • Leave it
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References

Mercedes-Benz CLS

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Diamond grille

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS.

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Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

Press release

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: 201 - 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‑s eries models, which are making their debut in the guise of the CLS, E‑Class Coupé and E‑Class Cabriolet.

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