The mere mention of the word “hybrid” is enough to ruin the day of a true-blue petrol head. But the 2019 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Sedan begs to differ. Yes, this fast German saloon is equipped with an electrified, AMG-enhanced motor called EQ Boost. If this sounds like the cushioning technology of a popular sneaker brand, you’re not very far off.
But instead of protecting your feet, the EQ Boost starter-alternator-generator is designed to create power for the 48-volt on-board electrical system. It all sounds very complex, but the result is 429 horsepower (6,100 rpm) and 384 lb-ft. of torque (1,800-5,800 rpm).
This is the same 48-volt hybrid assist system that powers the coupe and convertible versions of the E 53, including the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53, which both debuted at the 2018 North American International Auto Show.
Unless you’re living under a rock somewhere in New Mexico, you are probably familiar with the acceleration and performance characteristics of electric cars. Adding the EQ Boost system to an AMG-tuned and turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six sounds like a recipe for a good time, don’t you agree?
The Mercedes E-class is the epitome of a midsize luxury sedan. But the performance wizards at AMG were able to transform the 2019 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Sedan into an electrified performance monster without penalizing ride quality and comfort.
I hope you don’t mind me asking, but when was the last time Mercedes fitted an inline-six into the E-class? The magic starts with a proper 3.0-liter inline-six fitted with a conventional exhaust-driven turbocharger, which is pointing head-on into BMW territory. But apparently, this wasn’t enough.
Mercedes-AMG developed the EQ Boost starter-generator to provide “intelligent electrification.” The EQ Boost combines a starter and alternator in a powerful electric motor. The system is fitted between the engine and transmission.
I guess we’ve seen this before, in the former Honda Insight hybrid vehicle, but EQ Boost can do so much more than basic hybrid functions: energy recovery, gliding mode, shifting of the load point – it can even restart the gasoline motor with the start/stop function.
The system can supply an immediate burst of power to turn an electric auxiliary compressor. What this means is an instant rush of torque similar to a diesel motor, along with the famed smoothness and refinement of an inline-six.
48-Volt Electrical System
The EQ Boost system in the 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan generates power for the 48-volt on-board electrical system. It also supplies 12-volt juice courtesy of a DC/DC converter. The 12-volt system will still supply power to the cockpit, infotainment system, and lights. On the other hand, the 48-volt system can supply power to the electric compressor to boost horsepower and torque.
The system can immediately provide 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque with a drop of your right foot. When added to the existing power output, the result is a seamless and mesmerizing driving experience.
Transmission & Traction
Harnessing the power of the turbocharged inline-six and EQ Boost electric compressor is the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G Transmission. This unit provides short shift times, multiple downshifts, and a double-declutching function. It also delivers faster responses to shift paddle commands so you can drive like Lewis Hamilton.
Power is routed to the 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system that can transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa. The result is better handling and optimal traction on dry, wet, or snowy roads.
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 comes with five Dynamic Select drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual. The latter allows you to tailor the characteristics of the Mercedes-AMG E53. Want firmer steering with a more compliant ride? Done. You can basically go from mild to extra spicy with a press of a button.
Ride & Handling
The damping forces at each wheel are adjusted accordingly to suit any type of driving situation. The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan is fitted with an AMG-tuned, multi-chamber air suspension with ADS+ (the automakers “Adaptive Damping System”). The system is based on the Air Body Control technology developed in Affalterbach, Southern Germany. The result is neutral cornering with less body roll, better traction, and greater levels of ride comfort.
The new AMG E 53 Sedan is equipped with a standard widescreen cockpit with virtual instrument panels. The 12.3-inch display is located above the central console so you can fiddle with the infotainment system, which can also be operated via the touchpad controller or by voice control. The voice command feature has been recalibrated so you can control things like the air conditioning, seat heating and cooling, and even the interior lights.
The AMG performance steering wheel in black Nappa leather, with red 12 o’clock markings, is standard.
Pricing & Availability
With an electronically-limited top speed of 130 mph and a zero to 60 time of 4.4 seconds, the 2019 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Sedan is more than a valid replacement for the previous AMG E 43 Sedan. You can expect the E 53 Sedan in the United States by late 2018. Pricing has not been disclosed yet.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.