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The Mercedes-AMG E53 is here. The E43 is no more
Sub-63 replaces 43 as junior AMG'd E-Class
Well that was short-lived. A little over a year after we first drove it the AMG E43 has been dropped from Merc’s line-up and replaced with this: the E53. It looks more or less the same as the car it replaces, but does away with the 396bhp, 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 in favour of a new inline-six, also of 3.0-litres, with Merc’s ‘EQ Boost’ mild-hybrid technology.
Like the 43 it’s all-wheel drive and has a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The new engine, which we’ve driven in the E-Class-based CLS53, CLS450 and S500, makes 429bhp and 389lb ft, giving a 155mph top speed and 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds – a couple of tenths quicker than the 43. ‘EQ Boost’ – a starter/alternator between the engine and transmission – gives a momentary boost of 22bhp/184lb ft, 32.5mpg combined and 200g/km of CO2.
A sports exhaust, AMG-tuned air suspension and driving modes are all standard, as are 19in alloys, the twin 12.3in instrument/infotainment screens, many parking cameras and adaptive LED headlights. Various packages add S-Class-grade active safety kit, a panoramic sunroof and keyless go.
Prices start at £61,835 for the saloon and £63,835 for the estate – about the same as the C63. Much as we enjoyed the 53 (at least in CLS form), we know where our money would go…