Mercedes-AMG E53 goes (mild) hybrid in search of more efficient performance

As the world waits for the Formula One-inspired Project One supercar, Mercedes-AMG is unveiling some less extreme hybrids. The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 sedan and wagon will get the same mild hybrid powertrain first seen in coupe and convertible versions of the E53, as well as the CLS53, when those models debuted at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 replaces the E43 as the lower-tier E-Class AMG model, sitting below the E63 in the hierarchy. Mercedes never passes up an opportunity to add a new variant, leading to a lineup as dense as the cast of Avengers: Infinity War. Amid that crowded lineup, the E53 and other AMG “53” models stand out by helping to advance Mercedes’ electrification plans.

The E53’s mild-hybrid powertrain sandwiches an electric motor between the engine and transmission, and adds a 48-volt electrical system and more powerful starter-alternator. This allows for a more aggressive engine start-stop system, and the electric motor provides a power boost at low engine speeds, improving acceleration. Electricity is harvested from the engine’s spinning turbocharger and regenerative braking, and is stored in a small battery pack. The system can’t drive the car solely on electric power, which is what separates mild hybrids like the E53 from conventional hybrids like the Toyota Prius.

The Mercedes-AMG E53 should be faster than a Prius, though. A 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, which produces 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque on its own, is combined with an electric motor that adds 21 hp and 184 lb-ft when accelerating from a standstill, according to Mercedes. Power is sent to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes predicts 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. An optional AMG Driver’s Package will raise the limit to 167 mph.

In addition to the mild-hybrid powertrain, the Mercedes-AMG E53 gets AMG-tuned adaptive air suspension, and some subtle visual changes to distinguish it from less-sporty E-Class models. These include power bulges in the hood, prominent exhaust tips and rear diffuser, and an optional set of model-specific 20-inch wheels.

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 sedan and wagon will hit European showrooms in June, but Mercedes hasn’t discussed U.S. availability. We’ll likely get the sedan at some point over the next few months, but slow sales of wagons on this side of the Atlantic mean it’s less likely that we’ll get that model.

Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

From cars to computers: How data is transforming F1 racing

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.

Recall bounty hunters needed as millions ignore deadly Takata airbag recall

It's the recall campaign from hell and too many people aren't responding. Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and Carma Project want to give financial rewards to people who alert family and friends to the deadly Takata airbag recall.