Displaying items by tag: MercedesAMG

Saturday, 24 September 2022 06:25

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63

The high-performance variant of Mercedes’s entry-luxury C-class sedan will return as the 2024 C63 S, but this time it will get a radically different engine. The previous generation was powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 with either 469 or 503 horsepower, but this new-generation C63 will be motivated by a gasoline engine half that size: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that combines with an electric motor to making a whopping 671 horsepower in total. The new hybrid setup promises to improve upon the previous C63’s great performance, though the engine’s character will no doubt change radically. To help mitigate turbo lag, the downsized engine uses an electrically powered turbocharger system related to the one found in Mercedes-AMG’s Formula 1 race car. The rest of the package will be heavily based on the new C-class that debuted for the 2022 model year but with racier styling and a spruced-up interior. Mercedes-AMG has also confirmed that the junior C43 model will also return to the lineup, but we review that model separately.

What's New for 2024?

The C63 is all new for the 2024 model year and, unlike last year, it will be offered solely as a sedan. We expect to see the 2024 C63 roll into Mercedes dealerships in the middle of 2023.

Mercedes-AMG hasn’t released pricing yet but we expect the C63 to follow the new trim levels that launched with the 2022 C-class, starting with the Premium base trim at around $85,000 and going up from there.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Gone is the old twin-turbo V-8 engine from the last-generation C63 and in its place is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. But before you get disappointed at an engine half the size of the old one, you should know that this inline-four will be augmented by a 201-hp electric motor and uses an electric turbocharger to reduce turbo lag. The new high-performance hybrid propulsion system will pump out a massive 671 horsepower, giving it an edge over rival to performance sedans such as the BMW M3 and the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, at least on paper. This setup allows for some limited all-electric driving, but only about 8 miles or so; its purpose instead is to provide similar performance to the outgoing car with better overall fuel economy. When we get a chance to test drive the new C63—which we are eager to do—we’ll update this story with driving impressions and test results.

The EPA hasn't released fuel economy figures for the 2024 C63 sedan yet. But due to the introduction of the downsized engine, we're expecting to see some fuel efficiency improvements over the outgoing model which was rated at 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. When we get a chance, we'll take the new C63 sedan on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route and update this story with its results. For more information about the C63’s fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The C63’s cabin looks much like the standard C-class and junior AMG C43 model, but it sports unique upholstery and stitching patterns as well as AMG-branded sport seats with openings cut out to help save weight. Mercedes hasn’t detailed every feature and option, but we expect to see plenty of luxury and convenience items available, including a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled seats, four-zone automatic climate control, and more.

Infotainment and Connectivity

All models will likely come with the same large 11.9-inch infotainment touchscreen that is integrated into the center console and canted slightly toward the driver in the C43 model. A 12.3-inch digital gauge display will also likely be standard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto should both be standard for wireless connectivity, and a high-end Burmester stereo system is expected to be available too.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Like the C43, the C63 will likely offer a host of standard driver-assistance features but unfortunately, the car's coolest tech, which includes an adaptive cruise-control system that utilizes navigation data to adjust the vehicle's speed for upcoming curves and roundabouts, will probably remain an optional upgrade. For more information about the C43's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features are likely to include:

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Although rivals such as BMW, Genesis, and Volvo offer three years of complimentary maintenance, Mercedes-AMG omits that benefit from its standard warranty offerings. Otherwise, all new AMGs come with an industry-standard plan that covers most things for up to four years or 50,000 miles.

Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Source: caranddriver.com

Published in Mercedes

The verdict: The Mercedes-Benz GLE was already an excellent mid-size luxury SUV, so AMG treatment just adds equal parts speed, silliness and serious bucks.

Versus the competition: In the realm of expensive, overpowered, medium-sporty luxury SUVs, the GLE53 fits oddly between top luxury and top performance trim levels of competing SUVs in terms of both price and power.

I don’t know how the German luxury brands are doing it. Go into any of their dealerships or peruse their various websites and you’ll find a dozen SUVs of slightly different sizes. Some are tall-riding “coupe”-style SUVs and some are more traditional, but each has several trim levels that amp up the power, style, performance and bottom-line price in increasingly complicated trim stratifications and an alphabet soup of model names. Mercedes-Benz is no exception.

 This SUV is the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLE53, a name that requires some deciphering (though not as much as do most BMWs). For starters, it’s Mercedes-AMG, not Mercedes-Benz, because it’s part of Mercedes’ sub-brand of AMG-branded performance models, and the GLE is the automaker’s mid-size luxury SUV. The number attached to those letters once denoted engine displacement, but now it’s just a number (53) that lets you know it slots between the lesser GLE450 and the more powerful, V-8-equipped Mercedes-AMG GLE63. Finally, note that the model discussed here is the GLE SUV, not the GLE Coupe. That model has a chopped roofline and less practical space — and it costs more money.

What’s confusing about the AMG GLE53 is that its competitors offer either more power for more money or less power for less money, but no model lines up all that directly with the GLE53. That said, we’ll talk about it here in a couple of ways: Is it any good on its own, and is there a better choice (either within Mercedes or from a competing manufacturer) instead?

Extra Flash

The GLE53 gets some visual changes versus the GLE450, and they do a good job making this a sportier-looking model. The requisite AMG-style grille is present, with chrome trim and an A-Wing design, and it’s accompanied by a deeper front splitter under the bumper. My test vehicle had 21-inch wheels with black accents to go along with black exterior paint, giving the whole SUV a menacing, murdered-out look that’s really quite appealing. It looks like it’ll be fun to drive — at least, as much as any five-seat family SUV could be — hitting all the right notes to amp up its presence without being gaudy or outrageous. As we used to say, it looks money.

Things get even more dramatic inside, with splashes of red Nappa leather upholstery amid somber black surroundings and optional brushed aluminum trim. Everything is of the benchmark quality for which Mercedes-Benz is known; from button actuation to the way the switches and covers move, everything is smooth, damped and upscale.

The regular GLE is a comfortable SUV, but the AMG modifications make it a little less so: The seats are more firmly bolstered, and the steering wheel is shapely but not heated. In short, opting for the GLE53 means giving up some of the convenience items you’d expect in a $90,000 luxury vehicle in exchange for a sportier attitude befitting the AMG label. Admittedly, some of those trades are pretty cool, such as AMG Drive Unit steering-wheel buttons that are part of an AMG Dynamic Plus Package. They let you adjust settings like sport exhaust and drive mode via a neat little rotary wheel on the steering wheel itself. There are also a couple of ancillary organic light-emitting diode buttons that control other features.

It is not, however, a perfect interior. We still think Mercedes-Benz overcomplicates its touch-sensitive steering-wheel controls, gauge cluster information and multimedia system. The automaker’s latest MBUX multimedia system is here, and while it does have a rather significant learning curve, it generally works well — aside from the voice controls, which are still a bit buggy;  you can’t say the word “Mercedes” at all, such as in conversation with passengers, without triggering the system.  But it does provide some fun gee-whiz features, like augmented reality navigation, that are pretty cool.


Extra Dash

Powering the AMG GLE53 is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine making a hefty 429 horsepower and 384 pounds-feet of torque, mated to a slick nine-speed automatic transmission that drives all four wheels through permanent all-wheel drive. It’s growly and responsive, and it can fling the SUV from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, Mercedes says. That’s reasonably quick for a mid-size SUV, and the powertrain’s responsiveness is among the GLE53’s highlights.

Handling is another. Steering feel is excellent — nicely weighted, full of proper feedback and managed through a thick AMG-style steering wheel that feels good in your hands. The GLE53’s adjustable suspension does an admirable job keeping the SUV level in corners, but there’s no getting around the fact that you’re sitting high up with a high center of gravity. I’d happily trade one of this AMG’s sport modes for the Curve mode found in the GLE450, which is an adaptive suspension mode that tilts the SUV in corners like an airplane, minimizing lateral G-forces. The GLE53 is indeed sportier and more aggressive than a basic GLE450, and it brakes better and sounds better, but its level of “sport” adjustability borders on silly.

The AMG treatment is meant to make you think this is a track-capable sports machine, complete with special lap timers, gauges, super sport modes and more. But that concept is ridiculous; a tall-riding, five-occupant, family SUV is simply not what you drive on a track, it’s the thing you drive to the track — perhaps towing your sports car on a trailer behind you.

All the effort put into trying to create a “sports-car SUV” just seems wasted to me. It’s all about image; these AMG SUVs are far more likely to clog the valet stand at Spago than carve corners at Spa-Francorchamps. I’ve yet to see a driver take their “performance” SUV to a track day or autocross. A vehicle like this is at its best traversing the high-speed Autobahn between two European cities — or at least looking to other American “affluencers” as if that’s something you do.

The performance goodies and styling improvements on the AMG GLE53 look and sound great, but it’s hard to match it up against a proper competitor. BMW offers the less expensive and less powerful X5 xDrive40i (335 hp and 5.3 seconds from 0-60 mph) for nearly $10,000 less, and the more expensive, more powerful X5 M50i (523 hp, 4.1 seconds) for about $10,000 more. Audi has the much less expensive SQ5 (349 hp, 4.7 seconds), but not a more powerful (or expensive) version of the Q5. The even less expensive Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce comes only with a 280-hp turbo four-cylinder or in a fire-breathing 505-hp Quadrifoglio trim for a lot more money than the GLE53. A Jaguar F-Pace R-Dynamic is less powerful, less expensive and slower, while an F-Pace SVR is more powerful, more expensive and quicker. Mercedes-Benz is either being clever, finding a niche nobody else has explored, or it has misplaced and mispriced this trim level in an area nobody else finds worthy of the investment.

The AMG GLE53 SUV starts at $74,600 (including destination). The version I drove had some choice options, including a $2,990 red leather interior, 21-inch wheels, performance exhaust, heated and ventilated multicontour seats, and multiple option packages (Driver Assistance, Acoustic Comfort and AMG Performance), bringing the grand total up to $90,550.

So back to our original question: Is the GLE53 any good on its own? Yes, it really is. It provides a more engaging driving experience than a standard GLE, though it comes at the cost of that SUV’s stellar comfort and a few luxury amenities. It’s quick, it’s quiet and it’s certainly a better idea than the truly daft AMG GLE53 Coupe, which eliminates the standard GLE’s useful cargo area and backseat headroom in favor of questionable styling.

Comparing the AMG GLE53 SUV against competitors, however, makes the question more challenging. It really is in a class of one; competitor SUVs are either cheaper and less powerful (but sometimes quicker) or more expensive and a lot more powerful. But if the GLE53 can find a sweet spot, it’ll be as a more budget-friendly alternative to those models (if a $90,000 SUV can really be referred to as a “value” option) and a strong SUV on its own.


Published in Mercedes

The AMG gang in Affalterbach desperately wants you to know a few things about the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL-Class. One, they designed it. From scratch and with little help from the Benz mothership. Two, it barely shares a screw or rivet with the AMG GT Roadster they also designed. Three, despite the new SL having grown a pair of vestigial back seats and adding a few inches in length, it promises to be the sportiest SL roadster since the racing-derived 300SL from 1957. And four, thanks to miracles of modern science, this new R232 SL also promises to deliver comfort on par with—if not exceeding—that of its Mercedes-developed R231 predecessor.

Three months of engineering roundtable Zoom calls and even a low-speed ridealong event have sufficiently satisfied us on the first two points; it's the last two that we've been itching to verify. At long last we had the opportunity to flog both the SL55 and SL63 variants on a variety of highways and twisting roads. So, has AMG managed to channel the speed-record-setting, Mille Miglia-winning verve of the original W196 while making the car even more cosseting and comfy than the outgoing roadsters?

Mercedes-AMG SL Performance In A Straight Line

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL63 will undoubtedly go down in our record books as the quickest SL we've tested. Mercedes claims this 577-hp, 590-lb-ft beast will dash from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, thanks in large part to newly standard all-wheel-drive traction that guarantees none of those ponies or pound-feet gets squandered generating tire smoke or brake heat from traction-control intervention. Converting those estimates to account for MotorTrend launch-control test conditions and a 1-foot rollout will probably boil that number down to something much closer to 3.0 seconds flat. (The last two SL models we tested each beat Mercedes' conservative estimates by exactly half a second.) The SL55, running the exact same engine but with smaller turbos and slightly less aggressive tuning produces "just" 469 horsepower and 517 lb-ft. The AMG team reckons it'll give up three-tenths to the SL63.

2022 Mercedes AMG SL Class 192022 Mercedes AMG SL Class 19

For some perspective, that performance should rank the SL models somewhere about even with the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and GTS cabriolets, which is to say, ahead of the BMW M850i xDrive cab (3.9 seconds to 60 mph) and way out in front Lexus LC500 (4.7 seconds) in the bucks-up 2+2 cabrio set.

Trust us, if you never drive an SL63, that SL55 will seem like it has more than enough power. However, we might counsel those prepared to settle for the SL55 to consider opting for its AMG Dynamic Plus package, which brings with it a Race mode. We don't typically prefer Race modes because they usually disable all the stability controls, increasing amateurs' risk considerably. This one does not.

What it mostly does, in addition to heightening all the car's responses, is switch to a perfectly linear throttle response map. There's more gain earlier in the pedal travel in the Sport and Sport+ modes, which may make the car seem more eager and powerful, but at some cost to the predictability serious drivers prefer. The computer programming in Sport+ and Race modes devotes a bit of extra fuel to generating delightful pops and snorts on overrun. That feature is fun, but this mode also tends to deliver some harsher downshifts when slowing, which can feel like grabbing brakes (this never happened in Comfort mode).

We only got the SL63 up to triple-digit speeds briefly, but with the optional AMG Aerodynamics package, an air dam in front of the engine lowers 1.6 inches at speeds above 50 mph to help induce a venturi effect that helps suck the car down to the ground and reduce front-axle lift.


2022 Mercedes AMG SL Class 52022 Mercedes AMG SL Class 5

SL-Class Handling Behavior

These are heavy cars, pushing two-and-a-quarter tons. But AMG Active Ride Control, which connects opposite corners of the car hydraulically to limit body roll (as on various McLaren cars and now Rivian trucks), truly makes them feel as agile as cars weighing a half-ton less. This is another feature that's standard on the SL63, and available to help make your SL55 cost almost as much as a 63.

Clicking the steering-wheel-mounted drive mode selector clockwise relaxes the stability nannies somewhat, making the cars progressively more neutral in their handling demeanor, but there's no "drift mode," no option to bar torque from reaching the front axle. (That's right—unlike the AMG GT family, the SLs are all-wheel drive.) And hence, even an aggressive drive up Mount Palomar on a cool morning with slightly dewy road surface, we never once sensed Race mode allowing the tail to run wide. More than a little credit here is due the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires—265/40 front, 295/35 rear on the standard 20-inch rims, or 275/35 front and 305/30 on the optional 21s we mostly ran.

The carbon-composite brakes deserve honorable mention for being equally adept at shedding heroic speeds upon approach to a tightening-radius corner—corner after corner—as they are at executing a limousine stop in town. Both models share this standard six-piston front, single-piston rear brake system.

Steering feel changes as you switch modes, and we generally found the comfort mode to be a bit too light. The other modes don't heighten the driver's feel for the road, per se, but the firmer helm feels better. We were blissfully unaware of the four-wheel steering (standard on both models) doing its thing, except when executing exceptionally tight U-turns.

2022 Mercedes AMG SL Class 82022 Mercedes AMG SL Class 8

The California roads between Newport Beach and Palm Springs are relatively smooth, but we aimed for the bumpiest patches we could find and were impressed by the suspension compliance afforded in Comfort mode. The Sport and Race modes firm things up noticeably enough that we took the time to program the Individual mode with everything set to its raciest option and the suspension set to Comfort. This was our Goldilocks "just right" setting, but we also appreciated that individual characteristics (steering, ride, exhaust noise, etc.) can be easily adjusted on the fly using the round selector and twin toggle switches at the lower left side of the wheel, just opposite the main mode-selector switch. The super-rigid multi-material structure never seemed to twist or jiggle in response to bumps.

What's The Mercedes-AMG SL-Class Like To Live With?

Mostly wonderful. The cabin seems as quiet with the soft top up as the previous model did with its folding hard top raised. The Z-fold fabric roof lowers in 15 seconds at the touch of a button, and a switch allows all four windows to be lowered simultaneously. Happily, the sun visors swivel out, unlike on some convertibles. Raise the windows and pull up the mesh-screen wind blocker that covers the rear "seat" to keep the cabin remarkably calm and quiet even at highway speeds. In cooler weather, switch on the Airscarf neck-warmer to extend the top-down season (the cockpit isn't long enough to need the E-Class convertible's Air Cap windshield header air-management screen).

The center info screen adjusts between 12 and 32 degrees to prevent sun from reflecting directly into the driver's eyes, though the buttons for adjusting this (and for raising and lowering the top) can be hard to see when that glare prompts you to fix the screen. We're also not completely sold on a lot of the capacitive switchgear in use here. The mirror switch, for example, didn't seem to respond as expected. We have yet to experience capacitive switches we love.

As with all new Mercedes products, the all-digital instrument cluster can be set to display any of several different themes and tons of information, the most pertinent of which is redundantly shown on the head-up display (standard on 63, optional on 55). Track Pace screens will help folks monitor and improve their performance on their car country club track, and the additional stowage space behind the front seats and in the trunk should make the new SL much more useful as a daily driver.


2022 Mercedes AMG SL Class 562022 Mercedes AMG SL Class 56

We reckon the new car is comfortable enough to retain the SL faithful and sporty enough to pull some customers out of 911s, the BMW 8 Series, and Lexus LCs. Of those, the BMW's nearly 5 inches of added wheelbase gives it a slightly more usable rear seat (the SL's is only rated for passengers shorter than 5 feet tall). A lighter Porsche will always feel nimbler, and the Lexus design may turn more heads, but this Mercedes-AMG enjoys nearly seven decades of heritage, and this R232 pays legitimate homage to its very best SL progenitors.

When And How Much?

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL-Class will go on sale in the second quarter of 2022. Mercedes isn't talking pricing just yet, but it seems a safe bet to assume that since the new 2+2-seat SL is effectively replacing both the four-seat S-Class cabriolet and two-seat R231 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, pricing should represent an average of these models. Let's figure $132K for the SL55 and $175K for the SL63. That prices the new SL right in the thick of the 2+2-passenger convertible crowd.

Looks good! More details?

2022 Mercedes-AMG SL-Class Specifications  
BASE PRICE $132,000-$175,000 (est)
LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 2+2-pass, 2-door convertible
ENGINE 4.0L/469-577-hp/516-590-lb-ft twin-turbo direct-injected DOHC 32-valve V-8



Published in Mercedes
Monday, 20 December 2021 06:21

New Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 2022 review

The new Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 is AMG's first attempt at an all-electric car, and it packs a serious punch with 649bhp


The EQS 53 is a strong first effort from AMG when it comes to series production all-electric machines. Performance takes another step on compared with the standard EQS, but it’s actually the car’s ride and handling that are more impressive than the straight-line shove, given its hefty kerbweight. This bodes well for AMG’s electric future, and even more powerful and more focused models beyond the EQS 53.

After unveiling its first all-electric AMG model at the 2021 Munich Motor Show we’re now able to sample Mercedes’ performance future with its EQS 53 4MATIC+, a tuned and honed version from Affalterbach, AMG’s base, that offers more power, optimised aerodynamics and revised styling that’s more in keeping with the EQS AMG’s intent.

Let’s start with power. The car’s twin-motor set-up is supplied by a 108kWh battery as offered in the regular EQS, but the motors feature new windings and control software, so here the output is up to 649bhp and 950Nm of torque - or an incredible 751bhp and 1,020Nm of torque if you opt for the AMG Dynamic Plus package. For now, only the former is available in the UK.

The 0-62mph sprint is dispatched in 3.8 seconds (or 3.4 for the Dynamic Plus model) if you, but its straight-line performance isn’t even the EQS 53’s strongest point. Up to about 125mph, in most conditions performance is actually relatively similar to the regular EQS, in that both cars deliver their thump (the AMG a good chunk more) in a linear fashion, which means there are fewer differentiating characteristics that come from the powertrains.

Instead, it’s the 53’s tuned chassis that is more noticeable. Air suspension and rear-wheel steering both feature as standard, and as good as the regular EQS is, it weighs more than 2.5 tonnes, so the tweaks for this AMG model help keep that significant kerbweight in check.

AMG’s alterations to the set-up mean the EQS 53 feels lighter and more agile, as if the car has lost a few hundred kilos. It corners with more assurance, as you’d expect, and holds its line better; in fact, it feels more like a regular E-Class in how it handles than an all-electric limousine.

Albeit an E-Class with plenty of space, because the 5.2-metre long EQS 53 boasts a 610-litre boot and a big interior with lots of legroom in the back and plenty of bespoke AMG touches, include sports seats and a sports steering wheel, as well as a rotary controller for the driving modes.

You can choose from five settings that tweak the throttle and steering response, amongst other features - even the accompanying soundtrack changes - while the infotainment gives a read-out on performance data. Of course, the huge Hyperscreen panel is still present and works as well as we’ve come to expect from Mercedes.

In the default setting the EQS 53 wafts along in near-silence, offering impressive refinement. It’s comfortable too. Step things up and the soundtrack takes on a new personality, with a futuristic sound designed to reflect the performance on offer. 

It’s not comparable with a six, eight or twelve-cylinder AMG combustion engine when it comes to authenticity, but then this is a quality that the EQS 53 doesn’t struggle with overall anyway. If AMG continues like this, performance fans need not be worried about its future when it comes to electric mobility.

A few points remain unchanged anyway, as the EQS 53 commands a typically high AMG-style price, starting from £154,995. But at least a claimed range of up to 377 miles on a full charge, and 200kW rapid charging capability to match its regular EQS cousin give good flexibility. You’ll be able to top up the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in 31 minutes, while a 7kW home wallbox will take 15 hours and 30 minutes to fully replenish the battery.

Model: Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+
Price:  £154,995
Battery/motor:  108kWh/2x e-motors
Power/torque:  649bhp/950Nm
0-62mph:  3.8 seconds
Top speed:  155mph
Transmission:  Single-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Range:  377 miles (WLTP)
Charging:  200kW (10-80% in 31 mins)
On sale: Now


Published in Mercedes
Thursday, 09 December 2021 04:26

2022 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Review On Autobahn

One of the perks of living in Germany is having the option to head out and maximize your car without worrying about getting a speeding ticket. That’s because of the world-famous Autobahn, which has sections that don’t have a speed limit.

This is especially true if you’re driving a German car that isn’t afraid to stretch its legs. Case in point: the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, which received a major facelift last year. Now carrying a design that’s more in-line with the rest of the current AMG products, the E63 S is more than just a fast-looking vehicle – it’s actually quick and fast as seen on a video uploaded by YouTube’s AutoTopNL.

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The video above is actually a review done by the YouTuber. However, part of the channel’s routine is to test cars and their top speeds on the Autobahn, which happened around the 11-minute mark on the video review.

Towards the end of the video, you should catch the AMG E63 S reaching speeds of 186 miles per hour (300 kilometers per hour). What’s impressive was how the Merc was able to reach that speed easily; the presenter was hosting calmly and nonchalantly despite the high velocity. It’s like the car was born to conquer this section of the Autobahn. Although at this point, we’re not sure which one’s more impressive: the host or the car.
We also noticed the discipline among drivers on the high-speed thoroughfare. Despite only having two lanes, the fast lane was well respected by the drivers and slower vehicles tend to automatically move to the right whenever they notice a fast vehicle behind them.
Going back to the Merc, there won’t be a next-generation AMG V8, though the current one might stick around for a while. It’s not a secret that the German marque has ditched the development of V8 engines in favor of electrification and better emissions.


Published in Mercedes
Tuesday, 28 September 2021 04:21

Tested: Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe Exudes Elegant Menace

In a market of flashy and ferocious performance cars, AMG's two-door E53 is subtle yet effective.

We had the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E53 over a perfect weekend, hot enough to appreciate a luxury car with a vigorous air-conditioning system and ventilated leather seats, yet breezy enough to pop up the sunroof and let the pine scent of mountain air and the smooth thrum of the inline-six engine fill the cabin. This is a no-stress car to drive in a variety of environments, cushioned and sophisticated for the city-street crawl, small enough to park, yet ready and willing to switch modes—easily, with a dial on the steering wheel—and make short work of long straights and rising twisties.

Mercedes offers the AMG-tuned E-class as a sedan, a cabriolet (for those in need of uninterrupted sun or vast rear quarter panels), or the coupe we tested here. We've always liked the E53's version of AMG performance. It's no cheapie, starting at $77,300, but it delivers elegance and power for the price. The E53 isn't as rowdy or violent as its V-8-powered brethren, but it packs an unexpected punch, and we all like a sleeper. It's slightly less a sleeper for 2021, thanks to updated front and rear fascias. The somewhat stodgy grille has been replaced with the Panamericana 12-strake shark's grin found on other AMG models. At the back, quad exhaust outlets flank the rear diffuser.


2021 mercedesamg e53 coupe

HIGHS: Understated performance, seductive inline-six engine note, beautifully styled and finished.


Take this thing out and people move over, even when you're just cruising. Nobody wants a grinning shark in their rearview mirror. If you do want to get on it a bit, the super- and turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six is more than happy to help you make the pass. With 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, the AMG E53 is more than capable of putting traffic behind you. Think 60 mph in four seconds flat and a quarter-mile pass in 12.5 seconds at 110 mph. It's still possible to catch the car off guard with a hasty bit of throttle application, but it's more a slow downshift from the nine-speed automatic transmission than it is reluctance on the part of the powerplant. Doesn't matter; it's momentary. And then the revs are climbing, the scenery is blurring, and the camper van that waved you by is far back in the distance.

2021 mercedesamg e53 coupe
If the E53's exterior is somewhat subtle even with the redesign, the interior is like sitting inside a collector's-edition baseball mitt. Ours was a brash combination of black and brown leather. You may have grown tired of the mossy accumulation of faux suede in modern interiors—you won't find even a tuft of it in the E53. There is one optional interior with Dinamica suede, but our $100,160 test car was broad color blocks of leather everywhere. Mercedes's art-deco metal speaker covers and turbine-engine air-conditioning vents look a little anachronistic against the more modern door panels and carbon-patterned aluminum dash trim, but the overall effect is one of quality and confidence. The design elements continue through the whole of the cabin, with the back seats treated to the same motif: Everyone gets a big chunk of brown leather to rest an arm against. It's also very comfortable, although more so in front than in the back. There's plenty of headroom back there despite the arched coupe roofline, but legroom gets tight as the front seats go back, particularly at the foot box. As in most coupes, the rear is best saved for short journeys and people you don't like, although the lack of a B-pillar does lend an old-school Chevelle-like airiness to the back seats. We also wouldn't give it high marks for ease of child-seat installation, as there's a lot of quarter-panel between you and the LATCH anchors. This is a car for commuting and date night. Leave the kids at home.
2021 mercedesamg e53 coupe

LOWS: Fussy interior controls, occasional recalcitrance from the nine-speed transmission, can top six figures with options.

 The refreshed E53 gets the glitzy Mercedes MBUX infotainment system. A 12.3-inch center touchscreen merges with the digital dash in a wide sweep of glass that's impressive enough to elicit gasps from passengers who aren't used to such futuristic cockpits. It's controllable via touch, console touchpad, steering-wheel touch, and voice. The system is great—quick, clear, and compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—but we'd happily trade the haptic steering-wheel pads for old-fashioned buttons. The digital dash offers seemingly endless info and layouts, and we saw them all in rotation, thanks to accidental thumb swipes across the touch sensor every five minutes. It's a case of too many options just because you can. Similarly flashy and of dubious usefulness is the center screen's habit of displaying the view from the front-facing camera at stoplights. Thanks, Mercedes, but there's a little thing called a windshield here—we can already see what's in front. Precious seconds were lost switching it back to the CarPlay screen to see the next turn. A few more seconds will be spent fumbling to find the tiny Park button on the wee shifter lever. We can only imagine that the interior-design team at AMG consists of one designer with hands the size of dinner plates—they did the thick tree branch of a steering wheel—and another who is an actual fairy, responsible for the miniscule steering-wheel buttons and the delicate shifter stalk buried behind the big wheel.

2021 mercedesamg e53 coupe
After you've found the shifter and put it in Drive—a pinkie-out activity if ever there was one—the gentle part is over. It's not that you have to muscle the E53 around, but it lets you play rough with it. There's a tendency to say that any good-handling car feels lighter than it is. That's not the case with the E53. It feels every bit of its 4511 pounds, but it's a controllable weight, turning in smoothly while feeling planted. Comfort mode is a little soft and sluggish, but Sport feels excellent, firm enough for aggressive cornering, sharp in the steering, and upping the feline growl of the engine; we recorded an invigorating 85-decibel snarl at full throttle. Sport+ is the top option, but it makes for a less comfortable ride and mostly just ratchets up the harshness. As the 4Matic+ badge indicates, it does use the AMG-tuned version of Benz's all-wheel-drive system, which can send as much as 100 percent of the torque to the rear axle.

Shod with 20-inch run-flat Pirelli P Zero PZ4 Run Flat summer tires, our test car’s 0.87 g of skidpad grip couldn’t quite match the 0.91 g posted by a similar 2019 model we tested, and its so-so 172-foot stop from 70 mph was a few feet longer than that previous car's effort. More impressive is that the E53's performance is accompanied by a solid 32 mpg on our 75-highway test, a 4-mpg improvement over its EPA estimate.

2021 mercedesamg e53 coupe
If you're looking for a car to charm strangers and start conversations at gas stops, this isn't it. The Mercedes-AMG E53 coupe does not make friends. When we parked it in the cute hippie mountain town of Wrightwood, California, a couple of teens on bicycles immediately glared at us. "Gentrifiers," one whispered to the other. Okay, maybe not, but they thought it, and they weren't wrong. This car's appearance in a neighborhood means home prices are about to go up. It exudes the same elegant menace as the molten ball of mercury in Terminator 2, right before it morphed into a killing machine. It's intimidating on the road and when parked, which is good—a Mercedes should not endear you to people. It should make them think you're going to represent their corporate enemies in court and win. This is a winner's car. No wonder it's grinning.
Published in Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG GT63 E-Performance
The car will be part of the AMG E-Performance strategy, and according to some information, it will carry the designation Mercedes-AMG GT63 E-Performance (some sources mentioned the name Mercedes-AMG GT 73e).

Either way, it’s a Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe that got a Plug-In Hybrid drivetrain with a combination of a 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo petrol, electric motor, lithium-ion batteries and all-wheel drive.

The propulsion system will have a combined disposal of up to 600 kW / 816 hp and 1001 Nm, and acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour (96 km / h) should be less than three seconds.

It has not been announced yet how much autonomy there will be in Electric mode, but earlier announcements mention 50-60 km.

This model will, among other things, have a refined aero body kit, lighter wheels, as well as "V8 Biturbo E-Performance" markings.

The driver will be able to choose between five driving modes: Electric, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, Race and Individual.

After the premiere on September 1, this car will be exhibited at the Munich Motor Show (September 7-12).

Published in Blog/News
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Sunday, 31 January 2021 07:17

Mercedes-AMG G63 (2021) review: excess all areas


‘The old G-Class was a second or third car for most customers,’ Gunnar Guethenke (unsurprisingly nicknamed ‘Mr G’ as the head of Mercedes-Benz’s off-road division) told us back in 2018. ‘With the new model, we think it is a viable only car.’

That was a very big claim to make. Having tested one abroad and in the UK, though, we’re inclined to agree.

This G-Class represented the biggest shake-up in the model’s 40-odd-year history; the W463 model we all know and quietly admire had been on sale from 1990 until 2018. While there’s been little arguing about the streetside posing and rap-attack creds of the outgoing G, it drove, packaged and wobbled like a car knocking on the door of its 30th birthday party.

Here, we test the all-out AMG G63 variant.

What has changed with the latest G63?

Almost everything. Only three parts are carried over: the headlamp washers, the push-button door handles and the giant spare wheel cover bolted to the rear tailgate.

It’s still based around a sturdy (but new) ladder-frame chassis, built like steel girders to support a nearby suspension bridge more than a rich person’s plaything. Off it are hung steel and aluminium body panels, cleverly designed for maximum stiffness and a little less weight (mass falls by around 170kg, to a still-portly 2.5 tonnes).

Much of that heft is attributed to the serious off-roading hardware; the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class range comes as standard with three fully locking differentials (one at each axle and a central clutch, to maintain traction in all conditions) and a low-speed transfer box. Daimler claims this provision is unique among off-roading brethren.

Climb aboard the new G and you won’t confuse old and new cabins. The old G-Class had a woefully cramped passenger compartment; your elbows felt pinched by the door cards, rear-seat passengers had nowhere to put their feet and the instruments and electrical architecture reflected the Betamax generation from which they hailed.

The new car is bigger, for starters: 53mm longer and 64mm wider, for superior packaging. It shows – even full-sized adults will be comfy in either row, and the rear bench can accommodate two, or even three, grown-ups thanks to thinner front seats and an impressively almost flat floor. The boot is an adequate 454 litres, pinched by the sub-woofer on the left and fuel tank on the right. Access it via the mother of all side-hinged, heavy tailgates which now locks into place at any extension so it won’t blow shut in a high wind.

Most striking of all is the E-class instrumentation that’s transformed the dashboard: giant twin 12.3in digital displays are standard in UK models (elsewhere you can order retro physical dials, should you fancy) and all the latest Merc trickery is present and correct. So you can now enjoy Apple CarPlay to sync your phone, skip around the menus using wheel-mounted thumb trackpads and there’s even a wifi hotspot. On a G-wagen!

Oh, and there’s still a sturdy grab handle in front of the passenger, as a permanent reminder that this car is still all about scaling serious inclines more than the next playlist.

What’s the AMG G63 like to drive?

You quickly sense how thorough this overhaul is. The G might look incredibly similar from outside, all the way down to those faux rain gutters and sturdy exposed hinges that riff on the G aesthetic, but it’s essentially very modern.

This full-monty AMG G63 which brings the mother of all twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8s with a faintly ludicrous 569bhp and 627lb ft all the way from 2500-3500rpm. There’s also a G350d available in the UK, which we’ve ran as a long-termer.

The AMG G63 So it’s neck-snappingly quick, with 0-62mph in a claimed 4.5sec and you can derestrict it up to 149mph if you’re feeling especially brave. Performance is accompanied by the rudest of V8 blare, exaggerated in Sport mode to bounce off walls and draw even more attention than the set-square boxy G-Class already musters.

The old one was fast, too, but felt like it was about to hurl you off the road at the first sign of a corner or bump. The new chassis delivers a quantum leap in ride and handling, soaking up the majority of road scars and – praise be! – delivering something approaching steering response and feel.

Thank the new electric rack and pinion steering, replacing the stick-in-porridge accuracy of the old recirculating ball set-up. Look: the new G-Class might be lighter but it’s still nearly 2.6 tonnes and you’ll never make that much metal truly agile, but the new G-Class has a damn good go at it. There’s still some hefty body roll – something you clearly have to expect from an enormous box that’s lifted several feet off the ground – but, again, it’s a marked improvement from the old one.

The chunky tyres (up to 22 inches in diameter, and down to 18s on Euro-spec models) give up the ghost first, squealing like a pig escaping the abbatoir, but body control and general poise are to be applauded. Driving the G-wagen is a lesson in upright boxiness, those perpendicular windows affording a fine view out – the bubble-wrap front indicators acting as a gun sight as you haul in the hot hatch hooligan up ahead.

Will the new G-wagen off road like a Land Rover?

You bet. The G-Class has always been about genuine mud-plugging, as befits its ongoing military application among governments around the world. And the new one (still codenamed W463; it’s too iconic a badge to change, apparently) does more of the same.

Proper ground clearance (241mm), stubby ends for goat-like departure (30º), approach (31º) and breakover (26º) angles mean the new G-Class can scamper up the most extraordinary terrain.

The locking differentials help here, and you can adjust them on the fly at speeds of up to 30mph. You can feel each individual wheel grabbing at the ground and the low-speed transfer case means you can descend steep hills on tickover, as engine braking does its thing. It’s frankly incredible off-road – right up there with the best from Land Rover or Jeep.

Mercedes-AMG G63: verdict

There’s some truth to Guethenke’s claim that the new G is a jack-of-all-trades. It can be a viable only car – so long as you don’t mind the ostentation, the steep running costs and the image, which is part gangster-swagger, part military, part supercar slayer. It’s an extraordinarily versatile car and one gifted with that oft-forgotten automotive talent: character.

Source: carmagazine.co.uk

Published in Mercedes

The compact AMG station wagon is a sportier utility vehicle—but it's not available here.

Many Americans still think of "mom" and "station wagon" in the same sentence, ignoring that the ubiquitous modern SUV is essentially the 21st century's Wagon Queen Family Truckster. But in Europe, wagons are still cool, still the preferred utility vehicles for people with sporty lifestyles. And the faster the wagon, the cooler it is. Which makes the 2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S wagon about as cool as long-roof load luggers come.

The C63 S wagon is of course the E63 S 4Matic+ wagon's little brother, 11.5 inches shorter, 3.8 inches narrower, 1.3 inches lower, and rolling on a 3.9-inch-shorter wheelbase. It's powered by the same 503-hp, 516-lb-ft version of Daimler's versatile 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 as the AMG GLC63 S Coupe sold Stateside, rather than the big-hitter 603-hp, 627-lb-ft engine of the E-Class version. Can't have the 600-pound-lighter—and, in the U.K., the 23 percent cheaper—little brother upstaging things, can we?

The C63 S wagon's lighter weight is partly because, well, it's smaller, and also because it doesn't have the bigger car's 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system. By Daimler's own numbers, it's about half a second slower to 62 mph than the E 63 S 4Matic+ wagon, which suggests a zero to 60 time of about 3.5 seconds. Given the heavier, all-wheel-drive AMG GLC63 we tested a few years back recorded a zero to 60 time of 3.2 seconds, that might be a touch pessimistic. And there's nothing in it in terms of top speed between the two; Daimler says the E 63 S is good for 180 mph, while the C63 S will do 174.

A 2018 face-lift added the toothy AMG grille up front and a new rear diffuser, plus the option of 19-inch forged alloy wheels instead of the regular 18-inchers. Interior upgrades included a 12.3-inch digital dash and 10.5-inch infotainment screen, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with touchpad controls on the spokes, and a rotary mode controller similar to Porsche's Sport Chrono unit.

While the engine remained untouched, the old seven-speed torque-converter auto was replaced with AMG's nine-speed wet-clutch automatic, and it added an e-diff. AMG Traction Control—the same nine-stage system first seen on the AMG GT R—was made standard on the S. The AMG Dynamic Select system offers five predetermined driver modes, along with an Individual mode that allows you to choose the engine, gearbox, steering, and exhaust settings. AMG Ride Control manages the steel springs and adaptive shocks, and the AMG Dynamics system enables you to manage the ESP settings and torque distribution to the rear axle through four further settings: Basic, Advanced, Pro, and Master.

What's it all add up to? A rambunctious little thug of a wagon, that's what. Next to the C63 S, the E63 S seems calmer, more mature—if any station wagon with Saturn V thrust, a rolling thunder soundtrack, and Drift mode could be called calm and mature. The C63 S feels livelier, noisier, busier, especially at 120 mph or more on the autobahn, where the shorter wheelbase and different suspension settings mean high-speed turn-in response feels more aggressive, and there's much more vertical motion through the chassis. The rear drive balance is real rather than digitally remastered; accessing Drift mode in this thing simply requires turning the traction control off, instead of the video-game cheat code sequence of button presses, paddle pulls, and menu fiddling E63 drivers must engage to defeat the AWD and access its rear-drive mode.

It might not have the brute power of the E63 S, but Lordy it's still fast. On a trip that saw us in a single day dispatch the 700 miles between London and Dresden in eastern Germany, we averaged 100 mph on one 55-mile stretch of autobahn that included more than 5 miles of slow running through construction. The C63 S cruised easily at 130-140 mph when traffic allowed, and on one stretch we saw an indicated 156 mph.

The best thing about the C63 S wagon? Not just that it flies, but that it flies below the radar. Unless you're an enthusiast, it could be one of tens of thousands of diesel C-Class wagons running around Europe on fancy AMG wheels. There's something deeply engaging about a supercar that to most people looks like an ordinary grocery getter. It has utility. But it's very, very sporty.

Source: motortrend.com

Published in Mercedes

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