Mercedes-AMG has finally lifted the lid on its new mild-hybrid CLS53, unveiling 53-badged versions of its E-Class coupé and cabriolet at the same time.

Set to debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the latest models introduce a fresh model designation: the 53-series. At each model’s heart lies a new, electrified 3,0-litre petrol engine featuring a conventional exhaust gas turbocharger as well as an electric auxiliary compressor.

The six-cylinder in-line petrol unit generates 320 kW and 520 N.m, while its so-called “EQ Boost” starter-alternator “momentarily” adds 16 kW and 250 N.m, furthermore feeding the 48V on-board electrical system. All three models boast nine-speed automatic transmissions and fully variable all-wheel drive.

The new 53-badged models are visually set apart by their twin-blade radiator grilles (a trait previously reserved for the V8 models), front apron designs, AMG-specific side-sills, new rear aprons (with diffuser inserts) and 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,” said Mercedes-AMG chief, Tobias Moers.

The automaker says the new Mercedes-AMG CLS53 4Matic+ accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4,5 seconds, before topping out at 250 km/h (or 20 km/h higher with the driver's package specified). Combined fuel consumption for this model comes in at a claimed 8,4 L/100 km. The E53 Coupé is one-tenth quicker at a claimed 4,4 seconds, while the E53 Cabriolet also takes a claimed 4,5 seconds.

Affalterbach says 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 brand says the 3,0-litre engine reacts “extremely spontaneously and provides a highly dynamic response without turbo lag”.

Mercedes-AMG CLS53