The E43 will become the E53, and get an electric motor during the transition.Mercedes-AMG recently expanded its lineup with a full line of 43-badged models that are less powerful, less hardcore, and less expensive than the 63-branded cars. A recent report indicates the 43s will soon become 53s, and get an electric motor during the transition.AMG is developing a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain built around the new 3.0-liter straight-six that debuted recently under the hood of the face-lifted S-Class. The turbocharged six-cylinder will generate 429 horsepower on its own, while an electric motor will provide a 70-horse boost when needed.
The 53s will be regular hybrids. You won't be able to plug them in, and they won't be capable of driving on electricity alone. Australian magazine Wheels explains using a plug-in system would present packaging issues that are difficult and costly to overcome.
Still, the hybrid powertrain will provide a healthy jump in power. Currently, the E43 (pictured) uses a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 396 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. However, it will be interesting to monitor what effect the extra weight added by the hybrid components will have on performance and agility.
Wheels has learned the first 53-badged car will the third-generation CLS, which is scheduled to make its official debut next year at the Geneva Auto Show. Its stablemates -- including the E, C, GLC, and SLC -- will quickly adopt the new setup.
Photos by Byron Hurd.