When I was growing up and flipped through my Car and Driver or Road and Track magazines, while in my dreams, I longed for the exotic Lamborghini, Porsche or Ferrari, the juvenile realist in me saw that the coolest car within reach was a two-door coupe. Almost any fit the bill; if it had two doors, it was cool. My first real “sports car” was a 1996 Ford Probe GT, a sleek looking pop-up light coupe that some of you may remember. For me, it was exquisitely beautiful, fast and cool as hell. The love of coupes ran deep in the automotive DNA. But, time has a way of mutating or evolving the DNA.
Over the decades, the coupe has lost its nostalgia. The public’s love for SUV’s, pure sports cars and the more practical and arguably better looking 4 door coupe have all, but eliminated the infatuation we once had with the two-door coupe. In this era, insteps Mercedes with a revamped coupe offering. Taking the tried and tested E Class sedan platform and subtracting two doors and resculpting the sheet metal, the AMG E53 presents as an extremely masculine yet sleek vehicle, endowed with an advanced drivetrain technology.
The AMG’s E53 power comes via a 3.0L Turbo Inline 6. The result is 429 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque. Furthermore, a third boosting system called an EQ Boost starter-alternator briefly provides an additional 21 horsepower, plus 184 lb.-ft. of torque and also feeds the 48-volt on-board electrical system. All this power is routed through AMG’s SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed transmission. Delivery of this technologically advanced thrust occurs through Mercedes’ 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system that can uniquely route up to 100% of the power to the rear wheels. All of this translates into a nearly 4.0-second sprint to 100 km/h, slightly edging out sister vehicles like the CLS 53. The addition of the EQ Boost system makes for a fun and spirited drive. Tipping the scales at just over 4510 pounds, the E53 coupe is not a track bread and tuned machine, it’s a grand tourer that can hit the B-roads with gusto and excites you all the while.
The interior is standard E Class fair, yet it’s an extremely comfortable place to be with added AMG flair. With ample room, both aft and stern tall co-pilots can enjoy the ambiance offered by the E53 without their heads or knees being abused. The spanning LCD screen flowing across the cockpit commands the interior. Combined with what could easily be considered the most advanced ambient lighting system this side of a Planetarium laser show and you have one of the nicest all be glitzy interiors on the market. The E-class has yet to adopt Mercedes-Benz’s most updated Infotainment System as seen in the entry-level CLA series, but it is intuitive nonetheless. However, it can appear overly deep in features at times.
With an as-tested price of $102,250.00 CAD the E53 sets to revive our long lost love with coupes. It presents as a very capable grand tourer, a mini S-class coupe if you would. It reminded me of my fondness for the style and truly represented a different driving feel when compared to the CLS or E Class sedan. While Mercedes has no plans to produce an E63 V8 variant, the E53 coupe represents a high-performance touring car with poise and composure and a soundtrack from a snarling straight-six that will beg you to stretch its legs whenever the moment arises.