Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, Photos by Garvin St. Villier
Much love and respect to Mercedes-Benz for dropping off the 2020 AMG E 53 Coupe in an Iridium Silver metallic coat to enjoy essentialism in. It’s not quite the power play as an AMG V8, but 4.3 seconds in 0 to 60 mph from the German’s 429-horsepower AMG-enhanced 3-liter inline-6 turbocharged was highly enjoyable on mostly empty roads. An AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed transmission, 19″ AMG twin 5-spoke rims, AMG Performance 4MATIC AWD, an active AMG Sport Exhaust system finished in black ($1,250) that pops upon acceleration, and the combined 24.6″ digital instrument cluster and central display add depth and ambitious character to the fiery coupe. As far as recollection, there were no abnormalities sensed during drive time.
The technical specimen was advanced in every category from performance and handling to the artificial intelligence (AI) inside the cabin that is more akin to a supercomputer and IMAX pairing. The combined 12.3″ instrument cluster / 12.3″ augmented video navigation is the brains behind the brawn. With torque rated at 384, you wouldn’t think this vehicle is as fast as it is. But let’s not forego the weight to power ratio and $2,850 worth of carbon fiber elements that certainly lighten the load. Expect 28 highway and 21 city miles per gallon. Mercedes-Benz surely knows how to churn out power from their energetic V6 blocks.
Most times, I wanted to relax and drive slow until aggression was needed. Yet, the vehicle features so many entertaining aspects that I mostly remained docile. Engaging AMG DYNAMIC SELECT allows the driver to customize the AMG, including Sport, Sport +, Comfort, and Individual modes. Furthermore, you can adjust the mannerisms of each performance package to your liking. For example, in Individual, I tweaked the exhaust, steering, transmission, and suspension to my liking. To be specific, I was able to change the Drive component to Reduced, Moderate, Sport, or Dynamic while the suspension could be adjusted to Comfort, Sport, or Sport +. Lastly, Track Pace is allocated for weekend warriors who choose to rip straightaways with their German sled. It will record your lap times on a specific track of choice such as Circuit Ricardo Tormo, set you up for drag racing, and monitor braking performance. The race-inspired AMG Performance steering wheel features quick access to Manual shift mode, AMG RIDE CONTROL, the 3-stage ESP, AMG Performance Exhaust System, and the driving mode of AMG DYNAMIC SELECT.
AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive emboldens the ride by regularly sending torque to the wheels with traction for better cornering and wet weather road conditions. I tried to spin the vehicle out on purpose in an open lot with ESP set to Sport, but the AMG E 53 Coupe wasn’t having it. The car remained grounded. 4MATIC is paired with 19″ AMG twin 5-spoke rims with black accents and sticky 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear all-season Michelin Extended Mobility tires. An AMG Performance Braking System consists of perforated 14.6″ front rotors and silver-painted 4-piston fixed calipers and 14.2″ rear discs. Couple all this with the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission’s paddle shifters, and you’ll always be ready to rock.
Inside the cockpit, a clever mix of carbon, leather, and metals such as the aggressive speaker grilles, conforming seats, and abounding technology will satisfy the soul once the various controls, AI, and settings become familiar territory. Its Classic Red/Black Nappa Leather Upholstery ($2,990) was pleasing to everyone entering the AMG. I also enjoyed the AMG Head-up Display ($1,100), Surround View System, ATTENTION ASSIST, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, and the turbine-like vents that cool and heat outstandingly. Fluorescent cabin lighting and the air freshener was a hit with my wife and daughters. The legroom in the rear was commendable as well. The advanced COMAND Touchpad Controller’s corresponding apps are helpful; nevertheless, it’s still quite confusing to operate. I’m also not a fan of the gear stalk on the steering wheel opposed to a proper hand shifter on the center console. With any M-B, I confuse it with the windshield wiper.
The AMG is so mad but so beautiful. My 2020 AMG E 53 Coupe totaled $95,545 with an MSRP of $74,950. With German luxury manufacturers, you certainly have to pay to play.