Mercedes-Benz, India’s best-selling car is the E-Class, available here as a long wheelbase. The ‘E”s luxury appointments, near-class space and ability to deliver both comfort and performance are what buyers value most.
Earlier this year, MB India launched a car with a completely different lettering, although it carried the ‘E’ badge. The Mercedes-AMG E53 4MATIC+ cabriolet is a lot bigger than the E-Class LWB, although it’s also a lot lower in some other areas. This is a compact convertible that will let you get from the top down in a snap. And gives you the chance to discover the potential of a true blue AMG — a legendary badge preloaded with the promise of sporty performance. The two-door E53 Cabriolet is much smaller, not very practical for everyday use or frankly even for holiday driving, and at ₹1.3 crore, it’s not for everyone. Despite its small target audience, however, it remains an important addition to Merc’s AMG portfolio. Full credit to MB India for bringing more depth and variety to garages in India. More options always expand the market.
Building a convertible is not easy. Cutting off the roof at the A, B and C pillars is not how engineers make a convertible out of a coupe. In fact, in most cases, in the development of a coupe and a convertible, the front to back and the main engineering of the car is the convertible. Structural integrity and passenger compartment safety requirements are more complex than for a convertible. The E53 4MATIC+ Cabriolet is integrated with a range of safety devices, such as a ‘safety roll bar’ that fits in the area behind the rear seats. In the absence of pillars B and C, this roll bar will deploy automatically if rollover risk is detected. This is a convertible with a soft top, frame and fabric roof that can be folded and tucked neatly into a dedicated section just in front of the trunk. The entire process of opening or closing the roof takes only about 20 seconds and can be done even when the E53 Cabriolet is running at speeds up to 50 km/h.
The rear of the E53 features a slim, wrap-around LED taillight, divided by a narrow trunk lid | Image credit: BIJOY GHOSH
One might think this is a luxury boat meant to impress the neighbors when the roof is folded down. But with a fabric hood (designated here as classic brown), this AMG looks taut, sporty and race-ready. The design of the E53 is underrated and luxurious, a combination that works well on the way convertibles naturally attract attention. Even if one can’t see the badges on the front grille and rear trunk lid, there are some signature AMG design elements that point to the E53’s genetic background. The A-shaped Panamericana bonnet grille with vertical slats, long bonnet overhangs and 19-inch AMG alloy wheels are telltale signs of the E53 Cabriolet’s forerunner and point to its potential. hidden in the engine compartment. The AMG also features high-performance LED headlights, a large front fender spoiler and special MANUFACTUR paint finishes, including the ‘optimal magno block’ you see in these photos.
The E53’s minimalist design principles extend aside, where the classic Cabriolet profile means gradual curves at the waist and shoulders, emerging from the headlights and ending at the AMG spoiler on the trunk lid. The compact cabin leads to a long trunk area, including the part where the fabric roof folds up and is stored. The back of the E53 features a slim, wrap-around LED taillight, divided by a narrow trunk lid. The rear fender diffuser surrounds the dual exhaust pipes giving an image of performance even at the rear. The E53 Cabriolet is said to offer a trunk volume of 371 liters, although the spare wheel makes up a lot of that. A small suitcase and some soft bags can be stowed in the trunk, but there are no spares, and if the rear seats are folded, there’s enough space for a weekend’s worth of luggage.
The interior of the E53 AMG is a classic Mercedes-AMG cabin. It has a slightly ‘cozy’ feel — compact but classy and distinctive. The E-class dashboard layout with 12.3-inch infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster is combined into one long floating display. The entire panel is a combination of stitched leather panels and beautifully finished ash wood trim IP, giving it a distinctive feel with the hollow wood paneling (in my test mule). There is also the option of specifying this in carbon fiber or matte aluminum.
Similarly, the cabin color theme in my test mule is black and red, although it can also be chosen in an all-black or black-brown combination. The front seats themselves are beautifully crafted in nappa leather with an extremely sporty construction. Side rails provide excellent horizontal support, and 10-way power adjustment means you only need to push a few buttons to get the perfect sitting position. The front seats are also heated and cooled, and it was one of the best sensations when leaving the perspiration vented seats on my back on a hot Mumbai afternoon.
The dashboard has an E-class layout with a 12.3-inch infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster combined into one long floating display | Image credit: BIJOY GHOSH
The rear seats are nowhere near as comfortable. Getting in the back takes a bit of effort after shifting the front seats, although it’s electrically assisted. The bigger problem is the relatively less leg, knee and headroom in the rear. With the need for space to tuck the folding fabric roof, the backrest of the rear seats also cannot recline. Cabriolet is not really for the family; Most will be quite uncomfortable sitting in the back and that will be worse if the driver tries to have fun on a windy track. Bend over and fold the fabric back is a simple exercise. In addition to this control button on the center console, behind the rear seats there is a dedicated button to raise and lower the airfoil, which works in conjunction with the spoiler right on the top of the windshield to keep the wind from entering the cabin when driving. car. from top to bottom.
Some of the other features in the cabin include Merc’s signature turbine air vents, windshield display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for the infotainment system, LED ambient lighting and Burmester music system. The MBUX infotainment system also offers built-in voice command functions. The flat-bottomed AMG steering wheel wrapped in nappa leather integrates a number of touch controls with haptic feedback. The steering wheel-mounted mode selector and personalized control knobs protrude, and because they’re backlit, they’re easy to adjust without taking your eyes off the road. I was a bit worried about the E53’s cabin comfort, but was pleasantly surprised to find the air conditioning working very efficiently. Noise levels in the cabin are slightly above that of an average luxury sedan. But mostly only the shrill road noises like car horns and construction get in.
E53 4MATIC + cabriolet is equipped with a 3-liter turbocharged, in-line 6-cylinder gasoline engine. The 2,999cc sports twin-scroll turbocharger and also gets Merc’s EQ Boost support. So in addition to the 435hp peak power of the inline-six, the battery-electric hybrid offers an additional 22hp. Similarly, the maximum torque produced by the engine is 520Nm and the EQ booster allows an additional 250Nm of instantaneous torque to be transmitted to the wheels. The starter motor and generator combination acts as a powerful electric motor in providing parallel-assisted hybrid functions. So while helping out of the garage quietly, the E53 can also sprint with electric assistance to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. The battery is charged using regenerative braking, but the system also allows travel (slide mode) depending on the state of charge of the 1 kWh battery pack.
The engine is mated to an AMG Speedshift 9G TCT automatic transmission. This is a sporty, quick-shifting torque converter gearbox suitable for gasoline-electric engines. The driver also has the option to manually shift gears using steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The exhaust turbocharger starts early and allows maximum torque to be generated starting from as low as 1,800 rpm. Torque can also be sent to all four wheels thanks to the fully variable 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. Despite its two-ton weight, the E53 cabriolet is incredibly fast and sprints so eagerly that it might surprise onlookers who might have been fooled by its relatively minimalist, not-over-the-top design. its advancement. The exhaust note is an interesting growl, though not too loud. When from above, the growl of the exhaust was more appealing to hear, even as the wind howled around my ears.
E53 4MATIC + cabriolet is equipped with a 3-liter turbocharged, in-line 6-cylinder gasoline engine. | Image credit: BIJOY GHOSH
The vehicle’s settings can be adjusted for a more personalized driving experience, although there are also three preset driving modes to choose from — Comfort, Sport and Sport+. In addition to the obvious difference in throttle response and steering weight, the three modes also have differences in the behavior of the air suspension. With the sporty performance genes decisively set for its platform, the air suspension is also solid. It’s relatively snappy in comfort mode, although that can send quite a bit of feedback from really bad roads. Handling damaged runways and reducers will have to be done carefully at slow speeds. But the real purpose of the suspension comes to life when it comes to handling corners. There’s a lot more balance and precision even from the steering input. There’s a lot of fun to owning an E53 AMG even within the speed limit. But this is an AMG that can be truly enjoyed at the limits (more of yours than of the car) just on the track. For added convenience of tracking your performance, there’s the AMG Track Pace, making the E53’s systems a virtual track engineer. Information such as lap times, course and acceleration times, and even live telemetry data can be generated to allow drivers to analyze and improve their driving skills on closed roads.
The E53 4MATIC+ AMG cabriolet is not for the average luxury car buyer. This focuses on buyers who know exactly what they are buying. They are owners-drivers, they want the performance potential of an AMG, they know this is not an all-weather mule and they don’t mind spending ₹1.3 crore- plus for this cabriolet. It could also be the second or third Merc in their garage. I was lucky enough to drive around the E53 on a recent overcast day in Mumbai. However, while it may not be the weather for convertibles right now, it could be the time to start planning for the upcoming winter months, when the weather will be perfect. for open-top driving.