Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, Photos by Garvin St. Villier
Welcome to the exalted world of Mercedes-AMG, also known to my urban automotive comrades as Assault Machines from Germany. What can I say? These game day performers are well-built, energetic, and digitally savvy. For the 2021 model, patrons can expect the latest innovations in artificial intelligence, aerodynamics, engine efficiency with electric power boosts, and advanced safety systems that make you wonder who is in control, you or your AMG.
To understand the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe in entirety, I took it for a road trip from Maryland to Philadelphia to visit family. What amazed me the most was that I drove the designo Patagonia Red Metallic sports car around my way for five days, then made a roundtrip Highway 95 excursion, and still have not had to hit the pump. In years past, an AMG would have drained your pockets twice a week. Yet, advanced mechanical ingenuity in the form of the 3-liter inline-6 turbo engine (not hand-built) with EQ Boost creates both respected power and much-needed efficiency due to human’s over-exceeding carbon footprint. This package delivers 429-horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, which gets out, but not in your face as I imagine the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Sedan and menacing Wagon would present with their hand-built AMG 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo engines distributing 603-horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. Wow!
My Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe was paired with the intelligent AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed transmission with ECO start/stop (not a favorite), AMG DYNAMIC SELECT, and stealthy AMG paddle shifters that enhance the new racing AMG Performance steering wheel. It is bad to the bone while hinting at the AMG’s semblance of power. Once seated in the AMG seats with adjustable side bolsters and in-depth massage capabilities, I immediately felt like racing GOAT Lewis Hamilton and became inextricably bound to the new wheel, which now hosts two round AMG Drive Unit buttons and seamlessly integrated controls. With these buttons, you can scroll through the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT modes and choose Sport or Individual, for example. Though, this setup reminds me of BMW’s steering wheel operated M1 and M2 buttons. You can also turn off the Electronic Stability Program from here. Moreover, AMG DYNAMIC SELECT can be customized from the AMG Track Pace MBUX App in the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system. Let’s also not forget the AMG Sport Suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL and the immaculate gripping capabilities of performance 4MATIC+ which is initiated as a RWD-biased all-wheel-drive system until traction is required at either wheel.
For styling, the E 53 is sporty and gorgeous. It’s not as muscled and mean as the original AMGs, but perfectly balanced with aggressive and beautiful attributes. Updated AMG features include the restyled front section with AMG-specific radiator grille and redesigned robotic LED headlamps, two-piece all-LED tail lamps, revised rear bumper and new diffuser insert, and standard aerodynamically-balanced 20” alloy twin 5-spoke rims. The sliding panorama roof is rather large for a coupe and the tilting feature accents the vehicle’s outline perfectly along with the rear spoiler. Albeit, I don’t think the quad circular exhaust tip design exemplifies the thundering nature of the AMG Performance Exhaust System. Yet, you can actuate the active feature for a bit more harmony when accelerating.
Mercedes-AMG vehicles are spearheaded by artificial intelligence from MBUX operated by an advanced touch controller and displayed on dual 12.3” widescreen displays. LINGUATRONIC voice control and augmented video for navigation are two critical attributes of MBUX. I am not a fan of touchpads, especially those featured in Lexus, Acura, and Audi, but M-B has perfected it. Scrolling through the right-side screen, I was impressed by the active multi-contour seat app with bolster adjustments and various massages such as the waving massage or active workout massage. Trust me, the Black Nappa Leather w/ Red Stitching seats alone earned the admiration of all occupants. Red seatbelt straps were a hit too, and the aluminum with longitudinal grain surfaces was the ideal material for an AMG. The Multicolor Ambient Lighting app offers various hues to set the proper mood, like Ocean Blue, Red Moon, and Purple Sky, my daughter’s favorite. My wife fell in love with the Ionization and Air Freshener feature that is part of the dual-zone automatic climate control. Also, keep in mind that MBUX is learning your habits, such as who you called at a specific time on a particular day, and may appropriately suggest the same the following week. Are you ready for such? I’m not and wondering if that element can be deactivated.
The passivity of the 2021 E Class is nonexistent as these models are attentive and fully aware. Brake Assist System, Active Brake Assist, and Active Emergency Stop Assist, for example, were helpful when I began accelerating as the light turned green, and the vehicle in front suddenly stopped, which precipitated the AMG Coupe to do the same. Yet, it reacted far sooner than I did. Then you have Surround View System that virtually shows the world outside when stopped at an intersection. Another feature is Route-Based Speed Adaptation, which reads speed limit road signs and slows you down appropriately. For ultimate protection, the Mercedes-AMG also utilizes ATTENTION ASSIST, Active Parking Assist, PRE-SAFE Predictive Occupant-Protection System, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, and PRE-SAFE PLUS (Rear-End Collision Protection). Again, is it you or the Benz doing all the critical thinking?
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe is Another Magnificent German. Starting at $76,250 and topping out at $88,720, this is what you call a performance coupe, because functionally, the Mercedes-AMG is subservient to none!