Bay Harbour: July 17, 2019

StarMedia.Digital

PAGE 18 BAY HARBOUR

Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi

Wednesday July 17 2019

Strong styling from Mercedes-Benz coupe

Motoring

Ross Kiddie

MY THOUGHTS are that if you

are paying over $180k for a new

car you’d at least expect it to look

the part.

That is certainly what Mercedes-Benz

has done with its E

Class coupe line-up. Well, the

entire E Class series looks pretty

spectacular, it arrives here in

sedan, coupe and convertible, and

each has presence, its size, shape

and detailing combine to give an

overwhelming sense of purpose.

The latest generation E Class

has been around since 2016 and

I’ve driven three variants, culminating

in this evaluation, the E53

AMG coupe.

I’m very enthusiastic about

the turbocharged V8 engine that

powers many models in the Mercedes-Benz

AMG performance

range, that generally has the

nomenclature 63, and at around

$200k the sedan would probably

be my pick.

However, the E53 coupe is not

disgraced as it, too, is a true performance

vehicle. Under the bonnet

sits a twin-turbocharged V6

engine of 2999cc. That engine is

also carried across the Mercedes-

Benz range with varying outputs

and in each case has remarkable

sound through the exhaust. In

the E53 that sound is still there, it

barks and spits during gear shifts

both up and down. The constant

rumble out the pipes can’t quite

be heard to the same extent as it

is in the soft-top, but the coupe

definitely has an audible presence.

I simply love it, I was forever blipping

the throttle and forcing shifts

just to hear the boom and crackle.

In terms of power outputs,

Mercedes-Benz claims 320kW

and 520Nm. If you add to that the

constant turbocharged boost you

know you are in for some excitement

when the roads allow a bit

of freedom.

Mercedes-Benz also claims a

4.4sec standstill to 100km/h time,

and by my stopwatch it will lunge

through a highway overtake in

just under 4sec (80-120km/h).

These are impressive times, but fit

well with the sporty nature of the

coupe, it has the performance to

match its powerful looks.

Yet, the big coupe is also docile

when the roads don’t allow for

performance, it will dawdle the

city streets without taxing the

driver, indeed the entire driving

experience is one of comfort

and relaxation. So competent is

MERCEDES-BENZ E53 COUPE: Dynamic performance and looks.

it at speed that the driver doesn’t

need to work hard to maintain

momentum, everything the E53

does, it does with ease.

On a stormy early winter

weekend I took the evaluation car

to Windwhistle before returning

to the city through Hororata

and Dunsandel. I had intended

to go further west towards Lake

Coleridge power station, but the

roads were tricky with snow piled

to the sides and ice a major threat.

However, I felt at ease in the E53,

it is majorly competent because

drive is channelled through a

nine-speed automatic transmission

to all four wheels.

On the greasy wet roads it was

great to have the reassurance

4WD offers, grip is high, and

even though there was a lot of

water under the tyres they never

felt like they would lose traction.

What’s more the driveline feels

biased towards the rear, promoting

a sporty feeling, powering out

of a corner lends to the sensation

that oversteer would be available,

of course, you can’t break traction

thanks to the trick control

systems, but the car does provide

all of the feel-good factors that a

dynamic suspension and driveline

offer.

There are also suspension settings

the driver can dial in for

him/herself. That’s the beauty of

an air suspension set-up, the ride

is glorious, yet can be firmed or

softened at will. If you haven’t

driven a car which utilises air

underneath, then I suggest you

give it a try, it is the ideal compromise

for comfort and handling,

the cushioning effect is simply

amazing.

In AMG form the E53 is fully

• Price – Mercedes-

Benz E53 AMG coupe,

$181,300

• Dimensions – Length,

4826mm; width,

1860mm; height,

1430mm

• Configuration – V6,

four-wheel-drive,

2999cc, 320kW, 520Nm,

nine-speed, automatic.

• Performance –

0-100km/h, 4.4sec

• Fuel usage –

8.8l/100km

specced with all of the upmarket

and luxury kit you’d expect for a

car of this price, they are all laid

out in the traditional Mercedes-

Benz style, the layout of the controls

is intuitive once familiar. It

also has the tweaks which provide

the performance factor, and that

is where the AMG badging comes

in, it adds to the dynamics of both

performance and looks.

As mentioned, if I was an E Class

buyer, I’d pay the extra $20k for sedan’s

V8 power and its five seats (as

opposed to four seats in the coupe).

However, don’t be misled, the E53

and its V6 engine represents true

performance and has the benefits

of beautiful styling. I’m a big coupe

fan, and I particularly enjoyed my

time in the evaluation car, the grace

with which it travels and the overall

design is something to surely

treasure.

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