Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Cabriolet - First Drive
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
Every year the SMMT kindly lays on a regional Drive Day event in late September, whereby the major car manufacturers bring a selection of cars to a venue for a motley assortment of journalists to drive.
Wetherby Racecourse is the usual location for us northerly folk and once again the sun kindly shone on this year’s extravaganza.
With good driving roads within easy reach and balmy autumn temperatures, I was drawn to the new Mercedes-AMG Cabriolet. A popular choice, the svelte silver soft-top was in big demand.
Post lunch, the crowds thinned and I took my chance to grab the keys.
At the heart of the Mercedes beats a 3.0-litre biturbo six cylinder engine, with the brand’s innovative EQ boost technology.
It can generate 435hp with additional output of 20hp courtesy of the 48-volt electrification and integrated starter/alternator.
What does all this mean in practice? Blistering acceleration (0-62mph in 4.5 seconds) combined with decent fuel economy (up to 32.1mpg for the combined cycle). The first I can attest to, the latter not.
In order to cleanly deploy this power in all weather conditions is a fully variable AMG all-wheel drive system (4MATIC in MB speak). Power can be sent to either the front or rear axle for maximum traction.
An AMG Speedshift 9G transmission comes as standard, with short shift times and fast responses to the shift paddle commands for a more engaging drive.
The Cabriolet’s multi-layer fabric roof can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph and can be opened or closed in around 20 seconds. Three colours are available: black, dark blue and dark brown.
My short drive was roofless and included a stretch of motorway. In spite of the wind deflector fitted behind the rear seats, things were a little blustery in truth. Once on some slightly slower B-roads, things settled down somewhat.
The latest E-Class Cabriolet has grown in size which equates to more space for four occupants to travel in some comfort.
For a big, heavy car, the Mercedes-AMG E53 can be quite an engaging cross-country tool. The AMG Ride Control suspension allows for some spirited cornering, yet maintains a comfortable and well controlled ride.
The equipment count is high, as befitting the near £70,000 price tag before options. Electric memory front seats, premium Nappa leather.... you get the idea.
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If you prefer to take life at a slower pace, the E-Class Cabriolet can be bought from as little as £45,865. You can even specify a diesel engine if you cover a sufficiently high mileage.
Whichever model you choose, impeccable build quality and an heir of desirability come as standard. Pick the E 53 however and you will get that extra dose of fizz that I in particular found so very appealing.
Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Cabriolet
Prices start at £69,285
4MATIC all-wheel drive
AMG Speedshift 9G transmission
3.0-litre biturbo six cylinder engine
435hp with 20hp from the EQ boost system
0-62mph in 4.5 seconds
Combined economy 32.1mpg
Emissions 200g/km CO2
3 roof colours
Roof open/closing in 20 seconds up to 31mph
Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Cabriolet - First Drive, 27th September 2018, 7:43 AM