Mercedes-Benz’ fast-paced expansion of its AMG performance range is set to continue with the introduction of a new ‘53’ range of vehicles, tipped to feature hybrid assistance allowing it to draw links to the Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar..
According to a report from Automotive News the first 53 model will be the next-generation CLS 53, with the non-AMG CLS set to surface in 2018 and the high-performance version to follow at a later date.
Under the bonnet the CLS 53 will run a version of Mercedes’ all-new M256 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which is set to expand across the entire longitudinally-engined Mercedes-Benz range (meaning everything except A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLA).
The M256 engine will make its first production appearance under the bonnet of the updated 2018 S-Class, although Benz has yet to reveal that car in its final production trim.
Like the S-Class, the Mercedes-AMG CLS version will include a 48-volt mild hybrid system that sandwiches an electric motor between the engine and transmission and will not only be used to keep fuel consumption and emissions under control, but will also be able to provide acceleration assistance in some circumstances.
The CLS 53 will likely be the first mainstream Mercedes-AMG model to include hybrid assistance, with the combined output from the turbocharged six and hybrid motor tipped to be just over 315kW, a 20kW gain compared to the current comparable E 43’s twin-turbo V6.
Alongside the CLS Mercedes-Benz will also likely apply the 53 treatment to its new E-Class coupe and cabriolet before expanding the 53 badge to Mercedes-Benz wider range as a replacement for the current 43 models.
Fans of the V8-powered 63 range can rest assured that the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is safe for now, with a CLS 63 expected to crown the four-door coupe range, and no plans to change the C 63 or E 63 model lines though Mercedes-Benz seems unlikely to position a more powerful model above the E 53 coupe and convertible.