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Make no mistake, AMG has injected new life into the Mercedes car range. The high-performance subsidiary, which is based in Affalterbach, Germany, AMG was originally an independent engineering firm specialising in performance improvements for Mercedes-Benz and Daimler.  Chrysler AG took a controlling interest in 1999, with sole ownership in 2005. Today, the AMG badged Mercedes cars are amongst the most desirable on our roads.

The new Mercedes E 53 4MATIC+ Coupe and Cabriolet have now also been given the characteristic AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvers and its A-shaped design and the flatter all-LED headlamps create a width-emphasising delivering a powerful on the road impression. The restyled front apron in its A-wing design also has a positive influence on the overall vehicle proportions and the interior also demonstrates even more affinity to the AMG family. Large displays, the new AMG Performance steering wheel and the MBUX infotainment system with AMG-specific functions and displays create the characteristic performance with luxury ambience. Under the bonnet lies a three litre engine with twin turbochargers via an exhaust gas turbocharger and an electric additional compressor generates an output of 435bhp with a peak torque of 520 Nm. The EQ Boost starter-alternator briefly provides an additional 16 kW of output plus 250 Nm of torque and also feeds the 48 V on-board electrical system. Other highlights of these desirable new models include the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission and the fully variable all-wheel drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+. Pleasing features of the transmission include the short shift times, fast response to shift paddle commands and a double-declutching function and multiple downshifts with upshifts or downshifts implemented instantly. Especially in the Sport+ drive programme and in manual mode, the transmission is very responsive. Dynamic acceleration and very short shift times are also available, as is the fuel efficient driving style, of course depending on the mode selected. All makes this very much a car for those who when the need arises desire a sporty drive. Following the saloon and estate the new E 53 4MATIC+ models also offer a perfect synthesis of performance, elegance and comfort. With specific measures on the exterior and in the interior Mercedes AMG have re-sharpened the brand identity somewhat and are continuing to drive forward the revision of the entire E-Class line-up.

Performance is one thing, however it must be matched by on the road handling and added agility. Neutral cornering performance and greater traction come courtesy of the AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension developed in Affalterbach. This set up with a particularly sporty spring/damper set-up and continuously adjustable damping ADS+ (Adaptive Damping System) combines outstanding driving dynamics with high ride comfort. A harder spring rate, for example, when cornering and braking, effectively reduces body roll. The damping at each wheel is adjusted to suit the current driving situation and the condition of the road. The damping characteristics can also be preselected in three modes, Comfort, Sport and Sport+, allowing a significantly more noticeable differentiation between excellent long-distance comfort and sporty driving dynamics.

The fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system combines optimal traction for dynamic driving fun with a high level of driving safety in all conditions: in the dry, in the wet or on a slippery surface and transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa is seamless, because the intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture. Desire an even more exciting driving experience the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS Package bundles together technical and visual equipment details previously reserved for the eight-cylinder models. The highlights include the RACE drive program with Drift Mode and the AMG performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfibre which has steering wheel buttons for fast control of the drive programmes and further settings for the driving dynamics. Red-painted brake calipers with AMG lettering on the front and rear axle visually underscore the sporty character. We can expect to see these two new models from Mercedes AMG on Irish roads later this summer.

Ian Lynas

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