Next Mercedes CLS to introduce new ‘AMG 53’ hybrid powertrain

Mercedes-AMG is set to introduce a new family of hybrid ‘53’ powertrains to its line-up, starting with the CLS 53.

Combining the German marque’s newly-developed 320kW 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine and a 50kW electric motor, the new hybrid system is set to deliver a combined system output of 370kW.

The first instalment of the hybrid family is set to appear at the Los Angeles motor show in November, before debuting in Australian showrooms around mid-2018.

According to reports, the third-generation CLS coupe-sedan will be the first recipient, before the technology spreads to other model lines including the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class sedans, and the GLC, GLE and GLS SUVs – all underpinned by Mercedes’ MRA modular architecture.

Citing an internal source, reports suggest the new ‘53’ engine family will supplant Mercedes-AMG’s existing 3.0-litre V6 ‘43’ line, which has been subject to some criticism over its AMG authenticity.

The new 53 engine family reinforces sentiments made by Mercedes-Benz last year confirming the new M256 petrol in-line six has been specifically developed for electrification.

The in-line six will be one of several engines to usher in an era of 48-Volt power for Mercedes-Benz, embracing an Integrated Starter-Alternator (ISG) and electric auxiliary compressor (eZV), which boosts up 70,000rpm in just 300 milliseconds.

Together, the two systems act as a hybrid-lite, delivering an extra 10 to 15kW of boosting performance when it’s needed to cover for either turbo lag or spool-up.

While Benz didn’t make specific performance claims for the engine, it admitted it will have more than 500Nm of torque — at least four per cent more than the current V6.

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