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I recall as a kid being privileged to be driven to school in an S-Class Mercedes. It was the 80’s, so I’m talking about the second-generation model, the W126. My sister’s husband bought a 380 SEC the coupe version of the same S-Class.
These visceral experiences of touching, feeling and smelling these vehicles have embossed a memory that defined a Mercedes-Benz for me: iconic luxury that was supremely built and reassuringly safe.
30 years have past and the Mercedes range has undergone a vast evolution since my school days. Some of which I feel has diluted the brand’s solid image. Remember this is my personal comparative recollection.
Fast forward to February 2020 - taking delivery of the E-Class, which in my option is the best all-round sedan platform in the brand’s offering. It’s always a pleasure reviewing a top-of-the-range product. In this case, the AMG E53 Cabriolet. This new engine slots in between the brand’s AMG 6 and 8-cylinder and motors, the 43, 63 and 63S. The 53 motor is a 3.0-l straight 6 motor with biturbo and combines technology that harnesses the benefits of a mild hybrid motor. The advantage is an additional 16 kW and 250 Nm of torque from the hybrid motor while the petrol motor is capable of 320 kW and 520 Nm. Let’s just say this engine is decadently explosive. Mated to a masterfully engineered 9-speed gearbox, the pairing is matrimonial bliss not often replicated.
Toggling between Comfort, Sport and Sport + modes distinctively change the mood of this barge cruiser - from sublime wafter to high-performance express. In any of modes, the composure of the cabriolet remains fully intact thanks to the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system which undetectably shifts power from rear to front based on grip.
Like its forefathers of the 1980s, the E-Class Cabriolet is beautifully put together. Tradition meets future tech - a two-tone Napa leather-bound dashboard, bevelled edges that conceal LED mood lighting, refined unpolished wood grain inserts and plush carpeting - all as you would expect and more. A contemporary touch that’s now a standard affair in newer Mercedes’ - the long floating screen, like a horizontal billboard that electronic displays both traditional dial information and infotainment.
Safe, solid and rapid are three words that describe the driving sensation of the E53, while luxurious, cosseted and refined are fair descriptions of the internal sensation. This is a beautiful machine that deserves both the Mercedes-Benz and AMG logo.
As you can imagine this type of vehicle doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the listed price is R1 441 266.00 which is a lot of digits! As car prices go, this is a fair amount of coin but also a fair amount for what the Mercedes-AMG E53 offers.
If you have the money, it would be well spent on this one.
Audi A/S/RS 5, BMW 4 Series Coupé/Convertible, Lexus RC and Ford Mustang
E200 Coupè R798 122
E220d Coupè R849 000
E300 Coupè R891 960
E300 Cabriolet R1 011 746
AMG E53 Coupè 4Matic+ R1 322 200
AMG E53 Cabriolet 4Matic+ R1 441 226
Service and warranty
The Mercedes-Benz range is sold with a 5 year/100 000km maintenance plan and service plan.
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