2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 review

A crazy new sports car is coming to Australia next year and it will be the natural successor to one of the wildest cars on sale.

Is the EQE 53 a silent killer? This new electric sedan from Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance AMG division is the electric vehicle equivalent of the E 63 S model of the company known for the hard acceleration and rumbling sound of its V8 engine.

Powered by a pair of near-silent electric motors, the aerodynamically shaped five-seat EQE 53 doesn’t advertise its speed with a wall of sound. However, it is more powerful and less expensive than the E 63 S. The electric car is not only quieter, but also faster.

Acceleration time from standstill to 100 km/h is an important indicator of the quality of the car. Mercedes-AMG claims that the EQE 53 can do this in 3.3 seconds, while the E 63 S takes one tenth of a second longer.

It’s only the blink of an eye, but reputation in this world is made or lost on that margin. The EQE 53 kills the E 63 S’ claim to dominance, and you have to wonder how the loyal and loud-loving Mercedes-AMG audience will take it.

Especially since the faster EQE 53 will cost less than the E 63 S when it arrives in Australia. Around $200,000 is what Mercedes-Benz Australia is aiming for with the EV, which is about $50,000 less than the E63 S.

Production of the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 begins at the Bremen plant in northern Germany in August, where it will join the Mercedes-EQ EQE versions already in production there.

The entire EQE lineup for Australia is due to arrive later this year. Probably, it will consist of three models. The Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 will certainly be the best in this lineup. Below are two less powerful versions of the Mercedes-EQ, one with two motors and all-wheel drive, the other with one motor and rear-wheel drive.

The combined maximum power and torque of the EQE 53 engines is a whopping 505kW and 1020Nm with the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package. That’s 55 kW more than the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine in the E 63 S.

Mercedes-AMG engineers have made changes to increase the power, torque and rev limit of the electric motors used in the regular EQE. The stator windings have been redesigned and the inverters that convert the DC from the battery into AC for the motors have been upgraded.

The motors are powered by a 91 kWh underground lithium-ion battery. While the EQE 53’s official WLTP rated mileage range is over 500km, its actual combined mileage will be slightly less. According to the authoritative European site EV Database, the distance is 465 km.

Charging speed is fast. The EQE 53 can draw 170kW from a DC fast charger and comes with an onboard 11kW AC charger for home charging.

That big battery means the EQE 53 is very hefty for a nearly five meter long sedan. At around 2600 kg, it is over 500 kg heavier than the E 63 S.

This explains why the electric car has a badge of 53 and not 63, although its straight-line acceleration is similar. Mercedes-AMG technical chief Jochen Herrmann has gone on record saying that anything wearing the 63 badge should be designed for race tracks, while the EQE 53 is not.

The EQE 53’s acceleration is both amazing and thrilling. Pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor causes an instant, neck-tensing burst of silent thrust. There is no hint of wheel spin, no hint of the car struggling to reduce power.

During part of the international start test drive, it rained heavily on winding roads through the Vosges Mountains on the border between France and Germany. The way the EQE 53 could shoot out of tight turns was just incredible.

But its weight was evident when slowing down to corners and entering them. While the regenerative braking of the electric vehicle’s motors does some of the work of slowing down, its large disc brakes are still out of work. And persuading 2600kg to change direction clearly puts more stress on front tire grip.

EQE 53, driven a little more measuredly, is admirable. While there isn’t a lot of headroom in the back seat, the cabin is a cozy, well-made, beautifully designed, and tech-filled environment. The standard suspension with air springs and adaptive dampers is smooth and the steering feels connected to the road.

Mercedes-AMG has developed several synthetic soundscapes for the EQE 53 audio system in an effort to add a sonic dimension to driving. Some of them are more subtle than others, and it is possible to leave them off to enjoy the tempo and silence.

MERCEDES-AMG EQE 53 VITALS

PRICE $ 200,000 (estimated)

ENGINE Twin-engine 505 kW / 1020 Nm (with AMG Dynamic Plus package)

TRANSMISSION Single-speed; four-wheel drive

RANGE 518 km

ENERGY CONSUMPTION 17.5-23.2 kWh/100 km

0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds (with AMG Dynamic Plus package)

Originally published as 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 review