Mercedes-AMG will introduce a new petrol-electric hybrid line-up that will sit between its ‘43’ and ‘63’ range, starting with a CLS 53 later in 2017.
The model is due to be revealed as part of the next-generation CLS range at the Los Angeles motor show in November, before reaching international markets in the middle of 2018. It will use AMG’s 367hp, 3.0-litre straight-six engine, as used by ‘43’ models, in conjunction with a 50kW electric motor.
Our sister publication, Autocar UK, had revealed AMG's intentions to introduce a hybrid six-cylinder drivetrain to its line-up earlier this year at the E-class Coupé launch, but information at that time suggested it would be a range badged as ‘50’. A source has now confirmed to Autocar UK that ‘53’ has been chosen to align the hybrid models with AMG's existing naming conventions.
The hybrid AMG CLS' combined system output is expected to exceed 450hp, likely ranking it more than 100hp behind the current V8-engined CLS 63 S. However, the hybrid six-pot model’s electric torque-filling ability should ensure performance is much closer – so much so that it will likely take the 63’s place and become the CLS’ top variant.
This would clear space for the AMG GT four-door that’s due in 2018, an entirely different model inspired by the GT Concept that debuted at the 2017 Geneva motor show. The GT four-door will use a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, borrowed from either the AMG GT or E 63, with a hybrid range-topper producing around 800hp.
The hybrid CLS is expected to come with regenerative braking technology to help replenish its lithium-ion batteries when on the move. This technology is already in use elsewhere in Mercedes’ range, and would come as part of a 48V electric architecture.
The following hybrid six-pot models could share the CLS 53's drivetrain. An AMG E 53 would be the most likely next candidate for the system, due to the CLS’ strong technical links with the E-class. Sources suggest that the electric and six-cylinder system will be the only drivetrain available on AMG E-class coupé and convertible models, while larger sedan and estate models will keep the E 63 name with V8 engines.