Tag: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

It’s an AMG Onslaught!

Mercedes-Benz South Africa debuted their new range of AMG SUVs and we attended the local launch to bring you more.

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard the news that Mercedes-AMG will introduce a 2.0-litre hybrid engine into their historically bonkers, V8-powered C 63. And while many may have been left dumbstruck at the death of an engine that has become so endearing to the brand, the times are indeed changing. While we’re at it, here’s another healthy dose of a reality check: that engine will probably at some stage filter into the remaining AMG cars and before you know it, goodbye V8.   

But the purpose of this review is not to instill a morbid outlook on the future, but a gentle reminder that if you want an AMG with a V8 engine then best you snap one up quickly.

Which neatly brings me onto the range of cars that we had at our disposal last week when Mercedes-Benz South Africa hosted us at their Advanced Drivers Academy at Zwartkops Raceway.

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4MATIC+

First things first, this is a very, very large car. Just over 1.8m tall and under 2.0m wide. In comparison to the recently launched EQS with its near-perfect drag coefficient, the GLS is the aerodynamic equivalent of a 5-bedroom house. So, it’s even more surprising to note that the GLS can sprint to 100km/h in just a mere 4.2 seconds! There’s a remarkable 450kW and 850Nm on tap from its 4.0-litre V8 with a soundtrack that is distinctively AMG. It’s wonderful!

Our route involved a mixture of mountain passes, highway cruising and a final bashing around Gerotek testing facility near Hartebeesport. No matter the road, speed or driving mode you’re in, the GLS 63 remains impeccably comfortable and effortlessly quick. Air suspension with special spring/damper set-up and adaptive adjustable damping all contribute towards a very special drive.

Around the high-speed bowl at Gerotek, I was able to push the car to a maximum speed of 220km/h before I realized I am not Max Verstappen and my talent will eventually run out. Even then, the GLS 63 never felt spooked by the conditions and behaved exactly as you would expect from any other AMG.

It’s a fantastic balance of luxury and performance but that does come with a hefty price tag. You’ll need to part with just short of R3.2 million to get into one and the options list is exorbitant. Oh, and if you want the Monoblock rims as pictured above, you will have to part with an additional R80 000. Although it received a mixed reaction from local media, I think it will work well with Mercedes-Benz’s clientele.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S SUV/Coupe

The fourth generation GLE made its debut back in 2019 and remained one of Mercedes best-selling models. Although, it is interesting to note that global sales figures from Q1 of 2021 reported that BMW outsold Mercedes-Benz by 45 000 units, with the former reaching 636 606, while the latter came in with 590 999 units.

So then, apples for apples, is the GLE 63 short in terms of power to chief rival BMW and their X5 M Competition? Well, no. The BMW produces 460kW and 750Nm while the Mercedes, fitted with the same engine as the GLS 63, produces a mighty 450kW and 850Nm, plus an additional 16kW and 250Nm provided through electrical assistance that can be used temporarily.

The 9-speed transmission, which is also fitted to the GLS, made easy work of rapid shifts during our time at Gerotek where we were able test the cars acceleration. 100km/h comes up in 3.8 seconds, so it surprisingly made easy work of the heftier GLS in the drag races.

In terms of pricing, the standard GLE 63 S retails for R2 885 000 while the coupe variant is slightly more expensive at R2 948 000. BMW retails their X5 M Competition for slightly cheaper, give or take R50 000, which when you’re spending this amount of money is irrelevant. So, which one should you pick? Well, that’s entirely up to you but if we’re talking just Mercedes, the Coupe is certainly the head turner out of the lot and that’s where I would spend my hypothetical money.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 S SUV/Coupe

Not all models that we tested at the local launch were fitted with the 4.0-litre V8. The 53 models are fitted with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine that again is aided by electrical assistance. Power figures are healthy at 320kW and 520Nm plus an additional 16kW and 250Nm is available from the batteries and alternators fitted.

For the average man or woman, those figures are more than sufficient and it’s only when you pit the 53 variants against the more powerful 63’s, do you really notice a power deficit. But in saying that, a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.3 seconds is still commendable and it’s worth noting that in all instances that I was in or against a 53 model, it was the quickest off the line, until the inevitable power advantage of the V8 comes into play.

The GLE 53 manages to strike a comfortable balance of everyday liveability with exhilarating performance. Pricing for the standard GLE 53 is R1 837 000 while the Coupe will set you back R1 925 000. So, that’s roughly a R1 million saving over the more powerful 63 model but you are not being short-changed. Regardless of the model, the 53 variants are often the sweet spot in the range and in my opinion, it’s the same case here.

You can’t reasonably use all that power, all the time. In fact, there are very few instances where you would need the additional power of the V8. And dare I say it, Mercedes-Benz currently makes a better 3.0 inline six cylinder than BMW. I’ll probably be shot at dawn for uttering this but it is all in the name of good journalism!

In A Class of Its Own – The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz recently hosted us at their AMG Driving Academy headquarters at Zwartkops Raceway for the launch of their updated 5th-generation E-Class lineup. Alex Shahini spent the day driving the full range.

Few other brands have as much of a romantic relationship with the people of Mzansi than Mercedes-Benz. However their local history is ingrained in our fabric with models such as the iconic red W-126 500SE which was heartwarmingly gifted to Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison in early 1990. Despite the recent shift towards SUVs and hatchbacks, the distinguished variant remains the brands best selling model in their series lineup since the launch of its post-war predecessors in the late 1940’s. But is the E-Class in a class of its own?

The super-sedan segment remains hotly contested with the premium German brands constantly vying for the most market share and appealing to as broad of an audience as possible. This appeal to an inclusive sample group requires a range of vehicles that can satisfy every consumer’s needs which is why the E-Class lineup includes 6 models with 9 derivatives including a 4 door sedan, 4 door wagon (not applicable to our market), 2 door coupe and the 2 door cabrio. Within each derivative exists differing engine and drivetrain configurations which can be specified according to your preference. 

Despite the fierce rivalry with their German compatriots, Mercedes-Benz have remained the #1 premium brand after delivering 2.1 million units in 2020 with a relative market share of 37%, more than both local compatriots BMW (34%) and Audi (29%). The E-Class may continue to be the resolute reason for this continual success. It is proudly displayed as the brand’s best seller and with the 5th generation W213 as a basis, its 5 year refreshed facelift reinvigorated an already solid platform. 

With the AMG Driving Academy being situated in the opportune location of Zwartkops Raceway, the potent high performance E53 and E63 variants were put through their paces around the circuit and skid pan. While the impressive new 3-litre 6 cylinder turbocharged E53 has a power output of 320kW and makes use of mild hybrid technology, the earth-shaking but thirsty twin turbocharged 450kW V8 found in the E63S will remain the showstopper.

While all top tier AMG models retain the responsive steering and predictable body roll from the firmer suspension in Sport and Race mode, the more comfort orientated variants of the E200, E220d and E300 made trundling the highveld country roads a breeze. The overall dynamics between the chassis of the sedans and the coupes provided vastly differing experiences as a result of continual feedback from customers needs, with Mercedes-Benz adapting the suspension and chassis stiffness accordingly.

While the silhouette remains unchanged, the sheet metal panels and bodywork have been altered. The front end has swapped the upwards facing grille with a single horizontal feature for a downward facing grille with multiple vertical slats running across it – inspired by the AMG GT. The vehicles in the range including the AMG nameplate include more chrome features and a larger more imposing grille with aggressive front and rear bumpers. The now standard LED headlights have been refined to form a more cohesive front end with the updated grille while two-part LED tail lights run across the rear ¾ panel and boot lid. 

The interior layout remains mostly the same from its predecessor, with the most noticeable change being the aesthetically improved twin spoke steering wheel. The buttons have been replaced with touch-capacitive functionality which directly communicates with the new version of the MBUX system accessed via two 10.5” standard touch screens. While you can option a 12.3” screen for an additional price.

The overall tactile quality of the interior is high, with the selection of pleasant touch points found on the predecessor brought forward. The steering wheel feels slightly thick to grip around the thumb points while the touch-sensitive pads can often be overly sensitive to your touch. Spaciousness is however guaranteed for driver and passenger on saloon versions, with sufficient head, arm and legroom in all seats – even for taller passengers. The saloon retains all of the interior room while still being capable of 540l of cargo space too, trumping all of its competitors. 

Regardless which derivative, every E-Class has yet retained the premium interior texture and tailor made driving experience synonymous with the brand. It is easy to see why this range still falls at the heart of Mercedes-Benz sales as a benchmark of luxury and epitome of comfort. While it is often impossible to appeal to every consumer, the E-Class range certainly comes close to pleasing all of its buyers. 

2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class Range

The updated range of Mercedes Benz products and their inevitability endless onslaught of SUV’s by no means should suggest there luxury-focused premium origins my have fallen by the wayside. Having always served as the almost awkward ‘S-Class for less option’, the updated E-class range aims to remind us of all of the extreme attention to detail and the standards that the traditional Mercedes Benz approach has beckoned in a sleek and elegant package aimed at the wealth clients in banking speak.

2021 E-Class Specs and interior features

The new E-Class range serves more as an update rather than a completely new model, based on the underpinnings of the previous model the whole car has undergone extensive re-engineering and now is set to create the benchmark in its class. Visually the Panamericana Grille evolution hints to the sporting nature and the front are unmistakably new era Merc, and rather remarkable. The redesigned front end encompasses the new LED matrix headlights and reshaped front bumper and modernises the whole look. The Major benefactor of the new-era Merc is the interior, with the updated cabin gaining a new multi-function steering wheel with haptic feedback hands-off technology. Trim and available features have advanced fittingly and the Widescreen 10.3-inch twin-screen cockpit layout comes standard with the optional 12.3-inch paired to the latest version of Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) user interface. Voice control, the ‘Hey Mercedes’ personal assistant and augmented reality have also been revised to prove more intuitive and provide an enhanced driver and passenger experience and for the first time in the E-Class. Being an E-Class its now almost traditional that all tech due on the new generation S-Class trickles through and the with the sheer list of available driver assists summarising this nicely.

2021 E-Class Drivetrains

The complete overhaul of the vehicles electrics system as allowed Merc to through all their latest technology at this vehicle and adequately address the aged feel the E-Class often had. The Driver autonomy focus becomes clearly visible through the lengthy list of active and passive safety. Topping off the list is the Active Steering Assist systems, with emergency avoidance technology, Active Blind Spot Assist which also functions at a dead stop to help with pedestrian and cyclist traffic. Additionally, Traffic Jam Assist allows for self-driving autonomy up to 60Km/h and can apply the brakes due to cross traffic where needed. Distronic Adaptive Crusie Control, with steering and braking autonomy making up the bulk of the active safety.
In Europe, the benefit of 48V Mild-Hybrid electrification is applied across the range to the 200kW 2.0Litre Turbo Four Cylinder petrol, 3.0Litre 6-Cylinder turbo petrol and 3.0Litre 6-Cylinder turbo Diesel, providing an additional 15kW of EQ boost. South Africa likely will retain the current range of just 2 engines, namely the 145kW and high 190kW four-cylinder turbo petrol and the 143Kw 2.1Litre turbo diesel mated to a 9-Speed Automatic transmission.

The E53 AMG offering retains with 320kW and 520Nm of torque from the same 3.0litre V6 Biturbo engine, paired to the same 48Volt Hybrid system, which can provide 16kW and 250Nm in addition to the standard numbers to muster a 4.5 Second 0-100 sprint time and a limited top speed of 250km/h or 270km/h with the AMG Drivers Package. Drive is to all-four wheels via 4MATIC 4WD and the 9-Speed DCT AMG gearbox from bigger brother E63S is shared. The 2021 E63 S has been spotted testing in Germany and likely will follow shortly with a few extra ponies, and significant driver-focused chassis updates.

2021 Mercedes- Benz E-Class in South Africa

The Auto industry and Covid-19 have been playing an exciting sparring match. With the Geneva Motorshow where the E-Class was set to debut cancelled, the digital launch suggested a 2021 Launch with the E-Class sedan leading the way for Coupe and Cabriolet models.

A Light show to say hello? : Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Updated Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe launched

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe has recently been launched and aside from looking a bit like a Renault Laguna Coupe from the rear, it promises to be quite the vehicle. Big news is that it “Welcomes you” and “says goodbye” by using both the headlights and taillights to perform a bit of a show. You can see that here.

Based on the tech-laden Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, the Coupe promises to be just as advanced and connected, all while offering a slightly sportier and dynamic drive.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Merged under a single lens, the two optional 12.3-inch displays give a widescreen effect and relay all relevant information to the driver, including infotainment and the instrument-cluster within the driver’s field of vision. Should this option not be selected, a more conventional system of dials and an infotainment screen is fitted. Along with the air-conditioning vents, reminiscent of turbines, the interior also features an advanced ambient lighting system with 64 available colours, and of course the highest quality materials. Strangely, the designers have opted to carry over the awkward, miniature C-pillar as seen on the previous generation E-Class Coupe, an interesting design cue…

The engine lineup consists of two 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol motors (135 kW/300 N.m and 180 kW/370 N.m) a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol V6 (245 kW/480 N.m) and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel motor (143 kW/ 400 N.m) with model designations being E200, E300, E400 and E220d respectively.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The standard suspension system is 15mm lower than that of the E-Class Coupe which translate to a more dynamic drive. Alternatively, both Dynamic Select and Air Body Control multi chamber suspension systems are optionally available. Both Avantgarde and AMG Line trims can be had with the E-Class coupe, each offering something different to the discerning Mercedes-Benz customer.

As with all tech-laden cars these days, you can integrate your smartphone into the infotainment system, as well as let the car park itself and also drive itself (sort of) with Mercedes-Benz’s semi-autonomous driving system or Drive Pilot, which is able to follow another vehicle up to 210 km/h.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe pricing in South Africa

The E-Class Coupe is on sale in South Africa, all models coming standard with a 6 year/100 000km maintenance plan. Pricing is as follows:

E200 – R754 500

E220d – R806 500

E300 – R842 500

E400 – R1 021 500