Like the flagship AMG EQS, it’s not a full-fledged AMG 63 variant. That higher number is reserved for vehicles that are track-capable, and Mercedes-AMG has yet to reveal an electric vehicle with the 63 nameplate.
With an 0-100km/h time of between 3.3 and 3.5 seconds depending on specification, the AMG EQE 53 is quite a rapid machine – even the quickest Benz EQE can only do the dash in 6.3 seconds.
But while this hasn’t been designed to be a track weapon, is the 53 still a hardcore sports sedan or is it more of a rapid cruiser?
The AMG EQE 53 is priced at $214,900 before on-road costs, or $60,000 more than the EQE 350 and just under $40,000 more than the outgoing AMG E53.
The AMG interior looks essentially identical to the regular EQE’s – unless you opt for the MBUX Hyperscreen.
The steering wheel gains a couple of knobs in the transformation from Benz to AMG: a handy twist knob for selecting drive mode, and another one that allows you to toggle settings like the ESC. Both knobs feel a little bit plasticky, detracting from an otherwise premium-feeling wheel.
The seats are upgraded to Nappa leather upholstery, and prove comfortable and supportive.
At $15,900, the MBUX Hyperscreen is of extremely dubious value. It looks extremely cool, but fundamentally you’re just paying for a passenger display – the standard set-up already includes a large central touchscreen and digital instrument cluster, and it’s not like the former is a long reach for a passenger.
You can still get the “wealthy Floridian” Neva Grey and Biscay Blue interior colourway available in the standard EQE, complete with what are essentially white carpets, though our tester came with the Black and Space Grey scheme.
Two-tone Black and Brown is also available.
The standard EQE’s sheer cliff face of real wood trim is also standard, unless you opt for the Hyperscreen. You can at least jettison the gloss black centre console trim in favour of carbon-fibre trim.
The overall cabin presentation is thoroughly modern and premium, from the expansive screens to the glitzy ambient lighting. It’s very much a 2023 Mercedes-Benz, so if you like the cabin of recent Benzes like the C-Class and S-Class you’ll like this.
We were a bit surprised to find some hard plastic on the lower reaches of the doors, however, and the materials aren’t quite as lush as we’d expect for over $200,000.
Multiple themes are available for the digital instruments, including a map that takes over the entire screen. There are plenty of attractive, legible options available, and indeed the graphics of all the EQE’s screens are thoroughly modern and pleasing to the eye.
The central screen’s interface is also generally easy to navigate, while a voice assistant allows you to dictate prompts.
Cabin storage is quite good, with a deep centre console bin, a covered cavity ahead of it that incorporates cupholders and a wireless charging pad, and a shelf under the bridge-like centre console large enough for a handbag.
You’ll find four USB-C outlets up front, with another two in the rear. Passengers in the back also get a fold-down armrest with pop-out cupholders, as well as air vents and climate controls, while the back seat splits and folds 40:20:40.
Like the standard EQE, a panoramic sunroof is standard which, combined with the swoopy roofline, eats into rear headroom.
At 180cm tall, I could still sit in the centre seat without my head touching the glass. However, the roof fares in slightly above the outboard seats so your head may make contact with the headliner, depending on how tall you are.
There is at least a flat floor, as well as plenty of legroom and knee room. Toe room could be better, however.
The boot has 430L of luggage space, but there’s no front storage cavity like in a Tesla, with Mercedes-Benz instead sealing the bonnet.
The AMG EQE 53 features a 90.5kWh battery and a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain, with total system outputs of 460kW of power and 950Nm of torque.
Mercedes-Benz claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds.
The Dynamic Pack sees those outputs increase to 505kW and a cool 1000Nm, with the 0-100km/h time cut to 3.3 seconds. Mercedes advises the full outputs are only available “at appropriate temperature and charge levels”.
Regardless of whether you specify the pack or not, claimed range is 435km and energy consumption is 21.8kWh/100km. We saw overall energy consumption of 28kWh/100km across a test loop that involved some freeway stints, plus some fanging of the big AMG down winding mountain roads.
The base Audi e-tron GT has 350kW (390kW on overboost) and 630Nm of torque. On paper, it seems considerably less powerful than the AMG and yet its 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds isn’t too far off.
The Porsche Taycan 4S has up to 420kW and 650Nm and a 0-100km/h time of four seconds flat. If you want a Porsche that can match the AMG on paper, you’ll need to step up to the 500kW/850Nm Turbo with its 3.2-second sprint, but that costs around $80,000 more than the AMG.
The AMG EQE 53 comfortably outpunches Mercedes-AMG’s own E53, and it even poses a threat to the E63. That model produces 450kW and 850Nm from a bi-turbo V8 and offers a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.4 seconds.
The AMG EQE 53 is properly quick.
Our tester didn’t even feature the Dynamic Pack and yet in Sport+ mode, a push of the pedal saw us hit the back of our seats. We wonder why you’d even bother with the Dynamic Pack.
You’ll want to feather the throttle on a winding road as there’s so much instantaneous torque available. It felt as though we were depressing the pedal by only a third, never pushing it all the way to the floor unless we wanted to test the AMG’s acceleration on an on-ramp.
The winding roads we took the EQE on were slick from a persistent drizzle, but grip levels proved high thanks to the all-wheel drive system and Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyres.
In Sport+ mode, you’ll feel the rear wheels step out a bit at full throttle; at max power, the AMG EQE 53 has a 36:64 front-rear weight distribution.
It also features standard rear-axle steering, with a steering angle of up to 2.5 degrees in the same direction as the front axle.
The steering feels more direct in Sport+ mode, and doesn’t suffer from an abundance of additional artificial weight. The wheel is a chunky, tactile item, too.
The suspension is lowered by 15mm in Sport+ mode. The AMG feels hunkered down in corners, and yet ride quality doesn’t suffer.
On some rather patchy country roads, the AMG still proved quite comfortable in Sport+ while also offering superior body control to the default Comfort mode. I ended up leaving it in Sport+ for most of the drive as it proved surprisingly well-rounded.
Is it as engaging as a petrol-powered AMG E53? Perhaps not, and with an extra 600kg of weight to haul around we’re not all that surprised.
Nevertheless, the EQE is still pretty enjoyable to hustle down a winding road, at least for something weighing just over two and a half tonnes.
Though it rides on Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyres instead of the Bridgestone rubber of the regular EQE, we didn’t observe any difference in road noise.
The brake pedal did feel less spongy than the regular EQE, however; our tester had the standard brakes, by the way, and not the optional carbon-ceramic stoppers.
The AMG ditches the three selectable powertrain sounds of the standard EQE. Instead, there’s no noise in Comfort mode, a slight noise in Sport, and a sporty yet ultimately subtle roar in Sport+.
The latter can even be heard outside the vehicle, and is perhaps one of the most enjoyable fake powertrain sounds I’ve experienced in an EV though it’ll probably be an acquired taste.
AMG EQE 53 highlights:
- Mercedes-AMG exterior package
- AMG Night package
- 21-inch alloy wheels in Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyres
- Rear privacy glass
- LED headlights
- Digital Light
- Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus
- Panoramic sunroof
- Power boot-lid
- Airmatic air suspension
- Rear-axle steering
- AMG Performance steering wheel
- Active Parking Assist
- Mercedes-Me Connect
- Remote connectivity
- Vehicle tracking
- Remote locking/unlocking
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Augmented reality (AR) satellite navigation
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Digital radio
- Head-up display
- Wireless phone charger
- Power-adjustable front seats with memory
- Heated, ventilated front seats
- Nappa leather upholstery
- Colour-adjustable ambient lighting
- Illuminated door sills
- 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats
- 4-zone climate control
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Power-folding exterior mirrors
Notably, the AMG is the only EQE variant to get ventilated front seats and Nappa leather upholstery. Rear-axle steering, the Guard 360 security package and air suspension are also standard instead of options, as they are on lesser EQEs.
A ceramic composite braking system is a $9100 option, and adds 440 x 40mm ceramic front brake discs with calipers finished in bronze.
The $7400 AMG Dynamic Plus package bumps the top speed up to 240km/h, adds a new AMG Sound Experience option and the AMG Track Pace app, and bumps up outputs by 45kW and 50Nm.
Metallic finishes are no-cost options except for Manufaktur finishes, which cost $2200, and Manufaktur Graphite Grey Magno matte which costs $6100.
Mercedes-Benz says massaging front seats aren’t available at this stage but could come in later.
The Mercedes-Benz EQE has a five-star ANCAP rating, based on Euro NCAP testing conducted in 2022.
This rating, which applied only to Benz-badged EQEs and not the AMG, was based on an adult occupant protection score of 95 per cent, a child occupant protection score of 92 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection score of 83 per cent, and a safety assist score of 82 per cent.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- 10 airbags
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Front cross-traffic assist
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Active Steering Assist (lane centring)
- Blind-spot assist (brake-based)
- Driver attention monitoring
- Evasive steering assist incl. Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Lane-keep assist
- Safe exit warning
- Traffic sign recognition
- Surround-view camera
Like the wider Mercedes range, the EQE is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty – the high-voltage battery is also covered by a 10-year, 250,000km warranty.
The AMG EQE 53 is available with a choice of three-, four- or five-year pre-paid servicing plans, priced at $1720, $2520 and $2955, respectively.
Each is only $5-20 more than a regular EQE’s plan, while still undercutting the AMG E53’s three-, four- and five-year plans, which cost $3050, $4050 and $6100 respectively.
The EQE 53 has higher outputs than a V8-powered E63, and yet its 0-100km/h time is almost identical – that shows you how much an extra 500kg or so of heft can be felt.
But as Mercedes is quick to point out, the AMG EQE 53 isn’t a 63-level track weapon.
Instead, this is a rapid executive express, and with oodles of torque and grip it can still put a smile on your face on a winding road. It certainly will from a standstill, once you extricate the back of your head from the headrest.
The air suspension also furnishes an extremely comfortable ride, while offering a pleasing degree of adjustability.
The rest of the package has all the highs and lows of the standard EQE. There’s a glamorous cabin, though it’s not quite as sumptuous as you would expect in terms of materials and rear-seat space.
The technology is familiar to owners of other Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and all works well – though that Hyperscreen is a waste of money. Then there’s the styling, which is just as challenging as in the regular Benz EQE models.
The AMG undercuts Audi and Porsche EVs with similar outputs, but it’s still $60,000 more than an EQE 350. It feels sharper than its less powerful counterpart, but considering you can add rear-axle steering and Airmatic air suspension to a EQE 350, you’d have to really want the extra power.
If you are a speed demon though, the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 makes for a brisk, refined executive express for the electric era.
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