HOFELE HE Cabriolet Is A Mini-Maybach Looking Mercedes-AMG E53
HOFELE was scheduled to bring five cars to the cancelled Geneva Motor Show and this creation, known as the HOFELE HE Cabriolet was due to be the main attraction.
As you should be able to tell, it uses the Mercedes-AMG E53 Cabriolet as a starting point but elevates it to a point where it looks like a mini-Maybach.
On the exterior, you will find a Royal Peacock Blue metallic paint job complemented by a modified front bumper with chrome surrounds for the side air intakes and piano glossy black accents in the middle.
Mercedes-AMG CLS53 handed the wide body treatment by Prior Design!
Ever thought the Mercedes-AMG CLS53 could do with more aggressive exterior styling elements? Well, the folks at Prior Design have released a wide body kit and custom exhaust system for the sleek four-door model.
Formed using a fibreglass-Dura-Flex mixture, the aero kit provides changes to the front, rear and profile of the CLS, including a 12-piece widening kit. Fore and aft, the performance sedan gains redesigned bumpers, with the front boasting a spoiler and the rear a diffuser.
I dunno. I’d want a drive in a lesser E-Class cabriolet to refresh my memory about how they ride and handle before agreeing to whatever monthly payment gets one into a £70,610 E53 cabriolet.
The most ‘AMG’ thing about it is the engine and performance, rather than the way it goes down the road. It feels quite big, heavy and not particularly sporting in any way, which is absolutely fine. This is a soft-top, after all, with only a little shimmy from the body to suggest it has no roof, and very little buffeting with the top down. But if a regular E-Class cab gives you most of that experience, you could have a big outlay here just for an engine.
Mercedes-AMG E53 Night Edition Estate 2021 UK review
Should I buy one?
In today’s performance market, it’s quite rare to find a fast German executive option of this size, that’s this useful, luxurious and versatile, as well as pretty great to drive; and that yet doesn’t come with a six-figure pricetag.
The E53 may never be quite as muscly-feeling under power as you may expect an AMG to be; but if the pay off is 35mpg on the motorway, and 400 miles to the tank, ask yourself how much you’d really miss that initial wallop of thrust and all that V8 audible drama. The E53 doesn’t take that long getting going.
For this tester, shopping here or elsewhere would more likely depend on practicality than anything else. The E53’s estate-car body derivative, and the 1800-odd-litres of carrying space it offers, could be decisive in a segment where, right now, there is no BMW M550i- or M540d Touring, no petrol-powered Audi S6 Avant and no comparable Jaguar XF either.
Second order saloons: BMW M550i vs Mercedes-AMG E53 Estate
Can less ever mean more in the super saloon niche? Two German rivals make a good case
First-order performance saloons have become seriously expensive, haven’t they? Even the ‘junior’ ones. If the near-£75k price of the new M3 Competition has given you pause for thought in that respect, here’s some more: you can have an eight-cylinder performance version of the bigger 5-Series – one with a little more power, a lot more torque, four-wheel drive, and faster 0-62mph claim than the M3 – for nearly £4000 less than the full-fat M Division model. Meet the excellent M550i xDrive.
And that isn’t the only option for big-budget saloon buyers willing to think just a shade more modestly, and to take one step down the performance hierarchy model ladder, in search of a more usable, real-world-prepared performance option. Mercedes-AMG has, for several years now, been offering a six-cylinder version of its hot E-Class, the E53 4Matic+, which dangles the prospect of the gratifyingly respectable fuel economy of a petrol-electric hybrid to make things even more interesting. Unlike the BMW, it can be had in extra-practical estate form, too.
So which interests you more: a second-order, four-wheel drive Mercedes-AMG performance estate car, or a stealthy, slightly understated BMW M550i saloon? These are the sorts of cars that those ‘badge delete’ order-form boxes were made for. There’d be more badges to remove from the E-Class than the 5-Series though and, thanks to the AMG’s sportier styling features, possibly less reason to bother doing so in the first place. The irony? That the slightly more discreet exhaust pipes that the BMW shows to the world are its own; of the more ostentatious set that that AMG touts, it cannot say the same.
Mercedes-AMG has updated the sporty top model of the model series with numerous visual highlights and attractive equipment packages. The standard innovations on the CLS53 4MATIC+ include the redesigned front end with the sporty AMG bumper in A-wing form with black flics and visible air curtains, as well as the AMG signature grille with vertical bars. The surrounds of the windscreen frames are made of polished aluminium or, in combination with the Night Package, in high-gloss black. The exterior mirrors are painted in the colour of the vehicle. Here, too, models with the AMG Night Package or AMG Exterior II Carbon Package are an exception: The mirrors there are finished in high-gloss black or have a housing made of carbon fibre. Mercedes-AMG drivers also steer the CLS with the latest-generation steering wheel, here in nappa leather finish and with the familiar AMG steering wheel buttons with display.
Model Tested: Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe 4Matic+
Price: R1 630 600 (May 2021)
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged in-line 6-cylinder, with EQ Boost system
Power/Torque: 320 kW and 520 Nm
Transmission: 9-speed TCT automatic
Fuel efficiency: 8.8 L/100 km
Load space: 425 litres
How much does the Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe 4Matic+ cost in South Africa?
The Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe 4Matic+ costs R1 630 300 (May 2021) before options, and the price includes a 2-year/unlimited km warranty and 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.
The Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe 4Matic+ is a very charming machine; it successfully combines exhilarating performance, a sonorous engine, a spacious and luxurious cabin, high-tech infotainment and safety features in a distinctly attractive package. In short, it's a head-turner. On some road surfaces, the Benz's ride quality may be a bit crashy and, ultimately, the coupe's not as "showy" as we've come to expect AMG models to be, but we have no doubt that Mercedes-Benz diehards will fall hook, line and sinker for the E53 Coupe's multiple charms.
For buyers who want a powerful coupe, but aren't deadset on having a Three-pointed Star on its nose, the decision is probably far more complicated. The smaller Audi RS5 Coupe and Lexus RC F are faster and more overtly sporty, while offering purchase price savings of about R200k. The E53 Coupe's advantage over those "rivals" is really limited to the area of cabin space, and we doubt that's enough of a USP in this day and age. But that's not a criticism of the car, merely a comment on the state of the market. If this AMG's particular skillset appeals to you on paper, the reality is unlikely to disappoint.
DRIVEN: Mercedes-AMG E53 4Matic+ sings a song we’ll miss in an EV world
The all-wheel drive offers superb traction into and out of corners and the self-leveling suspension does a good job of limiting body roll especially considering it weighs almost 2000kg. The gearbox is slick when it upshifts but sometimes too quick if you leave it to its own devices but if you manage to sync the steering wheel mounted paddles with the engine, you’re rewarded with a thoroughly enjoyable experience especially when you gear down and the exhaust pops and crackles.
The Mercedes-Benz E53 AMG 4Matic+ provides an excellent combination of exhilarating driving, superb handling, technology, space and safety features to what is unfortunately becoming a niche market and at R1 618 000 it’s not cheap but I tell you what, if you can, grab it because before we know it the PC police will legislate against fossil fuel fun.
ROAD TEST: Audi S7 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe
Given the inherent advantages in terms of passenger and utility space that the S7’s four-door design has over the E53’s coupé arrangement, it was surprising to see just how closely these two are in many aspects. It may concede to the S7 in terms of on-paper firepower but the Mercedes makes good use of its lighter weight and more nimble chassis when pressed hard. Factor in a punchy and vociferous powerplant along with an eye-catching shell and it’s a thoroughly accomplished package ... but it’s not enough to see off the
Audi in this instance. While the E53 may be the more entertaining car to drive hard, the S7 is the better all-round car to drive often. Dynamically, the E53 manages to only marginally eclipse the Audi, but in terms of perceived quality, a palpably more resolved ride and overall refinement, the S7 leaves it in the shade. The Audi S7 is a brilliant all-rounder and the winner in this particular exchange.
Model: Audi S7 TFSI Sportback Quattro Tiptronic Price: R1 568 000 Engine: 2,9-litre, V6, twin-turbopetrol Power: 331 kW Torque: 600 N.m 0-100 km/h: 5,24 seconds Top speed: 250 km/h Fuel consumption: 11,4 L/100 km CO2: 197 g/km Transmission: Eight-speed automatic Maintenance plan: Five-years/100 000 km
Model:Mercedes-AMG E53 coupe 4Matic+ 9G-Tronic Price:R1 630 600 Engine:3,0-litre, straight-six, turbocharged + EQ Boost Power:350 kW + 16 kW EQ Boost Torque:520 N.m 0-100 km/h:4,83 seconds Top Speed:250 km/h Fuel Consumption:10,6 L/100 km CO2:200 g/km Transmission:Nine-speed automatic Maintenance Plan:Five-year/100 000 km