2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe & Cabriolet bring out AMG E53 to play

Mercedes' E-Class is letting its hair down, with the new 2021 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet – and the feistier 2021 Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe and Cabriolet – making their debut this week. Following on from the automaker's new sedan and wagon, the two-door and convertible tap Mercedes' EQ Boost electrification system, as well as a dual-display dashboard.

The styling has been massaged from the old generation, with the LED headlamps particularly changed. They get flatter housings, while the LED tail lamps have been revamped as well. Torch-flame headlamps, and Intelligent LED headlamps with two round lights, are available.

The new diamond grille has a single louver and a central Mercedes star; at the rear, the star hides the reversing camera. There'll be four new colors – Cirrus Silver Metallic, Graphite Grey Metallic, Mojave Silver Metallic, and designo Patagonia Red Metallic – along with new aerodynamic wheel options.

Both Coupe and Cabriolet use a new 3.0-liter inline-6 turbocharged engine, with Mercedes' EQ Boost system. That's good for 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, with EQ Boost contributing up to 21 hp and up to 184 lb-ft. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with 4MATIC all-wheel drive optional.

The 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission is standard, and the top speed is an electronically-limited 130 mph. Mercedes says 0-60 mph figures will follow on in due course, as will fuel economy numbers.

Inside, the dashboard is simpler and cleaner. It's topped with two 12.3-inch displays running MBUX, the automaker's latest infotainment system, with voice control. However there's also a brand new steering wheel – wrapped in leather – with capacitive touch controls and capacitive sensors to track when you're not in contact with the wheel while the adaptive cruise control is operational. Previously, you'd have needed to apply a tiny amount of torque on the wheel to convince it of that.

The seats, meanwhile, have adaptive adjustment, bigger side boaters, and integrated head restraints. In the Cabriolet there's the option of sun-reflecting leather, too, and the Airscarf neck-heating system is standard. Both cars get heated front seats, keyless start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging, a Burmester audio system, and 64-color ambient lighting as standard, together with 18-inch wheels, parking and blind-spot assistance, and navigation.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe and Cabriolet

If you want more fun, Mercedes-AMG has fettled the 2021 E53 Coupe and Cabriolet for that. Each uses an AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter inline-6 turbo engine, which delivers 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. EQ Boost can contribute an extra 21 hp and 184 lb-ft. That, and various other drive settings, are controlled by the DYNAMIC SELECT modes, which includes Sport and Sport+, and the AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension with three modes of its own.

The transmission is switched for an AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G system, and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive is standard. The AMG brake system has cross-drilled and internally vented 14.6 x 1.4 inch discs, with four-piston fixed calipers, while the rear axle features internally vented 14.2 x 1.0 inch discs with single-piston floating calipers.

0-60 mph comes in 4.3 seconds in the E53 Coupe, and 4.5 seconds in the E53 Cabriolet. Top speed is 155 mph.

Outside, there's a completely new front end with an AMG-specific radiator – featuring twelve vertical slats – and all-LED headlamps with flatter, sharper housings. The hood has twin powerdomes, while at the rear there are now round twin tailpipe trim elements – in either silver chrome or high-gloss black – integrated into the bumper. Normally, the standard lip spoiler is body-color, but it can also be had in carbon fiber.

19-inch light alloy wheels are standard, with 20-inch versions with a 5-twin-spoke design optional. The latter can be had in matte black or high-gloss titanium grey. Inside, the standard sports seats have MB-Tex with DINAMICA microfiber, red contrast topstitching, and AMG badging. Nappa leather is optional.

The MBUX infotainment and twin displays are carried over, but with new AMG menus for things like race timers, G-Meter, and telemetry. The new AMG Performance steering wheel has three rounded twin-spokes and a flat bottom; it has the same capacitive sensor mat for hands-on recognition. Haptic sensing is used on the touch-sensitive switches, and there are galvanized shift paddles for the transmission.

2021 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet Pricing and Availability

In the US, there'll be a 2021 E450 Coupe, a 2021 E450 Cabriolet, a 2021 E53 Coupe, and a 2021 E53 Cabriolet. All four new cars are expected to go on sale in the US before the end of the year. Pricing will be announced closer to their arrival in dealerships, as will final specifications and EPA fuel economy numbers.