Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley a year ago 25

Mercedes-AMG CLS53 Straight-Six Hybrid Spotted In Testing

The new hybrid drivetrain, marking Mercedes' return to straight-six engines after a long time building V layouts, will make its entrance in the comfortable coupe

Remind me later

Mercedes has been caught road-testing prototypes for what is believed to be the new AMG CLS53 – and the next-generation Sprinter van.

Subtly enhanced bodywork is visible beneath the camouflage wrap, but it’s clear that the hot CLS won’t go down the traditional muscles-on-muscles route of full-fat AMGs gone by. Nor, thankfully, will it wear the tiny excuses for wheels that the test mule is fitted with.

Mercedes-AMG CLS53 Straight-Six Hybrid Spotted In Testing - News

Breathing through a new twin-turbocharged straight-six engine as we reported months ago, the first 53-badged AMG model would sit below any future CLS63. It’s yet to be seen whether models with a current AMG 43 designation ultimately move to the new power unit, incorporate the 53 option into their ranges or simply ignore it.

There is also healthy speculation that the super-smooth straight-six will be linked to a hybrid drivetrain including an electric motor on the front axle. The rumoured output is in the region of 430bhp, so it won’t be slow. It sounds pretty good when pulling away from the lights in the video, too.

Mercedes is apparently set to give the car its debut at the Detroit Motor Show this month. If you’re interested in the Sprinter van, you might have to wait a little longer but that, too, is almost ready for production.