Currently reading: 2021 Mercedes-AMG C53: four-pot C43 successor drops disguise
Hot new C-Class prototype has been spotted with production-ready bodywork for the first time

The Mercedes-AMG C53 4Matic has been spotted undergoing its latest round of testing in what appears to be production-ready bodywork, less than a year before it's planned to head into UK showrooms alongside standard versions of the new, fifth-generation C-Class.

Set to rival the Audi S4 and  BMW M340i xDrive, the four-wheel-drive C53 will replace today's Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic. It forms part of an extensive new C-Class line-up from AMG alongside successor models to today’s Mercedes-AMG C 63 and C63 S – each to be offered in saloon, estate, coupé and cabriolet body styles.

While it still wears non-standard alloy wheels that will evolve further before reaching production, these latest images give us our best look yet at the front and rear end of the upcoming saloon.

The C53 prototype pictured here is clearly differentiated from standard versions of the new C-Class we’ve already caught testing by a series of typical AMG styling elements, including a Panamericana grille with vertical louvres, a deeper front bumper assembly with new vertical ducting and so-called flics within the outer edges, wider sills and a bespoke rear bumper housing four round tailpipes.

97 Mercedes amg c43 2021 spies tracking rear

Those exhausts single out the prototype as a C53, because all sightings of the top-end C63 have so far been with square-shaped exhaust tips. as well as a more aggressive front bumper and larger brakes.

It also sports large brake discs and what appear to be six-pot front brake calipers – a telltale sign that this is no ordinary C-Class. Further differentiation from previous Mk5 C-Class prototypes include 18in wheels.

The C53 had previously been spotted taking part in cold-weather testing with extensive visual camouflage, incuding heavily disguised front and rear lights and contrasting alloy wheel designs.

Mercedes amg c53 spies side

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As first reported by Autocar last year, AMG has settled on a four-cylinder strategy for its new C-Class models.

The C53 is planned to eschew the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine of the existing C43 for a further developed version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine already used by Mercedes-AMG the A35 and its more powerful Mercedes-AMG A 45 sibling.

Nothing is official just yet, although indications are it will be tuned to develop in the vicinity of 380bhp, giving the new C53 and subtle 13bhp increase in power over the outgoing C43.

Along with the new engine, the new AMG model is set to adopt a nine-speed automatic gearbox and heavily updated four-wheel drive system offering a greater apportioning of drive front to rear.

Meanwhile, Autocar has learned AMG is also developing an advanced new turbocharger setup in partnership with its Brixworth-based High Performance Powertrain division for use on future production models, including the new four-cylinder engine due to enter service in the next C63 during the second half of 2021.

Similar to the system already used by Mercedes on its F1 race car and set to appear on the AMG One hypercar, the new layout is understood to add an electric motor and compressor to the induction system to boost output, eliminate turbo lag and provide what AMG insiders describe as “energy to be harvested back into the system for added performance”.


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NoPasaran 16 November 2020


bigger number smaller engine, will be priced like a Mercedes but in reality it is just another Seat/Skoda. 

Nickktod 16 November 2020


Wouldnt this have more credibility if they involved Cosworth in the engine development and called it the 2.0-16 evoking the spirit of the old 190E 2.3 - 16 and 2.5 - 16?


For most people AMG means a V8 (possibly a V12 or some layout of 6 at a push) and this unless it turns out to be absolutely amazing is going to feel like a disappointment at best, or an outright fraud at worst.


Suspect AMG would find it easier to cling on to the multi cylinders as long as possible then jump straight to full electric for the next generation rather than pursue the hybrid 4 stop gap. A (relative) volume selling Cosworth 2.0-16 to replace the C43 and a mild hybrid V8 C63 AMG (expensive halo model) would help them bridge the gap for the rest of this decade before full electrification.

405line 12 March 2020

Let me guess

Personally I don't care what Merc does, they don't seem to have any real ideology about their cars anyway, but just for a laugh I bet they asked at some people at a clinic if they could tell the difference between a 4 cylinder and a 6 cylinder and due to them not knowing Merc said you know what just give then the engine from the cheaper models. A 4 pot is a 4 pot. Saab should have made a made a RWD car back in the 80's.