Now that Mercedes has introduced the new E-Class Saloon and Estate, it's only a matter of time before AMG will show the performance chops of the two midsize luxury cars. The "53" flavour will be the first to break cover, but in the meantime, there's still some testing that needs to be covered before the official premiere. Prototypes of the saloon and estate have been spotted near the Nürburgring with less disguise while undergoing final evaluations.

While the E53 saloon is a bit shy since it's hiding the generously sized air intakes, they’re exposed on its estate counterpart. The four-door model also has a camouflaged boot lid spoiler as a subtle way of differentiating the hot version from the mundane E-Class models. Less discreet is the quad exhaust system, which will continue to feature round tips instead of the rectangular shape used for the fully-fledged E63.

2025 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan and E53 Wagon spy photos

In typical Affalterbach fashion, the prototypes are riding closer to the road courtesy of a stiffer suspension setup and have bigger wheels with enlarged brakes. At the front, the dynamic duo hides the "Panamericana" grille we've been seeing on AMG models for several years now as a visual nod to the 1952 300SL race car. Of the two body styles, we wouldn't hesitate to take the more practical estate but the saloon remains the traditional choice.

As to what powers the new E53, logic tells us it's an inline-six considering the recently launched CLE already has a 3.0-litre engine in the Benz-branded 450 4Matic flavour. The two-door CLE Coupe and CLE Convertible are also expected to get the AMG treatment with more than 375 bhp available in the CLE 450. We'll remind you that the outgoing E53 saloon packs 429 bhp.

A closer look at the saloon reveals there's a fuel cap on the driver's side, presumably for the charging port. Yes, it would seem the next E53 will be a plug-in hybrid, possibly by borrowing the hardware from the S580e with its combined output of 510 bhp. As for the range-topping E63, it's highly unlikely to keep the V8 and will instead become a PHEV as well with over 700 bhp by adapating the setup used by the AMG GT63 S E Performance.