Mercedes-AMG has refuted rumours about bringing back the V8 for the E63, indirectly suggesting the range-topping version will downsize to an inline-six engine. But what about the E53? Judging by what we're able to hear in this new spy video shot at the Nürburgring, it seems the AMG Lite variant (thankfully) won't be bitten by the downsizing bug like its bigger brother. The prototype caught here seemingly has six cylinders under the bonnet.
The camera is a bit shaky at times but it's still a good opportunity to see the new AMG E53 in action. The camouflage hides an important detail we saw earlier this month in a batch of spy shots (below) depicting a different prototype. The saloon had a fuel cap on the rear quarter panel on the right side where you'd expect it to be, but also another cap on the rear-left quarter.
2025 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan and E53 Wagon spy photos
It was likely a plug-in hybrid, with the charging port on the driver's side to mimic the setup used by the 2024 S63 E Performance. We should point out that some of the older PHEVs carrying the three-pointed star, including the AMG GT 63 S E Performance, have the charging port on the right side of the rear bumper.
Styling-wise, we're getting the impression Mercedes wants to narrow the gap between the 53 and 63 models. The easiest way to tell which is which is by looking at the rear where the AMG Lite variant has quad round exhaust tips whereas those on the 63 will have a more angular shape. BMW has also been making its M Performance cars look more and more like the actual full-fat Ms, and it's now even putting four tips on not-quite-M cars such as the X1 M35i xDrive.
When the AMG E53 breaks cover in the next weeks or months, it might have a combined output of over 500 bhp provided it'll inherit the electrified inline-six setup from the S580e.