E53 AMG – Tires: 245/40ZR19 front, 275/35ZR19 rear; Wheelbase: 113.1 inches; Length: 190.6 inches; Weight: 4,341 pounds; Width: 80.9 inches; Height: 56.2 inches; Fuel capacity: 17.4 gallons; City: 20 mpg; Highway: 26 mpg; Website: www.mbusa.com.

OK, so it isn’t quite as fast as the C63 AMG, but this one still can fly. Replacing the E43 model, the Mercedes-Benz E53 can take off from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.4 seconds. And its top speed is set at 130 mph. Not earth-shattering numbers but still very impressive, one must say.

After all, the 3.0-liter turbo engine with an integrated EQ Boost starter-generator (located between the engine and transmission) in the 2020 Cabriolet isn’t just run-of-the-mill. It was specially hand-built by the AMG division in Affalterbach, Germany.

Step on the throttle of all-wheel drive luxury convertible and the inline-six engine blasts off 429 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 384 pounds-feet of torque at 5,800 rpm. Mated to a slick and effective nine-speed automatic gearbox, the E53 is equipped with an electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering, which is razor sharp.

Suspension is handled competently by an independent multi-link system. Both ends have gas shocks and coil springs to improve ride quality and comfort. Bringing the speed demon to a halt are 14.5-inch front and 14.2-inch rear caliper discs.

To vary the driving experience, Mercedes-Benzes come in eco, individual, comfort, sport and sports+ modes. The soft power top opens or closes in 20 seconds. In fact, you can operate the top up to a 31-mile speed.

Walk up to the E53 and the first element that will grab your attention is the AMG badge embossed in the arrow-shaped ‘twin-blade’ grille with the familiar three-pointed star flanked by wraparound LED headlamps and daytime running lights. The cabin is lavish and elegant, as is expected of any AMG-equipped Benz with a dual-zone auto a/c, 40/20/40 rear seat, Burmester sound system, panoramic sunroof, steering wheel-mounted shifters, open/close power trunk and heated/cooled seats.

The dash, doors and center console are covered in rich Nappa leather upholstery. The previous rotary knob for the command system has been replaced with a touchpad to control the audio, navigation and phone infotainment on the massive 12.3-inch display screen. AMG enthusiasts will quickly notice the emblem imprinted on the seatbacks. All the materials and craftsmanship are top-notch.

Base-priced at $81,600 and topping at $95,445 with options, the performance and luxury-oriented E53 packs a bunch or two with superb handling and balance.

Mercedes-Benz of Tampa is located at 4400 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. Visit www.mboftampabay.com.