The latest line of AMG models will be hybrids; 48-volt micro-hybrids.

Mercedes-AMG is adding to its lineup with a new series of AMG 53 models. They will get a 3.0-liter inline-six with a 48-volt EQ Boost micro-hybrid system that will add a little power, a lot of torque, and will improve fuel economy.

The new CLS 53, E53 Coupe, and E 53 Cabriolet are new models, sitting between the E 400 cars and the big-V8 AMG 63 models. They offer increased performance, but they also contribute toward Mercedes-Benz’ plans to electrify at least 50 passenger cars by 2022.

The new models use a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that offers 429 horsepower and 384 pounds-feet of torque. The EQ Boost integrated starter-alternator fits between the engine and nine-speed automatic transmission and adds 21 horsepower with 184 pounds-feet of torque. Mercedes didn’t provide the capacity, chemistry, or location of the new battery.

The EQ Boost system also handles some other functions to help improve fuel economy. It covers start-stop function and regenerative braking, but it also controls the engine idle speed and gliding mode. That allows the gas engine to stay off longer in those situations.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes-Benz Announces First EQ Production for 2019

It’s not a full 48-volt system, the cars use an inverter to supply 12-volt electricity to the non-hybrid components like the infotainment system and lights.

“With the new 53-series models we are extending our portfolio in a first step towards a hybridized future with a leading-edge combination of sporty design, performance and efficiency,” said Tobias Moers, head of Mercedes-AMG.

Estimated combined fuel economy for the AMG 53 models is 28 miles per gallon (8.4 L/100 km) on the European test cycle. But despite all the added tech, that’s the same figure as the E 43 sedan with 401 horsepower and the last-generation V6. Mercedes touts fuel savings like those of a high-voltage hybrid, so they may expect it to perform better in real-world use than on the test.

The AMG cars have special grilles and side skirts to ensure they are recognised as more than the standard car. They also offer more upscale interior materials like synthtic leather and microfiber. The E 53 models also have sport seats for driver and passenger.

While these are micro hybrids, they are still the first hybrids with an AMG badge. It’s a baby step toward the full electrification that Mercedes has planned with models in the EQ lineup that is planned to arrive in 2019 with the EQC.