Sedan sales may be on the decline, but the situation is even worse when it comes to coupes and convertibles. As a result, most automakers have either scaled back the number of two-door cars they offer or dropped the body styles altogether.
Mercedes-Benz has had one of the most diverse lineups of coupes and convertibles in recent years, but it too is in the process of streamlining its sporty offerings. The SLK-Class, S-Class Coupe, S-Class Cabriolet, and AMG GT Roadster have all already been dropped.
Next, the coupe and convertible versions of the C-Class and E-Class will be phased out and replaced with a single model rumored to be called the CLE-Class. We’ve already spotted prototypes for this potential CLE-Class in coupe and convertible forms, as well as in sporty CLE 53 guise. Now, we have spy shots and video of what looks to be a high-performance CLE 63 from AMG.
Elements that point to this particular prototype being a range-topping AMG include the large wheel and brake combo, large air openings up front, and square-shaped exhaust tips. The prototype for the CLE 53 featured round tips.
Under the hood should be the same turbo-4-based plug-in hybrid powertrain that features in the recently launched 2024 C 63 S E Performance sedan. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 is an upgraded version of the engine found in AMG’s current crop of compact cars. Thanks to the addition of an electric turbocharger, output from the engine is boosted to 469 hp. The engine is then mated with an electric motor in mild-hybrid configuration to draw power for ancillary features, as well as serve as a starter motor.
On top of all this, there’s a much more powerful motor (up to 201 hp) at the rear axle to take combined output to a maximum of 671 hp. This rear motor is mated to its own 2-speed transmission. A 6.1-kwh battery ensures a small electric range is possible. A similar setup, albeit with a V-8 engine, features in the 2023 GT 63 S E Performance 4-Door Coupe and 2023 S 63 E Performance.
Mercedes-AMG E Performance
In the case of the C 63 S E Performance, all the hardware is capable of 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.3 seconds. The top speed is a governed 174 mph. Performance should be similar for the CLE with this powertrain.
The regular CLE-Class is expected to debut later this year. The AMG versions should trail the regular model by six months to a year, as 2024 or possibly 2025 models. Also in the works is a CLE 63 S E Performance Cabriolet.