The new mid-size coupé and convertible range from Mercedes-Benz is about to be unveiled, with prototypes wearing less and less camouflage.
The Mercedes-Benz CLE, as it can be called, will reportedly replace the outgoing coupe and convertible models in the C-Class and E-Class ranges.
The CLE, which will also offer more powerful Mercedes-AMG variants, will allow Mercedes-Benz to still field a rival for the BMW 4 Series and M4, as well as the Audi A5, S5 and RS5.
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In terms of design, the new model retains the company’s signature soft, rounded look, although there’s also a resemblance to the sharper Mercedes-AMG SL.
Our photographers have now spied on almost the entire range, including coupe and convertible body styles, as well as plug-in hybrid and AMG 43 and 63 variants.
It’s likely that the CLE will use the new MRA-2 architecture and, like the redesigned C-Class, will feature a range of electrified four-cylinder powertrains.
At the top of the line-up is expected to be a CLE 63 AMG, with the AMG C63’s high-performance plug-in hybrid all-wheel drive system.
This model uses a revised version of the AMG A45’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a total system output of 500 kW and 750 Nm.
Below the C63 is the C43, with a version of the mild hybrid turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in the SL 43 convertible, producing 300 kW and 500 Nm of power.
Of course, there will be cheaper, less powerful versions among these AMG-polished models.
A likely option is the C300’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mild hybrid powertrain, which produces 190 kW and 400 Nm.
Previous spy photos have shown that the interior features a similar triple-vent design to the C-Class, and we’re expecting a similarly sized portrait-mode touchscreen infotainment system and freestanding digital instrument cluster on this model.
Mercedes-Benz R&D head Markus Schäfer told Auto Express it effectively has three cabriolets – the SLC and the C-Class and E-Class cabriolets – which occupy a part of the market that isn’t particularly profitable.
However, he acknowledged that it is important for a luxury car brand to continue offering coupe and convertible models.
As Mercedes-Benz expands its range of electric vehicles with models like the EQE and EQS, which are based on a special EV architecture, it is aware that its model range cannot become too large and unwieldy.
The small-series SLC has already been canceled, and no coupe or cabriolet versions of the restyled Mercedes-Benz S-Class have been announced.
The merger of the two-door C- and E-Class series is reminiscent of the days of the CLK.
Sold for two generations from 1997 to 2010, the CLK used the C-Class platform but with E-Class styling cues, and was available with a range of engines ranging from four- to eight-cylinder configurations.
It was replaced by the E-Class coupe and cabriolet, which continued to use the mechanics of the C-Class but were quickly joined by a C-class coupe and cabriolet.
In 2017, Mercedes-Benz finally brought back an E-Class-based coupe and cabriolet to the E-Class line, while the C-Class lineup continued to offer two-door variants.
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/motoring/2023-mercedes-benz-cle-spied-c-8966054 2023 Mercedes-Benz CLE spied | 7NEWS