The rhythm of new model launches rarely stops, and that’s true at Mercedes. We’ve caught the automaker prepping the new CLE-Class for its big debut, even snapping spy photos of the hot AMG CLE 63. A new batch of photos captures the more docile AMG variant, the CLE 53, for the first time.
New photos show the coupe, which will also be available as a convertible, looks like its hotter sibling. However, there are distinct differences that reveal this example to be below CLE 63 in the hierarchy. The CLE 53 has round quad exhaust pipes at the rear, while the CLE 63 has square pipes. This is not the only style difference. The AMG CLE 53 should adopt an overall tamer design, which we won’t be able to see until the vehicle starts shedding some of its camouflage.
It’s unclear what kind of powertrain the CLE 53 will feature, but we expect the hotter CLE 63 might get a hybrid powertrain from the new AMG C63 SE Performance. The setup pairs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a rear-mounted electric motor. The car delivered a punch, making 671 horsepower and rocketing the car to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in 3.3 seconds. The CLE 53 could feature an untuned version of this powertrain, but this is pure speculation.
The new CLE will likely replace the C- and E-Class coupes and convertibles in the Mercedes lineup. The new model will use the automaker’s MRA-2 platform that underpins the new C-Class, so we expect the two to share a powertrain across the model lineup. The interior should also be similar.
Mercedes has yet to announce when it will reveal the new CLE-Class. We thought it could happen before the end of the year, but the clock is ticking. The regular CLE should debut before the hotter AMG variant, which could happen in 2023. That means the AMG variant will likely arrive as a model year 2024. We’ll keep an eye on it as we head into winter.