Mercedes-Benz CLE-Class Spy Shots Showcase Coupe With Plug-In Powertrain

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Mercedes-Benz is working on a new model that will replace the C- and E-Class coupes and convertibles. We wish the company called it CLE, and our spy photographers have captured the camouflaged test vehicle. The latest spy shot captures a plug-in hybrid variant that isn’t the hotter AMG trim.

The photos show the familiar-looking vehicle covered from bumper to bumper in camouflage. A deceptive cover hides the more subtle coupe-style details, but the car’s look is in line with the rest of the Mercedes range, with the brand’s grille flanked by thin headlights. Mercedes hides the rear taillights well, but the hole for the charging port in the rear bumper is clearly visible.

Spy shots from September captured the cabin, which contained several surprises. While Mercedes attempted to hide it under a cloth cover, the photos reveal the car’s digital instrument cluster behind the wheel and a tilted infotainment screen mounted under the HVAC vents on the dashboard. It looks like any other modern Mercedes interior.

The details of the CLE’s powertrain remain shrouded in mystery, but it will likely borrow it from the C-Class as both cars share the same MRA-2 platform. The C 300e pairs a 2.0-liter turbo with an electric motor and battery to produce 309 horsepower (230 kilowatts) and 405 pound-feet (550 Newton-meters) of torque. The sedan sprints up to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 6.1 seconds. It will be interesting to see if that is the powertrain Mercedes chooses to use in the CLE.

Mercedes will offer the CLE a wide range of engine options, just like the C-Class. We’ve looked at two AMG variants, with the hotter CLE 63 hybrid possibly sharing a powertrain with the 671-hp (500-kW) AMG C63 SE Performance. Only time will tell.

The automaker has announced when it will reveal the new model. Mercedes will offer it in both coupe and convertible form, and the company could roll them out in staggered fashion, revealing the regular CLE variant ahead of the AMG variant. Mercedes has a few weeks before 2022 ends if it hopes to reveal this year’s model. If that doesn’t happen, we’re expecting a debut in early 2023.