Mercedes-Benz in July revealed the CLE-Class, a single nameplate that serves as the replacement for the two-door versions of the previous-generation C-Class and E-Class.
It reaches dealerships early next year but buyers looking for performance options from AMG will have to wait a little longer as prototypes are still being tested out on the road. Our latest spy shots have captured one of the prototypes for the sporty CLE 53 coupe from AMG. Also out testing is a high-performance CLE 63, spotted in both coupe and convertible body styles.
Clear giveaways that this is an AMG include the grille with vertical slats, the huge brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport tires. The four round exhaust tips signify this as the tamer CLE 53. The CLE 63 prototypes sport four square-shaped tips.
It isn’t clear what powertrain is planned for the CLE 53. One possibility is the same setup introduced in the 2023 C 43 sedan. The setup consists of a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that generates 402 hp on its own, plus a mild-hybrid system that’s able to deliver a temporary 14-hp boost.
However, the regular CLE-Class in CLE 450 guise packs a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6, leaving the door open for a powertrain based around an inline-6 in the CLE 53. Thus, an alternative could be AMG launching the CLE 53 with the same plug-in hybrid powertrain destined for the recently revealed 2026 GLE 53 Hybrid (and likely the next E 53). This powertrain combines a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with an electric motor for a combined 536 hp.
The powertrain for the CLE 63 is also not certain. The likely scenario is the same turbo-4-based plug-in hybrid powertrain that features in the 2024 C 63 S E Performance sedan and upcoming 2025 GLC 63 S E Performance crossover. It pairs a 2.0-liter turbo-4 and mild-hybrid setup with a rear-mounted electric motor for a combined peak output of 671 hp.
However, there are also rumors of a plug-in hybrid powertrain built around an inline-6 being used for the CLE 63 and possibly a future E 63.
The CLE 53 and CLE 63 are currently expected to debut in the first half of 2024. They should start sales later that year as 2025 models in the U.S.