During the Industry Pool at the Nürburgring I have filmed the Mercedes-AMG CLE63 testing on track.
MERCEDES-AMG CLE63 TESTING AT THE NÜRBURGRING
In the age of the SUV and on the brink of the EV era, coupes with combustion engines are a tough sell. Mercedes believes it has found a compromise to please accountants and enthusiasts. How? By nixing the C63 Coupe and E63 Coupe and replacing them with the CLE 63 Coupe. A heavily camouflaged prototype of the new sporty two-door luxury car has been caught working out at the ‘Ring gym.
We can easily tell it’s the “63” flavor rather than the lower-tier AMG by looking at the back where it’s hard to miss the rectangular (instead of round) shape of the quad exhaust. The speedy coupe appears to have the full production body, complete with a chunky rear spoiler, generous air intakes, and the familiar Panamericana grille. It seems glued to the road courtesy of its lowered, stiffer suspension with larger wheels and brakes.
The jury is still out on what will power the first-ever CLE63. The brawny V8 used by the old C63 and E63 won’t be found underneath the hood where AMG will downsize to a smaller engine. Some claim it’ll use the electrified four-cylinder of the new C63 but that wouldn’t make much sense. Why? Because customers can get the regular CLE 450 4Matic with an inline-six.
We’d reckon it would be strange to put a smaller engine in the top-tier AMG. Yes, it would make more power overall after factoring in the electric motor, but having a bigger ICE in the non-AMG model just doesn’t feel right. There’s already enough controversy surrounding Mercedes’ performance division after halving the number of cylinders of the C63.
With that in mind, Affalterbach could be looking into a different plug-in hybrid based around the 3.0-liter engine. This setup is rumored for the upcoming E63 Sedan and E63 Estate, with some reports claiming the inline-six and e-motor will deliver a combined output of over 700 horsepower. That would make sense considering the C63 is already pushing out 671 hp.
A convertible version of the CLE 63 is also in the offing while the AMG GT Roadster has been phased out and indirectly replaced by the AMG SL. Let’s keep in mind Mercedes has also discontinued the S-Class Coupe/Convertible and the SLC, which were all offered in AMG spec. The lineup will be simplified further in the years to come as some of the compact cars will be getting the axe.