Mercedes introduced the CLE Coupe and Convertible earlier this month, and now we’re getting a glimpse at the high-performance variants courtesy of a loyal CarScoops reader.
While traveling in Arizona, Nick came across a couple of Mercedes-AMG CLE Convertibles, which can be easily identified by their Panamericana grilles and four-tailpipe exhaust systems.
Despite the similar appearance, the prototypes have different powertrains as the blue convertible sports a four-tailpipe exhaust system with circular tips. This means it’s the mild AMG variant, which appeared in EPA documents earlier this year as the CLE 53.
The filing implied the model will have a familiar turbocharged 3.0-liter (M256) engine, which means we can expect an output of around 429 hp (320 kW / 435 PS) and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque. While the final numbers remain to be seen, that would be a healthy increase over the CLE 450 4MATIC, which has an inline-six developing 375 hp (280 kW / 380 PS) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque.
The other prototype is more interesting as it sports squared off exhaust tips and a rear charging port. These are telltale signs of it being the Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 S E-Performance. Initial speculation suggested the high-performance variant would follow in the footsteps of the C 63 S E-Performance and have a plug-in hybrid powertrain that consists of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a 6.1 kWh battery pack.
This setup gives the sedan an impressive combined output of 671 hp (500 kW / 680 PS) and 752 lb-ft (1,018 Nm) of torque. That’s enough to enable the model to rocket from 0–60 mph (0-96 km/h) in approximately 3.3 seconds, before hitting a top speed of up to 174 mph (280 km/h).
Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at, but the range-topping CLE is now expected to echo the upcoming E63 S E-Performance and have a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, a rear-mounted electric motor, and a relatively small battery pack. This could give the car a combined output in excess of 700 hp (522 kW / 710 PS).