Do you want to know my problem with the German premium triumvirate? If my two cents are allowed on the matter, there’s a potential rift between Mercedes and Audi on one side and BMW on the other.
Not long ago, everyone could choose something logical when shopping for a ‘Merc,’ ‘Bimmer,’ or Audi. The latter was the technologically savvy and completely subdued option. BMWs were sporty above all else, and Mercedes was the epitome of luxury, long-distance cruising, and comfort. Nowadays, though, they’re in odd places.
BMW is the wacky cartoon-like character if this were the Looney Tunes world – they have produced a vehicle for every persona, as long as it’s odd and confusing. Audis are boring beyond belief, on the other hand. If you want a recent example, they just unveiled a new facelift for the big Q7, and I yawned all through reading the press release and checking out the press gallery.
Meanwhile, Mercedes is something that’s not quite Audi, but they’re getting there. In fact, I salute their decision to streamline the model lineup because I was having trouble remembering their models now and associating them with the proper looks – that was quite embarrassing in my conversations with friends who expected me to know what Mercedes was doing these days. Well, they’re doing one design for all passenger cars, another for SUVs, and a third for EVs, and that’s it.
Luckily, I have the imaginative realm of digital car content creators to retreat to when I’m feeling pain and despair at the current state of the German triumvirate. Just recently, Sugar Chow, the virtual artist better known as sugardesign_1 on social media, had decided to solve one of Mercedes’ many problems by retconning the existence of the all-new CLE Class in favor of a proper Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe.
The Mercedes-Benz CLE Class was introduced in 2023 as a grand tourer – C236 coupe and A236 Cabriolet – to replace both the two-door versions of the C and E classes. That means it’s not quite the direct rival of the BMW 4 Series Coupe and Cabriolet, for example. Basically, the styling is reminiscent of the smaller C Class, but the engine options are shared with the all-new W214 E Class, and so are the prices, of course.
There are also Mercedes-AMG options – fortunately, the CLE 53 is already official and packs an inline-six engine. However, this pixel master wasn’t satisfied with the existence of the new series, deleted it from his parallel universes of vehicular CGI, and proceeded to rewrite history with the introduction of a proper Mercedes-Benz E Class Coupe. As always, his digital design projects are nearly perfect; if Mercedes did such a model, it would probably look like the author imagined it.
Anyway, his vision wasn’t enough with just modern looks. Instead, the CGI expert has also brought back the classic Mercedes wheels from the 1990s to make them even more traditional. In fact, the only thing missing to make us believe we just jumped back in time a few decades is a shiny three-pointed star perched on top of the engine hood instead of lying dormant on the radiator grille. So, do you like it more than the real world’s CLE?