The redesigned Mercedes C-Class sedan burst onto the scene nearly two years ago and it will soon be followed by a coupe. Set to adopt the CLE moniker, the model is rumored to replace the current C- and E-Class coupes and convertibles as Mercedes streamlines their lineup.
While spy photographers have already snapped prototypes on numerous occasions, this particular model is interesting as it’s a plug-in hybrid variant that features a charging port integrated into the rear bumper. There’s no word on what’s under the hood, but we wouldn’t be surprised to find a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 25.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a 127 hp (95 kW / 129 PS) electric motor.
This setup gives the C300e a combined output of 308 hp (230 kW / 313 PS) and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque. That’s enough to allow the sedan to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in as little as 6.1 seconds.
Of course, this won’t be the only plug-in hybrid model as spy photographers have already snapped 53 and 63 variants from Mercedes AMG. The latter is slated to have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a 6.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a rear-mounted electric motor. This setup gives the C63 S E Performance a combined output of 671 hp (500 kW / 680 PS) and 752 lb-ft (1,018 Nm) of torque.
Putting powertrains aside, the CLE has a single bar grille that is flanked by sweptback headlights. The model also sports an angular rear end, distinctive taillights, and a rakish windscreen that flows into a sloping roof.
The C-Class inspired styling will continue in the cabin as previous spy photos have shown a familiar interior. As a result, we can expect a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an 11.9-inch infotainment system with a portrait orientation.
A number of questions remain, but the Mercedes CLE is expected to be introduced early next year.