Mercedes-AMG CLE63 S E Performance spied – AMG’s 671bhp plug-in M4 Competition rival

Merc’s future four-seat coupe and cabrio ranges will be topped by 671bhp AMG flagship

Mercedes-AMG looks likely to follow up its new 671bhp C63 S E Performance with hot four-seater coupe and cabriolet variants that’ll pick up the CLE moniker when they arrive next year. The new CLE model line will be created to consolidate the previous two-door C-class and current two-door E-class models into one range that’ll rival the BMW 4-series and Audi A5. This new line-up will be topped by this CLE63 S E Performance.

From these images, we can clearly see that this is a flagship AMG variant of the CLE thanks to the wider front and rear wheel arches, Panamericana front grille and significant cooling apparatus mounted behind the front bumper. Look closely and you’ll also note the small slip vent on the bonnet, and aggressive negative camber dialled into the front suspension. These are all elements shared with the latest AMG C-class. 

The aggressive hardware is also visible at the side and rear, with deeper sills, larger and wider wheels with new Michelin Pilot Sport 5 rubber, bigger brakes and four oblong-shaped exhaust apertures on the rear bumper.

If you were hoping that this would all be powered by a version of the previous C63’s M177 V8 engine though, you might be disappointed, as it’s expected that the new flagship AMG will instead utilise the hybridised turbo-four featured in the new C63. Supporting this claim is the visible charge flap integrated into the rear bumper. 

With full technical information of the C63 S E Performance’s powertrain now in the public domain, we can safely say that the CLE63 is likely to feature the same 671bhp peak power figure derived from a 469bhp M139l turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder engine, paired to an electrified rear axle that adds an additional 201bhp to the total from a high-voltage electric motor. Torque is rated at a minimum of 752lb ft, and sends the saloon to 62mph in just 3.4sec – a figure that’s likely to be at least matched, and potentially beaten, by the new CLE. 

It will almost certainly feature the same 9G-Tronic transmission, variable all-wheel drive system with a drift-mode, and the ability to send power from either of its sources to either axle – a frighteningly complicated setup that AMG’s hoping will be a game changer in this segment of the high performance market.

Being derived from Merc’s F1 exploits, AMG’s electrified rear axle is not designed for ultimate efficiency or electric range, rather ultimate performance. Of course, like the saloon and estate, the pay-off of all this exciting new powertrain technology is weight. With the C63 coming in at over 2100kg, we expect the CLE coupe to mirror those figures and the Cabriolet to exceed the estate’s 2177kg total. 

Much of the CLE’s styling and interior will closely channel the new C-class too, with slim LED head and tail lights, a high-tech interior with Merc’s latest MBUX interfaces and a multitude of driver modes and settings. 

Mercedes-AMG has yet to confirm when we’ll be seeing the new CLE, and after a busy year launching the C63, SL and EV products, it’s likely to be 2023 before we see either the coupe or convertible in full.

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