Mercedes-Benz is preparing to replace its C-Class and E-Class coupe and convertible with a new model that may wear the CLE name.

    Our spy photographers have already captured the convertible version of the upcoming model a number of times, and have now shot the coupe.

    The new CLE will compete against the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5.

    Previous reports have indicated Mercedes-Benz doesn’t want to leave the luxury coupe and convertible market, but is consolidating its offerings. The latest S-Class, for example, won’t be offered in two-door guise, and the SLC has been axed.

    While it appears to be wearing a thinner form of camouflage than previous convertible prototypes, a lot of the design details are still concealed. The front-end styling, however, bears a close resemblance to the latest C-Class.

    At this stage it’s unclear what’ll power the Mercedes-Benz CLE but a range of electrified four-cylinder powertrains is expected, like the current C-Class.

    For context, the Mercedes-Benz C300 uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a 48V mild-hybrid system producing 190kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

    It’s expected there’ll be at least one AMG version of the CLE and it could receive electrified four-cylinder powertrains as well, similar to the Mercedes-AMG SL43 and C43 mild-hybrid or upcoming Mercedes-AMG C63 plug-in hybrid.

    The Mercedes-Benz CLE will reportedly be available only as a convertible at first, with the two-door coupe version set to follow afterwards.

    Mercedes-Benz research and development head, Marcus Schafer, recently told Auto Express it effectively had three convertibles – the SLC, and the C-Class and E-Class Cabriolets – occupying a part of the market that isn’t particularly profitable.

    He conceded, however, it’s important for a luxury car brand to continue to offer coupe and convertible models.

    As Mercedes-Benz expands its range of electric vehicles (EVs) to include models like the EQE and EQS built on a dedicated EV architecture, it’s aware its model line-up can’t get too large and unwieldy.

    Merging the two-door C-Class and E-Class ranges is reminiscent of the days of the CLK.

    Sold for two generations from 1997 to 2010, the CLK used the C-Class’ platform but with E-Class styling cues, and was available with a range of engines ranging from four- to eight-cylinder configurations.

    In 2017, Mercedes-Benz finally returned a coupe and convertible to the E-Class line-up. These have been sold concurrently with the C-Class coupe and convertible.

    Click an image to view the full gallery.

    MORE: 2023 Mercedes-Benz CLE spied

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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