What happens when you add the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and C-Class together? You get the CLE.
In Europe, the coupe will debut in November 2023 with the convertible to follow early in 2024.
Measuring up at 4850mm long with a 2865mm wheelbase, 1860mm wide, and 1420mm tall, it’s bigger than the BMW 4 Series or Audi A5 – along with the last C-Class coupe. Mercedes-Benz says that pays dividends inside with more space, particularly in the rear seats.
The boot is now capable of holding three golf bags, with a capacity of 420 litres.
Much of the cabin will be familiar to anyone who’s seen the new C-Class, or AMG SL.
The centre console is dominated by an 11.9-inch vertical touchscreen, and the driver is faced with an 12.3-inch display.
Although there are parts shared with the rest of the Mercedes-Benz range, the seats are unique to the CLE. Gone are the plastic flaps to fold them, replaced with Nappa leather straps. Fancy.
An optional Burmester sound system has a total of 17 speakers, including some integrated into the seat backs.
Power at launch comes from a range of four- and six-cylinder engines, including a diesel.
The most basic engine, the CLE200, pumps out 150kW of power and 320Nm of torque, and is mated with a nine-speed automatic. A 48V mild-hybrid system features across the range, and can contribute an additional 200Nm for short bursts. It also makes for smoother start/stop.
Topping the range is the CLE450 4Matic, which has a 280kW/500Nm turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine mated with the same 48V system.
A plug-in hybrid is being developed, and we’re expecting to see AMG variants as well.
Under the skin, the CLE has a sports suspension setup and can be optioned with an adaptive suspension and rear-wheel steering.