Mercedes-AMG’s fettled C-Class models may have shifted to four-cylinder power, but the replacement for the C-Class and E-Class coupes won’t follow suit.

    The Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 has six cylinders, and it’s coming to Australia. Timing has yet to be confirmed.

    Mercedes-AMG says the new model “combines the best of two worlds: the agility and sportiness of the C-Class with the space and status of the E-Class”.

    It packs an updated version of the M 256 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, called the M 256M, producing 330kW of power between 5800 and 6100rpm and 560Nm of torque between 2200 and 5000rpm.

    Torque is bumped up to 600Nm for 12 seconds in overboost.

    The updated engine features redesigned inline and outlet channels, new piston rings, a new exhaust gas turbocharger and a new electric additional compressor, allowing for an increase in boost pressure by 0.4 bar to 1.5 bar.

    An integrated starter generator, positioned within the gearbox bell housing, briefly supplies an additional 17kW and 205Nm, feeds the 48V electrical system, and allows the vehicle to coast without the combustion engine on.

    Drive is sent to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission.

    The claimed 0-100km/h time is 4.2 seconds.

    No ADR fuel economy figures are available yet, but on the WLTP combined cycle it uses a claimed 9.3-9.7L/100km.

    When driving moderately, the front axle is completely decoupled, with the AMG transitioning from rear- to all-wheel drive continuously. In drift mode the AMG can be programmed as a rear-wheel drive vehicle across the entire speed range.

    The AMG rides on AMG Ride Control suspension, with steel springs and adaptive damping.

    Like the suspension, the steering also has three separate modes. Rear axle steering is standard, with a maximum steering angle of 2.5 degrees.

    The rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds of up to 100km/h, while above this they turn parallel to the front wheels up to a maximum of 0.7 degrees.

    Stopping is provided by 370 x 36mm ventilated discs up front with four-piston fixed calipers, with 360 x 26mm ventilated discs at the rear with single-piston floating calipers.

    An optional AMG Driver’s Package bumps the top speed from 250km/h to 270km/h, while the AMG Dynamic Plus package brings a Race driving program with Drift Mode plus red-painted brake calipers.

    The hot CLE features AMG’s traditional waterfall grille, bracketed by LED headlights, with Mercedes’ Digital Light headlights optional with or without projection functionality.

    These feature daytime running light ‘ellipses’ and blue lighting at the base.

    Other cosmetic changes include flared fenders, unique 19-inch alloy wheels or optional 20s, a restyled front apron, quad exhaust outlets, and a rear apron that promises better air flow around the wheel arches.

    There’s a body-colour lip spoiler, which can also be specified in black as part of the AMG styling package. There are two AMG Night packages and AMG Carbon packages.

    An optional AMG Optics package adds flics on the front and rear aprons, a more pronounced rear lip spoiler, and a diffuser board between the exhaust outlets.

    The track has also been widened over the regular CLE, to the tune of 58mm up front and 75mm at the rear.

    Inside, the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 11.9-inch infotainment touchscreen are carried over, but there’s an AMG-exclusive Supersport display style.

    For the digital cluster, this features a central round tachometer, while an AMG menu includes information like a G-metre and race timer.

    The driver grips a flat-bottomed AMG Performance steering wheel with AMG’s round steering wheel buttons with integrated displays and galvanised paddle shifters.

    The seats are finished in Artico leatherette and Microcut black microfibre with red contrast top-stitching and red seat belts. There’s also unique carbon trim in the interior.

    You can opt for leather or Nappa leather, the latter bring embossed AMG crests in the headrests, while AMG’s performance seat is an option. This features more pronounced bolsters and vertical openings, and can be upholstered in Nappa leather.

    While Mercedes-Benz hasn’t confirmed local launch timing for the AMG CLE 53, it has previously confirmed the regular CLE coupe and convertible are due here in the second half of 2024.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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