The first-ever Mercedes-Benz CLE made its official debut in July this year replacing the E-Class and C-Class in coupe and convertible forms and offering an available six-cylinder turbocharged engine. There’s currently an AMG-branded version under development – and we have a new spy video showing a fully camouflaged prototype – but ironically, the range-topper in the family could use four-cylinder power. This easily explains the silent manner in which this trial vehicle cruises in German traffic.
A few weeks ago, we saw the AMG 63 variant of the CLE for the first time and this new prototype looks almost identical. It wears its production body and lights and it appears that there are rectangular exhaust pipes at the back, which hints this is indeed the 63 guise and not the less powerful 53 model. Interestingly, the weird wheel setup of the previous prototype is gone for this test car, which has a set of multi-spoke alloys.
The big mystery regarding the new CLE 63 is what will be under the hood. As a reminder, the CLE 450 4Matic has an inline-six engine and it would be strange if the top-tier AMG model gets a smaller engine. The C63 has a hybridized four-cylinder mill generating 671 horsepower and 752 pound-feet. And while those are solid numbers for a performance coupe, it just doesn’t feel right to have a smaller engine in the range-topping model.
Alternatively, Mercedes-AMG could install a new plug-in hybrid powertrain based on the 3.0-liter engine. It is believed that a similar setup will debut with the upcoming E63 family, where it could produce over 700 horsepower thanks to electric support. Whether that powertrain will find its way in the new CLE 63, it remains to be seen.
There’s another answer that needs to be answered – when the performance coupe will debut. There’s no official information but our educated guess is that we will see the model in the first half of next year with sales probably starting around the third quarter of 2024 as a 2025 model.