2024 Mercedes-AMG CLE63 S E Performance spied – 671bhp hybrid spotted in drop-top form
AMG's new four-seat coupe and cabriolet ranges will be topped by a 671bhp AMG flagship, spied testing in Germany
Mercedes-AMG is following up its 671bhp C63 S E Performance with hot four-seater coupe and cabriolet variants, picking up the CLE moniker when they arrive in the coming months. The new CLE model line has been created to consolidate the previous two-door C-class and current two-door E-class models into one range to rival the BMW 4-series and Audi A5, with the range topped by the CLE63 S E Performance spotted here.
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. The most recent images of a cabriolet test mule reveal more detail in the front and rear bumpers, with minimal camouflage revealing an intake design similar to that seen on the outgoing V8-powered W205 C63 coupe.
The similarities don't mean it'll share that car's excellent M177 V8 engine, though, with it instead expected to utilise the hybridised turbo-four featured fromt the new GLC63 and 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 closely channels 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.
With the ordinary Mercedes-Benz CLE already having seen its reveal, expect to see the AMG range-topper in due course.