Spy shots

Mercedes-AMG CLE63 Cabriolet spied – high performance four-seat cabrio on its way

C-class and E-class convertibles to be amalgamated into one CLE model, topped by a hybrid-powered CLE63 S flagship

Mercedes has been testing a hot AMG version of its incoming CLE Cabriolet, a new mid-sized four-seat convertible that will replace both existing C- and E-class convertibles. The new model is part of Merc’s plan to consolidate its current range, and while this cold-weather prototype does have a lot of body-disguising camouflage, there are a few key elements that reveal this specific car’s identity, all-but confirming it’s a flagship AMG 63 variant.  

This starts with the front wings, which look significantly wider than those found on other CLE prototypes. These not only cover larger and wider wheels and tyres, but also a chunky braking package and a significant amount of negative camber – all elements usually reserved for top-spec 63s. 

The rear tyres look equally massive, sporting their own widened arches that suggest, like the current C63 S convertible, the CLE63 will feature a bespoke side-pressing – an expensive, but in this case necessary exercise. As for what powertrain we expect to be featured, it’s almost a certainty that it will join the forthcoming C63 S in dropping the V8 in favour of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired to AMG’s E Performance electrified rear axle. 

The engine likely to be found under the bonnet is AMG’s M139 unit that’s currently found in the A45 S, and like it will produce upwards of 400bhp on its own. This will combine with a 93bhp electric motor mounted on the rear axle that’s expected to be able to produce as much as 200bhp for short periods of time. If the system is the same as the one found in the forthcoming C-class, it’ll be fed by a 6.1kWh battery pack, and have the ability to feed its power back up to the front axle. 

With a little while until its expected debut, this CLE63 prototype still has lots of early development components fitted, including non-production lighting, bumpers and exhaust elements. The rear quarter panel’s extra width also looks to be made up from additional cladding, rather than a bespoke quarter panel – suggesting that none of its exterior bodywork aside from the door skins are production-relevant. 

The mystery in the CLEs case is when, or if, a coupe version will also be offered, as up until this point, any fixed-roof prototypes have yet to be seen. If it does arrive, it, like the cabriolet, will replace both the C-class and E-class coupes, and will almost definitely fill in the void left by the C63 S coupe, giving the BMW M4 a fresh new rival in the process. 

Recommended

Mercedes-AMG Vision Concept previews fast electric future
Mercedes-AMG Vision Concept
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG Vision Concept previews fast electric future

Gordon Wagner’s vision of AMG’s future looks a little something like this
20 May 2022
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is the most expensive car in the world
Mercedes 300 SLR – side
Mercedes

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is the most expensive car in the world

One of two 300 SLR Uhlenhauts has been sold from Merc’s own collection for £114,000,000
20 May 2022
New Ferrari 296 GTS revealed – convertible model joins coupe
Ferrari 296 GTS – front quarter
Ferrari

New Ferrari 296 GTS revealed – convertible model joins coupe

£270,000, 818bhp V6-hybrid GTS added to Ferrari’s new 296 family
19 Apr 2022
Mercedes-AMG SL43 revealed with four-cylinder engine and new electric turbo
Mercedes SL43 – rear static
Mercedes AMG SL

Mercedes-AMG SL43 revealed with four-cylinder engine and new electric turbo

AMG’s new SL range to open with a 376bhp version of the A45’s turbo-four
6 Apr 2022

Most Popular

Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years debuts – is this the Mk8 range-topper we’ve been waiting for?
Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years – front
Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years debuts – is this the Mk8 range-topper we’ve been waiting for?

Small tweaks across the engine, gearbox and chassis could all add up to make a real difference
24 May 2022
​Prodrive P25 to be a carbon-bodied Subaru Impreza 22B STI revival
P25
Subaru

​Prodrive P25 to be a carbon-bodied Subaru Impreza 22B STI revival

This is the sort of continuation we can get behind – a Prodrive-built 22B with 400bhp
25 May 2022
​​​Pagani C10 prototype spied – Horacio's next chapter is on its way
Pagani C10 spies
Pagani

​​​Pagani C10 prototype spied – Horacio's next chapter is on its way

The next Pagani hypercar, expected to be called the C10, has been spotted undergoing testing
24 May 2022