Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new two-door CLE range, which will arrive in hard-top coupé form towards the end of 2023, with the soft-top cabriolet version to arrive next year.
At the moment, Mercedes-Benz offers its C-Class and E-Class models in saloon, estate, coupé and cabriolet body styles. The introduction of the new CLE range will slim down this wide range of models, as Mercedes-Benz ramps up its investment in its all-electric EQ range of cars.
The spiritual successor to the Mercedes-Benz CLK models that were removed from production back in 2010, the CLE will replace the coupé and cabriolet models in the C-Class and E-Class model lines, which are set for retirement.
The new range is based on the same foundations as the C-Class, and will no doubt be one of the German brand’s last combustion-powered models to debut in the UK. The CLE is close to 4.9 metres in length, making it longer than the large E-Class coupé and its closest rival, the BMW 4 Series Coupé.
The car sits 1.5 centimetres lower to the ground than the C-Class coupé as standard, and despite its larger size, Mercedes-Benz adds that rear-wheel drive versions of the CLE have a slightly smaller turning circle than the C-Class too. 18-inch alloy wheels come as standard, but alloy sizes up to 20-inches will also be available on the options list.
Mercedes-Benz stresses that the new CLE offers “significantly more space” inside than the outgoing C-Class coupé, with an extra seven centimetres of knee room and an additional centimetre of headroom. The new model also has a slightly wider stance than the C-Class, which provides an extra two centimetres of elbow room in the cabin. The boot space is a reported 420 litres – 20 litres less than the 4 Series coupé.
As part of the coupé’s 2+2 layout, the manufacturer says that the front seats have been newly-developed, with integrated headrests, heating and four-way lumbar support as standard. The front seats can be folded for passengers to sit in the rear using a Nappa leather loop on the upper edge of the backrest, rather than a traditional seat lever.
Sharing components with its C-Class sister model, the CLE comes with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a 12-inch portrait-oriented infotainment touchscreen on the dashboard. Keyless entry comes as standard, and the seats can come with integrated speakers for an additional fee.
The seats are wrapped in the brand’s man-made ‘Artico’ leather from the entry-level ‘Avantgarde Line’ models and up, while higher-spec ‘AMG Line’ variants get this ‘Artico’ finish on the instrument panel and some wood veneer accents throughout the cabin. Real Nappa leather is also an option.
Three different sound system options will be available, the most expensive being a Burmester 3D surround sound system that uses Dolby Atmos software.
Five different powertrain options will be available at launch, including both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations, and all come with 48V of mild-hybrid assistance and a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The range will begin with the CLE 200d – a rear-wheel drive 191hp 2.0-litre diesel powertrain. This is followed by the only other rear-wheel drive choice, the petrol-powered CLE 200 which makes use of a 198hp 2.0-litre engine.
The rest are four-wheel drive. The CLE 200 4MATIC and CLE 300 4MATIC use the same 2.0-litre petrol engine, but the 300’s output is boosted to 252hp. Finally, the range-topping engine belongs to the CLE 450 4MATIC – a 381hp 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds, around three seconds faster than the standard model.
Mercedes-Benz says it will launch the CLE coupé in Europe in November. More details, including UK pricing and full trim specifications, will be announced in the coming months.