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New Mercedes CLE coupe revealed – convertible yet to come

All-new BMW 4 Series rival revealed in coupe form ahead of convertible unveiling

  • Replaces C-Class/E-Class Coupe/Convertible models
  • Turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains expected
  • Cabriolet reveal due later in 2023

Mercedes has fully unveiled the all-new Mercedes CLE in coupe form, which will replace the outgoing two-door Mercedes E-Class and C-Class in one fell swoop, rivalling the likes of the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5. While the convertible version is yet to make its debut, the coupe’s reveal also gives us a good idea of what the drop-top will look like when it’s revealed in the coming months.

Mercedes CLE coupe design

From the official pictures, we can see the coupe’s new look – although designed to sit between the C-Class and E-Class in the lineup, the new CLE is actually longer than the outgoing E-Class coupe, and just as wide. It gets a sleeker look thanks to a lower stance, however.

Top 10 best convertibles 2023Top 10 best convertibles

The front end is very similar to that of the C-Class and gets LED headlights with the brand’s trademark Panamerica front grille. It also gets bonnet bulges to give an aggressive, muscular look, while the sides of the car are fairly clean and minimalist. The rear lights are reminiscent of the latest GLC Coupe, and the back of the car also features fake twin exhaust tips, a diffuser and rear air vents.

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Expect the convertible version to look much the same as the coupe, albeit with a soft-top roof.

Mercedes CLE interior

On the inside the Mercedes CLE gets a design reminiscent of many of the brand’s latest models – its interiors have been impressive of late, so that’s no bad thing. The cabin gets a chunky centre console which envelopes both the driver and front passenger, featuring a portrait-oriented 12.3-inch touchscreen in the centre. There appear to be plenty of high-quality materials, and ambient lighting gives a futuristic glow which contrasts with the classic style of the chrome-effect air vents.

The driver gets an 11.9-inch landscape-oriented digital instrument cluster which, alongside the centre touchscreen, gets Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system. New features include the ability to learn the driver’s habits and turn on climate control, adjust the ambient lighting and set reminders for birthdays or telephone calls.

There’s also an updated version of Mercedes’ voice recognition system which no longer requires the command “Hey Mercedes” to operate it – if the driver is alone in the car they can operate this when a red microphone appears on the instrument panel. Passengers will also get access to apps such as TikTok, Angry Birds and a Vivaldi web browser through the central screen.

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The Mercedes CLE will get plenty of safety tech as standard, such as attention assist, active brake assist, lane-keep assist, a speed limit warning and reversing camera. Blind spot assist and traffic sign recognition can be added via an ‘Advanced Plus’ pack.

Mercedes CLE powertrains

The Mercedes CLE is set to be offered with a choice of one diesel and four petrol engines – these are all 2.0-litres in size with mild-hybrid assistance and come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The mild-hybrid tech is the same for each model, adding around 23bhp and allowing engine-off coasting, a slight boost in acceleration and improved efficiency to help reduce fuel consumption. A plug-in hybrid is on the way and will join the range later.

The CLE 220 d diesel engine kicks off the range with 197bhp and a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds and a 60.1mpg fuel economy figure. Next up is the CLE 200 petrol engine which gets 204bhp and a 7.4-second 0-62mph time, and will do an official fuel economy of 44.1mpg. The entry-level petrol can also be specified with the Mercedes 4MATIC four-wheel drive system for added grip, although this is 0.1 seconds slower to 62mph than the two-wheel drive model and fuel economy is slightly worse at 42.1mpg.

Stepping up to the CLE 300 4MATIC brings 258bhp and a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds onto an electronically limited 155mph top speed. The CLE 450 takes it up a notch further with 381bhp thanks to a twin-turbocharged setup. This range-topping powertrain will start as the quickest, with a 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds – that is until Mercedes-AMG variants arrive later down the line.

The Mercedes CLE will get added tech such as rear-axle steering as part of a ‘Dynamic Body Control’ pack, enabling them to steer up to 2.5 degrees, improving manoeuvrability. Cars with this pack also get continuous adjustable damping tech which can be configured for better handling or comfort.

The introduction of the CLE represents Mercedes beginning to slim down their ever-expanding range; the brand’s portfolio has recently surpassed 50 individual models worldwide, so the combination of four models into two should reduce some production complexity.

We expect to see the new Mercedes CLE coupe arrive on the scene by November 2023, with the cabriolet following in 2024. At this stage it is hard to pinpoint what the new model may cost, however, a starting price of over £50,000 seems likely, with the convertible inevitably costing more than the hard-top coupe.

Looking to get some wind in your hair this summer? Check out our list of the top 10 best convertibles and our in-depth review of the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet.
 

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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