What happens when you add the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and C-Class together? You get CLE.
The new CLE coupe and convertible, which replaces both the E-Class and C-Class coupe and convertible ranges, will hit Australia in the second half of 2024.
In Europe, the coupe will debut in November 2023 with the convertible to follow in early 2024.
Measuring in at 4850mm long with a 2865mm wheelbase, 1860mm wide and 1420mm tall, it’s larger than the BMW 4 Series or Audi A5 – along with the latter’s C-Class coupe. Mercedes-Benz says that pays dividends inside with more space, especially in the back seat.
The boot can now hold three golf bags, with a capacity of 420 litres.
Much of the cabin will be familiar to anyone who has seen the new C-Class, or the AMG SL.
The center console is dominated by an 11.9-inch vertical touchscreen, and the driver faces a 12.3-inch display.
Although there are parts shared with the rest of the Mercedes-Benz range, the seats are unique to the CLE. The plastic flap to fold it is gone, replaced by a Nappa leather strap. Fancy.
The optional Burmester sound system has a total of 17 speakers, including some integrated into the back of the seats.
Power at launch comes from a range of four- and six-cylinder engines, including a diesel.
The most basic engine, the CLE200, produces 150kW of power and 320Nm of torque, and is mated to a nine-speed automatic. The 48V mild hybrid system features across the range, and can contribute an extra 200Nm for short bursts. It also makes for smoother start/stop.
Topping the range is the CLE450 4Matic, which has a 280kW/500Nm turbocharged V6 engine mated to the same 48V system.
A plug-in hybrid is in development, and we expect to see an AMG variant as well.
Under the skin, the CLE has a sports suspension setup and can be optioned with adaptive suspension and rear-wheel steering.