Mercedes-Benz CLE debuts with a straight-six option


Ideally, this should’ve been named C&E, because, well, the new Mercedes-Benz CLE we’re seeing here, is a replacement for both the C– and E-Class coupe & cabriolets. As you might’ve seen in the pictures already, the CLE also comes in both coupe and cabriolet bodystyles. The product has already been listed on Mercedes’ official German market website, and if you live there, your local dealer might have further information.

In the meantime, let’s take a brief look at what’s all the hoopla, starting with the design. The CLE looks neither like the new-gen C-Class nor the new-gen E-Class, and that’s probably the idea. I mean, it is CLE, in case you forgot. Apparently, the designers were going for a shark-nose-inspired front fascia with a low-slung bonnet and slim LED headlights. As is typical with Merc coupés, the grille has a single louvre and a central star. New LED High Performance headlights with so-called trifunctional torch for daytime running lights, position lights and direction indicators are standard, while Digital Lights with and without projection function are available as optional extras.

The rear-end looks clean and simple with a dark element connecting the 3D LED taillights. The base Avantgarde model rolls off the line on 18-inch light-alloy wheels as standard, while the AMG Line rolls on 19-inch ones. However, up to 20-inch light-alloy options are available to choose from.

For those interested to know the dimensions, the CLE measures 4,850 mm long, 1,860 mm wide and 1,428 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,865 mm.

Comfort suspension with 15 mm lowering (compared to sedan counterparts) comes standard, while there are a couple of options. A sports suspension with an amplitude-selective damping system—which is claimed to offer—among other things—less body roll. Another option is Dynamic Body Control suspension with continuously adjustable damping on the front and rear axles as well as rear-axle steering.

On the inside, well, it’s a déjà vu. I mean, if you’ve seen the latest Mercs, this looks no different. There’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 11.9-inch portrait-style central touchscreen; the latter comes with pre-loaded apps including TikTok, Angry Birds and Webex. Other key highlights include a 64-color ambient lighting, front seats with heating and 4-way lumbar support, and vegetable-tanned leather. Options include a head-up display, Ambient Lighting Plus, 17-speaker Burmester 3D surround sound system, seat climate control, and a seven-zone massage.

Standard safety equipment includes Attention Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist, and a reversing camera. In western European markets, the Active Distance Assist Distronic is also a standard equipment. The optional Driving Assistance Package Plus gets you Active Distance Assist Distronic, Intersection Approach Function, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Brake Assist, avoidance steering assistant, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Pre-Safe Plus, and Pre-Safe Impulse Side.

Moving on to the juicy bits of the story, the CLE at launch in Europe will offer the following options: CLE 220d (2.0L diesel; 145 kW/197 metric hp and 440 Nm/324.5 lb-ft), CLE 200 (2.0L petrol; 150 kW/204 metric hp and 320 Nm/236 lb-ft), CLE 200 4Matic, CLE 300 4Matic (2.0L petrol; 190 kW/258 metric hp and 400 Nm/295 lb-ft) and CLE 450 4Matic (3.0L straight-six petrol; 280 kW/381 metric hp and 500 Nm/369 lb-ft), all of which are coupled with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that offers a boost of 17 kW (23 metric hp) and 200 Nm (147.5 lb-ft). Transmission in all variants is a 9-speed torque converter automatic.

The straight-six model is claimed to sprint from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds. The top speed however, is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).

A plug-in hybrid model is under development and will join the lineup most likely next year.

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