It’s a spy photo double feature as the Mercedes-AMG CLE has been caught in coupe and convertible guise. However, the roof isn’t the only thing that separates them as one is a mild 53, while the other is a hardcore 63 plug-in hybrid.
Starting with AMG lite, the CLE 53 Coupe follows in the footsteps of the standard model but is distinguished by a Panamericana grille that features vertical bars. They’re joined by sportier bumpers and lightweight wheels that are backed up by a beefy braking system with red calipers. We can also see a pronounced spoiler and a four-tailpipe exhaust system with round tips.
The latter indicate this is the mild variant, which will be equipped with a turbocharged 3.0-liter (M256) engine according to EPA documents. This suggests the model will have an output of around 429 hp (320 kW / 435 PS) and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque, which would be 54 hp (40 kW / 55 PS) and 15 lb-ft (20 Nm) more than the CLE 450 4MATIC. That particular variant can accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.4 seconds, so we can expect the AMG to be even faster.
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Speaking of which, customers will be able to upgrade to the Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 S E Performance. Shown here in convertible guise, the model features a more aggressive front bumper, bronze calipers, a rear charging port, and a four-tailpipe exhaust system with squared off tips.
There’s been some debate over which powertrain will be used and initial speculation suggested its plug-in hybrid system would be shared with the hot C-Class, which has a combined output of 671 hp (500 kW / 680 PS) and 752 lb-ft (1,018 Nm) of torque. It enables the sedan to rocket from 0–60 mph (0-96 km/h) in approximately 3.3 seconds, before hitting a top speed of up to 174 mph (280 km/h).
However, since the CLE 53 is slated to use an inline-six, there’s speculation the CLE 63 will follow suit. If it does, its powertrain would likely mirror the E63 S E Performance and have a combined output in excess of 700 hp (522 kW / 710 PS).