The fact that the Mercedes-Benz line will soon be replenished with a new CLE model became known last summer. Initially, it was assumed that the novelty would replace only the C-Class and E-Class coupes and convertibles, but now it turned out that two-door versions of the S-Class will also join this list. For now, the CLE coupe and convertible are codenamed C236 and A236 and are scheduled to hit the market in 2023, according to British publication Autocar.
CLE is based on the fifth generation C-class, which is based on the MRA platform. According to Autocar, the CLE will sit between the current 4,686mm C-Class Convertible and the 4,826mm E-Class Convertible, with direct competition from the as-yet-unreleased BMW 6-Series two-door. The production of the model will be organized at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany.
According to the spy shots of the open version of the CLE, which were obtained by the British magazine, the convertible is being tested in winter conditions. It is expected to omit the B-pillars of the current E-Class coupe, and to feature a C-Class-inspired interior with a digital instrument cluster and a vertically oriented 11.9-inch infotainment tablet.
The novelty has four-cylinder engines, including AMG versions, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The base versions of the CLE will be rear-wheel drive, while the top versions will be equipped with 4Matic. A hybrid with a gasoline-electric installation based on a 2.0-liter turbo four is also expected. The most powerful AMG CLE 63e 4Matic+ will reach European dealers only in 2024.
The decision to replace six models at once in the lineup of one (but in two body styles) was made in order to reduce the cost of research and development of new cars with internal combustion engines in favor of “green” cars powered by electricity. So, in the next four years, a new EQE sedan, as well as EQE and EQS crossovers will appear on the market.