Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Is A 443bhp Six-Pot Niche-Buster

Replacing a pair of Mercedes’ coupes, the new Mercedes CLE gets the entry-level AMG treatment
Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Is A 443bhp Six-Pot Niche-Buster

We’ve known about the Mercedes CLE for some time. Introduced as a way to tick niche boxes - the C-Class and E-Class coupes - you probably wouldn’t have found a bookmaker willing to take your house on how likely AMG versions would be. That time has arrived, and entry-level 53 is our first taste of an Affalterbach CLE.

Rather than taking on the 2.0-litre four-pot commonly sneaking into cars like the C43 and SL43 these days, the CLE 53 makes use of a twin-turbocharged straight-six. Here it's producing 443bhp and 443lb ft of torque (for 12 seconds of overboost at least, usually peaking at 413lb ft), with 23bhp of that coming from a 48v mild-hybrid system.

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Is A 443bhp Six-Pot Niche-Buster

That grunt is sent to all four wheels through a nine-speed multi-clutch gearbox, with the result of a 0-62mph sprint of 4.2 seconds and a 155mph top speed. The latter can be lifted to 168mph optionally, of course.

A fair few chassis tweaks are made to help the CLE cope with its additional power. Both front and rear tracks are widened - 58mm front and 75mm rear - while rear steering is included as standard allowing for up to 2.5 degrees of rotation opposite to the front wheels below 62mph. Above that, it’ll be able to move up to 0.7 degrees in tandem with them.

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Is A 443bhp Six-Pot Niche-Buster

Adaptive dampers are included too, allowing for four selectable drive modes - Slippery, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus - and a customisable individual mode. Additional stopping power comes courtesy of four-calliper, 370mm ventilated discs up front and single calliper, 360mm rear

It looks the part, too. Blistered arches are a necessity to cover the CLE 53’s wider tracks, and the usual Panamericana grille makes an appearance. 19-inch wheels are standard, with 20-inches optional. We presume most in the UK will take the back-shattering latter.

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Is A 443bhp Six-Pot Niche-Buster

No word yet on when you can place an order or how much the Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 will cost you. Expect somewhere around the £80,000 mark to give it some breathing space over the entry-level, £67,000 C43.


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