Mercedes-AMG CLE Coupé: New entry into the performance coupé segment

Mercedes-AMG CLE Coupé
  • The latest generation MBUX with AMG-specific functions and displays
  • Mild-hybrid six-cylinder inline engine with double turbocharging and starter-generator
  • Fully variable all-wheel drive and active rear-axle steering

With the new CLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé (combined fuel consumption 9.7-9.3 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 220-212 g/km)[1], Mercedes-AMG is sharpening its product portfolio and redefining the entry-level performance coupé segment. The sporty, elegant two-door model combines the best of two worlds: the agility and sportiness of the C-Class with the space and status of the E-Class. The 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine with double charging via an exhaust gas turbocharger and an electric additional compressor has been thoroughly modified and produces now 330 kW (449 hp). It provides a maximum torque of 560 Nm (with overboost 600 Nm for 12 seconds). The integrated starter generator briefly supplies an additional 17 kW (23 hp) of power and 205 Nm of torque. It also feeds the 48-volt on-board electrical system. Other technical features of the new model include the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive.  

Typical visual identifying features of a coupé are the long hood embedded in the front end with two powerful power domes. The strongly sloping windshield and the elongated roof that slopes towards the rear also reference this. The passenger cell, which is set far back, leads to the sporty, short rear via the rear window, which is also flat.  

The progressively forward-sloping front section (“Shark Nose”), in combination with the precisely shaped bonnet, ensures an appearance that is both sporty and elegant. The AMG-specific A-shaped radiator grille and the flat, sharply cut full-LED headlights create a particularly powerful impression. DIGITAL LIGHT headlights with and without projection function are available as optional equipment. They have daytime running light ellipses and blue lighting on the base of the headlights, which enhances the dynamic appearance.  

The strikingly designed front apron is raised in the middle section in an A-shape (“A-wing”). This allows for a large air inlet for high air flow. This also applies to the outer air inlets with two cross slats. Distinctive shaped edges structure the side view. The flared front and rear fenders, the wide track (plus 58 millimetres at the front, plus 75 millimetres at the rear compared to the Mercedes-Benz model) and the 19-inch wheels give the new AMG Coupé a powerful appearance. 20-inch wheels are available as an option.  

The muscular rear is characterised by flowing surfaces, smooth transitions, and the two-part LED lights with three-dimensional light bodies. The rear lights are connected to each other by a dark red design element. It emphasises the width of the rear. The main elements are the round double tailpipe trims, which are harmoniously integrated into the rear apron. Their design in the side area behind the wheel arches improves aerodynamics: the air flow around the wheel arches is better. The spoiler lip on the trunk lid is painted in the vehicle colour but is also optionally available in black as part of the AMG styling package.  

The optional AMG Optics package sets even sportier accents. It includes additional flics on the front and rear apron, a more pronounced spoiler lip on the trunk lid and a diffuser board between the tailpipe trims. For further individualisation, two AMG Night packages and AMG Carbon packages are available.  

Interior with independent equipment and specific displays

The interior welcomes passengers with unique equipment, exclusive materials and the latest generation MBUX infotainment system. The eye-catchers are the free-standing 12.3-inch fully digital driver display, the 11.9-inch driver-oriented central display in a user-friendly portrait format and the dynamic ambient lighting with 64 colours. If desired, it extends sweepingly from the centre console to under the outer ventilation vents. In each door, a strip of light runs along the contour lines of the armrest and the beltline into the rear area.  

Another highlight is the integral seats in ARTICO man-made leather/MICROCUT black microfiber with AMG-specific graphics and red contrasting topstitching. They combine sportiness with strong lateral support. Other interior features include red seat belts and glossy carbon trim. Numerous upholsteries in leather and Nappa leather are available upon request. When choosing Nappa leather the AMG crest is embossed into the front headrests.  

The AMG performance seat is available as an option. It is particularly characterised by the more pronounced seat bolsters, which offer even better lateral support. Vertical openings add visual accents, but also save weight and allow for better ventilation of the back. When equipped with Nappa leather, they are also accentuated in a contrasting colour.  

AMG performance steering wheel in double-spoke design

The standard, flat-bottomed AMG Performance steering wheel in double-spoke design with seamlessly integrated buttons offers a high level of everyday use. The round AMG steering wheel buttons impress with their brilliant displays and their intuitive operating logic. Important driving functions and all driving programmes can be controlled here.  

With the driver display, the customer can switch between the display styles “Classic”, “Sport” and AMG exclusive “Supersport”. The “Supersport” mode is particularly striking with a central round tachometer and perspectively designed horizontal displays that are located to the left and right of the tachometer and create a spatial impression of depth. The driver can use the AMG menu to access various special displays such as engine data, gear indicator, warm-up, set-up, G-metre and race timer. The central display also emphasises the dynamic orientation with individual AMG displays such as the visualisation of the driving programmes or telemetry data.  

Inline six-cylinder with integrated starter generator and electric additional compressor

The new CLE 53 4MATIC+ uses a comprehensively upgraded version of the 3.0-litre M 256 inline six-cylinder turbo engine. The facelift generation of the high-performance engine, now known as the M 256M, impresses above all with optimized combustion chambers with redesigned inlet and outlet channels, new piston rings, optimized injection and a new exhaust gas turbocharger. In conjunction with the new electric additional compressor, this offers an increase in boost pressure by 0.4 bar to 1.5 bar and thus a higher torque of 560 Nm in continuous operation and 600 Nm in overboost for up to 12 seconds.  

However, what is more important than the absolute torque is the availability of it and the overall response of the engine. The improved electric additional compressor is responsible for this. It can now be operated almost continuously over a longer period of time. Drivers feel this especially in medium speed ranges. This meant that the exhaust gas turbocharger could be made larger for higher peak performance.  

At the same time, customers benefit from the increased efficiency of the unit. This has been significantly improved, especially in full-load operation. The new, second-generation integrated starter generator (ISG) also contributes to efficiency. This is now integrated into the gearbox bell housing. As a central component of the 48-volt electrical system, it not only functions as an electrical generator, but also takes on hybrid functions. These include short-term boosting with 17 kW (23 hp) of power and 205 Nm of torque, recuperation, load point shifting, sailing and the almost imperceptible restart of the engine during the start-stop function.  

The electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h can be increased to 270 km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s Package. The AMG high-performance brake system is tailored to the power and performance of the CLE 53 Coupé: perforated and internally ventilated discs measuring 370 x 36 mm with four-piston fixed calipers and AMG lettering are used on the front axle, and internally ventilated discs are used on the rear axle measuring 360 x 26 mm with single-piston floating calipers.  

Adapted switching times, high efficiency: AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission

The 3.0-litre in-line engine is coupled with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission, which impresses with adapted shift times, quick reactions, the double-declutching function and multiple downshifts. An upshift or downshift is implemented immediately. The transmission acts very spontaneously, especially in the “Sport+” driving programme and in manual mode. Dynamic acceleration manoeuvres and the adjusted shifting times are available, as is a fuel-saving driving style, depending on the driving programme selected. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission can be shifted manually using the galvanized shift paddles located on the left and right behind the steering wheel rim.  

Characteristics at your fingertips: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT

With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programmes “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+” and “Individual” the characteristics of the new 53 models can be influenced at the touch of a finger. The differentiation ranges from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. Important parameters such as the response behaviour of the engine, transmission, chassis and steering are modified. Regardless of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programmes, the driver can switch directly to manual mode using the “M” button, to shift gears exclusively using the steering wheel shift paddles. The suspension levels can also be selected separately if necessary.  

The AMG DYNAMICS driving dynamics control system is integrated into the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programmes. In the “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Pro” levels, for example, it influences the control strategies of the ESP® (Electronic Stability Program) or the all-wheel drive. Based on the driver’s actions and sensor data, the intelligent pre-control anticipates the desired vehicle behaviour. The range extends from extremely stable to highly dynamic, for a more comfortable or particularly sporty driving experience. The AMG DYNAMICS functions can also be selected directly using the AMG steering wheel buttons. Both the modifiable vehicle characteristics and the extensive equipment options allow a wide range of sportiness, elegance and lifestyle, depending on individual customer requirements.  

Fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive as standard

The fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive combines optimal traction for dynamic driving pleasure with a high level of driving safety under all conditions: on dry roads as well as on wet or slippery surfaces. The transition from rear to all-wheel drive and vice versa occurs continuously because the intelligent control is integrated into the entire vehicle system architecture. The force distribution is applied in a differentiated manner. When driving moderately and in situations where all-wheel drive is not required, the front axle is completely decoupled. This increases efficiency. From the ESP Sport setting onwards, the driving behaviour is more rear-focused. And in drift mode, the new AMG CLE Coupé is programmed as a rear-wheel drive vehicle across the entire speed range.  

Independent AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension for high driving dynamics

The AMG RIDE CONTROL chassis developed in Affalterbach is used for more agility, more neutral cornering behaviour and higher traction. The steel suspension with a particularly sporty spring-damper set-up and adaptive adjustable damping combines excellent driving dynamics with a high level of ride comfort. The damping on each wheel adapts to the current driving situation and road conditions. This happens quickly and precisely via separate valves for the tension and compression directions in the dampers. In addition, the damper characteristic curve can be preselected in three levels: “Comfort, “Sport” and “Sport+”, thus enabling a noticeable differentiation between high long-distance comfort and sporty driving dynamics.  

Three-stage AMG speed-sensitive steering and standard rear-axle steering

The steering layout also contributes to increasing dynamics and comfort. The CLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé has a three-stage AMG parameter steering that adapts to the driving programme selected. When manoeuvring and parking, only comparatively little effort is required. At higher speeds, the driver receives even more feedback via the adapted steering characteristic, especially in the “Sport” and “Sport+” suspension settings.  

The standard rear axle steering operates with a maximum steering angle of 2.5 degrees. Up to this degree, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds of up to 100 km/h (variable depending on the AMG DYNAMICS setting). This leads to a virtual shortening of the wheelbase and results in significantly more agile turning, less steering work, and increased manoeuvrability. This means the turning circle is noticeably reduced when turning or parking. At speeds of more than 100 km/h (variable depending on the AMG DYNAMICS setting), the rear wheels turn parallel to the front wheels – up to a maximum of 0.7 degrees. The virtual extension of the wheelbase has a positive effect on driving stability: it builds up the lateral force more quickly when changing direction and thus enables the vehicle to react more directly to steering commands. The response behaviour of the rear axle steering depends on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programme.  


For an even more emotional driving experience, the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package bundles particularly sporty equipment details. One of the highlights is the RACE driving programme with Drift Mode. The AMG performance steering wheel in MICROCUT microfiber has steering wheel buttons for quick operation of the driving programmes and other driving dynamic settings. Red-painted brake calipers with AMG lettering on the front and rear axle visually underline the sporty character. The active engine mounts offer the situational spread between comfortable and sporty connection of the engine to the body.