Mercedes-AMG is sharpening its product portfolio and redefining the entry performance coupe segment with the new AMG CLE 53 Coupe. The German 2-door model combines the best of two worlds: agility and sportiness of the AMG C-Class with the interior space and elegance of the AMG E-Class.
We had a chance to view the compact machine in Spain last month but did not drive it. Performance stems from an AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with turbocharging via an exhaust gas turbocharger and an electric auxiliary compressor that has been thoroughly modified and now produces 443-horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque (443 lb-ft for 12 seconds with overboost). The 48-volt integrated starter generator provides support at lower engine speeds with 23 horsepower and 151 lb-ft. Power is transferred via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable AWD.
The striking front fascia features a raised A-shape (“A-wing”) middle section that allows for a large air inlet and outer air inlets with two cross slats for increased airflow. Distinctive shaped edges structure the coupe’s profile, while flared front and rear fenders, a wide track (+2.3 inches at the front, +3 inches at the rear compared to Mercedes-Benz CLE) and standard 19-inch wheels give the new AMG CLE Coupe a powerful appearance. Optional 20-inch wheels are also available.
The muscular rear is characterized by flowing surfaces, smooth transitions, and two-part LED taillights with three-dimensional light bodies. The taillights are connected with a dark red design element, emphasizing the width of the rear of the vehicle. Round double-tailpipe trim accents are integrated into the rear fascia behind the wheel arches. Air flow around the wheel arches is optimized for improved aerodynamics.
The interior welcomes passengers with unique equipment, exclusive materials and the latest generation MBUX infotainment system. It features a free-standing 12.3-inch digital driver display and an 11.9” driver-oriented central display in a user-friendly portrait format. 64-color dynamic ambient lighting extends from the center console to beneath the outer climate control vents. In each door, a strip of light runs along the contour lines of the armrest and the beltline to the rear seats.
An AMG Performance steering wheel with double-spoke design and flattened bottom is equipped standard. Two round AMG DRIVE UNIT steering wheel buttons enable fast and intuitive operation of various dynamic driving functions and the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs.
The steering layout also contributes to the increase in dynamics and comfort. The CLE 53 Coupe has three- stage AMG parameter steering that adapts to the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program. When maneuvering at low speeds and parking, little steering effort is required. Steering power assistance decreases at higher speeds. The steering wheel also provides significantly more feedback to the driver 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 point, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds of up to 60 mph (variable depending on the AMG DYNAMICS setting). This leads to a virtual shortening of the wheelbase and results in significantly more agile turn-in, less steering effort, and improved maneuverability. The turning circle is noticeably reduced when turning or parking.