By Otsile Kadiege
A few months ago, Mercedes-Benz took the veils off the all-new and first-ever CLE coupe which is a blend of the discontinued C-Class coupe and the E-Class coupe. The boffins at Mercedes-AMG got their hands on the new CLE coupe and after thorough testing at numerous test facilities, including the world-renowned Nordschleife, Mercedes-AMG has finally revealed the potent version of the CLE coupe – the new CLE 53 4Matic+.
For the past year or so, Mercedes-Benz has somewhat been marred by controversy after its decision to ditch the much-loved 4.0-litre V8 and 3.0-litre straight-six in the C 63S and C 43 respectively, in favour of a highly advanced version of the M139 2.0-litre engine that’s found in the A 45S. This of course caused quite a stir on the internet.
Strangely enough, the new CLE 53 is powered is 3.0-litre straight-six engine. The powerplant has been thoroughly modified thanks to double charging via an exhaust gas turbocharger and an additional electric compressor. It now produces 330 kW and provides a maximum torque of 560 Nm (with overboost 600 Nm for 12 seconds). The integrated starter generator briefly supplies an additional 17 kW of power and 205 Nm of torque. It also feeds the 48-volt on-board electrical system.
The engine is paired with Mercedes-AMG’s Speedshift TCT 9G transmission and the fully variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system. The CLE 53 has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h which can be increased to 270 km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.
Stopping power comes in the form of AMG high-performance brake system with 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. Other noteworthy performance features in the new CLE 53 include AMG Dynamic Select with five drive modes, an Independent AMG Ride Control suspension and a three-stage AMG speed-sensitive steering, and a standard rear-axle steering with a maximum steering angle of 2.5 degrees.
Customers can opt for the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package. 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.
The new CLE 53 AMG has typical modern AMG design and styling cues thanks to a long bonnet with power domes, an AMG-specific A-shaped radiator grille flanked by sharply cut full-LED headlights. Digital Light headlights with and without projection function are available as optional equipment. It also features large air inlets up front, an air curtain on its front fenders, standard 19-inch wheels (20-inches are available as an option), a body coloured boot spoiler and round shaped quad exhaust outlets.
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 design and technology
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 belt-line 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 top-stitching. 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.
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