Mercedes-Benz unveils new CLE-Class, available in 2024
BY COBEY BARTELS and PETER BARNWELL
THE NEW Mercedes-Benz CLE-Class aims to steer previous C- and E-Class two-door customers into a single coupe/convertible choice … with specific features and a range of engine options, much the same way BMW has done with its 4 Series.
The stunning new Benz small/medium two-door, tin-top CLE coupe variant lobs in Europe this November with the drop-top for roofless people scheduled from 2024.
The model appears to channel much of its front-end design from the W206 C-Class albeit with a redesigned three-dimensional grille and pronounced ‘power dome’ bonnet lines, giving it a slightly more aggressive appearance.
The sleek rear end features two-part LED taillights across a short, stout boot topped off with familiar twin exhaust tips.
This new addition to the current Benz line-up features a 25mm longer wheelbase than the C-Class and at 4850mm long offers more space inside too with rear passengers luxuriating in 72mm more legroom and 10mm more headroom.
The boot is alleged to be able to “easily hold three golf bags”, a suitable scenario given the target market.
Inside is familiar Benz territory with the CLE adopting the latest MBUX system fed through a 12.5-inch digital display and 11.9-inch portrait centre display, as well as ambient lighting with 64 colour options.
Five engine options range from a base 150kW four-cylinder petrol to a range-topping twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol producing 280kW/500Nm, all equipped with a 48-volt mild hybrid system good for an extra 200Nm burst of shove when needed.
Benz even makes a four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel engine version of CLE for Euro diesel diehards, producing 145kW/440Nm. However, given the local model line-ups panning out from Mercedes-Benz Australia, anything with “diesel” in the name is unlikely to make it here.
Mercedes-Benz says the car’s dynamics and driving position are improved too (over the C-and E-Class sedans) with a 15mm lower chassis than the C-Class, as well as the brand’s dynamic body control with continuously adjustable damping available with the Technology Package.
Rear-steering is also featured in the same package offering up to 2.5 degrees of angle reducing the turning circle by 500mm – which is already better than that of the C-Class Coupe at 10.7- versus 11.2-metres.
As expected from the brand, the full suite of safety technology comes as standard in CLE, which Mercedes- Benz says has been further developed, with features like Attention Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist, and parking package with reverse camera.
While an AMG option has not been announced, it is likely to appear on the scene in the future and Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it is working on a plug-in hybrid option.
No official Australian pricing has been offered but Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed the model will make its way Down Under in the second half of 2024.