2023 Mercedes CLE first ride: trying the C-Class coupé replacement

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There will also be selected AMG models, though again Mercedes-Benz is holding back on details right now.

The existence of a six-cylinder petrol engine in standard CLE models hints at a possible CLE53 model. Speculation also revolves around a range-topping CLE63 with the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder-based plug-in hybrid system used by the C63.

The CLE is underpinned by a coil-sprung suspension and will offer the choice of both passive and active damping properties across three systems: standard, Sport and Avantgarde.

As part of engineering efforts to provide it with the agility to match its sporting looks, Mercedes-Benz will also offer its new two-door with optional rear steering and up to 2.5 degrees of rear steer angle. It operates in combination with front steering that is uniquely geared with a nominal ratio of 13.8:1.

Production of the CLE is set to take place exclusively at Mercedes-Benz’s Bremen plant in Germany for all markets.

New Mercedes E-Class first ride

Where there were four models, there are now two. That’s the upshot of Mercedes-Benz’s decision to replace the C- and E-class coupe and cabriolet with the CLE coupe and cabriolet.

An initial ride in a low mileage validation prototype on ultra smooth surfaced roads around Mercedes-Benz’s factory in Sindelfingen, Germany, reveals the new two-door does not stray too far from the two models it succeeds in overall on-road character.

There are a lot of C-class saloon and estate styling cues inside. But a lower set front seating position provides the CLE coupe with a more sporting in feel from the passenger seat. Perceived quality is improved over the old C- and E-class coupe and cabriolet, as is the operation of the infotainment system, which works with the latest incarnation of the Mercedes-Benz MBUX operating system, bringing faster reaction times and greater resolution from new generation displays.

In initial top-of-the-line six-cylinder petrol guise, the CLE coupe offers smooth and effortless performance. Mechanical refinement is excellent, as is the ability of the prototype to isolate wind noise at typical motorway cruising speeds.

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