The 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 4Matic+ Coupe marks the resurgence of a lineage last seen in the form of the CLK, which debuted in 1997 as a freestanding coupe and convertible amalgamation of the C-Class and E-Class. Now, under the banner of the CLE, this model finds itself perched on the MRA II platform, shared with the latest C-Class and E-Class, sporting styling reminiscent of the E-Class Coupe.
In the realm of AMG, the CLE 53 stands out as the first in the lineup—excluding the 63 and higher variants—to boast the distinctive pumped-up hood, featuring a heat evacuation vent between power domes. The styling, inspired by the rebellious C-Class AMG, exudes an unmistakable aura of intensity, even surpassing its predecessors, the AMG E 53 and the AMG C 63 S.
AMG’s signature design language takes center stage with a larger and more pronounced grille, complemented by a front fascia splitter. The headlights are adorned with a DRL eyebrow, reminiscent of the E-Class’s quad lamps, and the hood seamlessly sweeps up to a swept-back windshield. Fender vents aid in cooling the “thoroughly modified” turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine, while a short deck culminates in a pronounced spoiler. The rear features fender vents with black trim and four round exhaust finishers poking through a diffuser. The optional AMG Performance Studio Package goes above and beyond, adding aero flics, a stouter decklid spoiler, and a beefier diffuser.
The coupe’s aggressive stance is further emphasized by the option for 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, with a wider track—2.3 inches in the front and three inches in the back compared to the standard CLE. Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 tires, sized 265/35 in front and 295/30 in the back, provide optimal grip for those who opt for the larger size.
Under the hood, the mild hybrid inline-six receives upgrades for increased power and efficiency. Reshaped intake runners, a larger turbo with additional boost, and a new auxiliary electric compressor result in an impressive output of 443 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. The 48-volt motor-generator enhances efficiency, contributing 23 horsepower and 151 pound-feet at lower speeds. The AMG CLE 53 shifts smoothly with AMG’s nine-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, the familiar AMG interior formula prevails with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, an 11.9-inch infotainment display, and the iconic AMG Performance steering wheel. The dynamic formula, borrowed from other AMG models, includes the AMG Ride Control suspension, five AMG Dynamics modes, three AMG Dynamic Select programs, and AMG Performance 4Matic+ with rear-wheel steering.
The versatility of the AMG CLE 53 is evident, promising a blend of sophistication for a tea house date and performance for the track. While its mature appearance suggests a commensurate price, details on the MSRP are yet to be confirmed. Given the starting prices of its predecessors—the departing AMG C 63 S at about $83,000 and the departing AMG E 53 at about $85,000—it is speculated that the new AMG CLE 53 might hover around $90,000 before factoring in optional features.