Mercedes-Benz CLE Spied Tackling The Snow

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Cold-weather testing begins.

Mercedes-Benz has been earning a fortune off its most expensive luxury cars, but even so, BMW finished 2021 on top. It's the first time that the Bavarians beat Benz since 2015, and you can be sure that the people in Stuttgart want their title back. To that end, the automaker has been working on a number of new vehicles, including a model called the CLE-Class. This will replace a number of other offerings that Merc has deemed unnecessary, among them the C-Class Convertible. We first saw a heavily camouflaged prototype of this vehicle in June last year, and now the sleek drop-top has been spotted in Sweden.

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The Mercedes-Benz CLE is in the region to undergo cold-weather testing as part of its development process, but although it's been six months since we first spotted this car, very little skin is being shown. The camouflaged convertible is still wearing pre-production taillights to disguise the final design, and only the windscreen surround and wing mirrors are free of any concealing vinyl. Still, we are told to expect a different design from that of the C-Class in order for this new model to better stand out, something that should incorporate elements to show the elegance of the E-Class with the sportiness of the C-Class.

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As for what to expect under the hood, official information has not yet been forthcoming but we predict that the CLE will share powertrain options with the C300 likely to be the base model. This offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged fourcylinder tuned to develop around 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Inside, you can expect things like AIRSCARF neck warming seat vents, the MBUX infotainment system with its 11.9-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital driver display cluster. Of course, we're most interested to learn about an AMG version, but we expect that the wait for this will be very long. Expect the regular CLE models to be unveiled this year as 2023 models.

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