Spy Shots Show Mercedes-Benz CLE Convertible Will Be A Baby SL

Spy Shots / 2 Comments

Mercedes-Benz has a new design language, and it's sticking to it.

Our automotive paparazzi recently snapped a new round of Mercedes-Benz CLE Convertible photos. The car is covered in the obligatory camouflage in these photographs, but Mercedes has removed most of the tacked-on body panels meant to disguise the final design.

With the additional cladding removed, we can see that the CLE will essentially be a scaled-down version of the Mercedes-Benz SL, which made its debut earlier this year. As with the Mercedes-AMG SL63, the CLE is several model replacements all rolled up into one car. The CLE Convertible and CLE Coupe will replace the C-Class and E-Class Coupes and their drop-top counterparts. Since the SLC has also been axed, the CLE will be the only way to get into a semi-affordable drop-top Mercedes-Benz.

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Now that the front end has been exposed, we can see that Mercedes will likely stick to its current grille selection. The model you see here is obviously part of the standard range, not a full-fat AMG model.

The grille looks exactly like the unit used on the standard C-Class sedan, with some design features removed. The famous tristar logo will obviously be included in the final product and will likely have the same horizontal chrome bars running across it. The biggest hint that this is a CLE 300 is the star-pattern grille. The AMG Coupe our spies snapped earlier has a more aggressive grille pattern with square slots. Still, it will likely inherit the famous Panamericana grille as used on every single AMG product, including the new SL.

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The car in these images also has smaller wheels with higher-profile rubber. As before, Mercedes will likely offer a selection of sedate models like the C300, mid-range go-faster models like the C43, and the AMG C63.

The latter two are pretty interesting cars. In the C43, Merc uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with the assistance of a mild-hybrid 48-volt EQ Boost motor. The C63 is a PHEV, which takes the power output up to 671 hp and 752 lb-ft. The engines are longitudinally mounted in both AMG models to improve weight distribution.

The humble C300 sticks with the transverse setup, though its 255 hp and 295 lb-ft turbocharged four should prove more than enough grunt for most. And it will share a lovely interior with the rest of the range.

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