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Mercedes CLE, AMG CLE 63, AMG V8 engine -DellyRanks

Upcoming CLE 63 to get twin-turbo V8 amid low demand for the four-cylinder C 63 PHEV.

The upcoming Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 will receive a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine developing up to 593hp, senior officials have confirmed. The decision reverses an earlier plan to give the hot new coupe and cabriolet the same 680hp plug-in hybrid drivetrain as the latest C 63 and GLC 63, due to slow sales of the sedan, estate and SUV.

Despite its class-leading performance, traditional AMG buyers haven’t taken to the E-Performance PHEV drivetrain, which combines a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a rear-axle mounted electric motor.

  1. Demand for AMG’s PHEVs below V8 predecessors
  2. Having a 6-cyl CLE 53 and a 4-pot CLE 63 would have confused customers
  3. AMG to continue to bring V8-powered models

Sales of the models are currently well below those of their V8 predecessors across AMG’s global markets. The latest version of AMG’s M177 V8 engine, which features mild-hybrid technology, will power the most potent versions of the new CLE as a result, our sister publication Autocar UK has been told.

Those models will be positioned above the CLE 53 Coupe and Cabriolet, which run a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine that produces 448hp. The move comes as Mercedes’ performance car division sets about establishing the CLE as a direct rival to the BMW M4, which offers up to 550hp from a twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight six in its most potent form.

Mercedes sources say the decision to provide the CLE with V8 power is related not only to the lukewarm response to the PHEV C 63 and GLC 63 models but also to feedback from its global dealer network. Dealers had suggested that the possible positioning of a four-cylinder CLE 63 range-topper above the six-cylinder CLE 53 would lead to confusion among potential customers.

Markus Schafer, head of Mercedes-Benz’s R&D operations, has indicated that the company is closely monitoring sales of the C 63 and GLC 63 amid calls for them to return to V8 power. Speaking at last month’s Beijing show, Schafer said it will be “up to customers to decide” whether AMG continues with its downsized petrol-electric drivetrain.

Schafer said the PHEV powertrain had been inspired by the downsized hybrids used in Formula 1, mixing “a high-performance internal combustion engine with a strong electrical side”. He said it delivered “stunning, stunning performance”, but even so, the company is still continuing to launch V8-powered AMG models too, including the new SL, the GT and the S 63.

“We decided for the C-Class to go with the four-cylinder and a strong electrical side,” Schafer said. “We decided for the GT and the S-Class to go with the eight [cylinder] with the same electric side. We have to see what the customer ultimately decides.” Schafer admitted that in conversations ahead of the Beijing show, Chinese customers “didn’t understand” the concept of the new C 63’s drivetrain. He added: “But we explained the concept, the rationale and where it came from, especially with reference to F1, and they started to understand what the idea behind it was.”

Mercedes-AMG India plans

There’s no word on whether Mercedes-Benz India will bring the AMG CLE 63 here. However, the German brand has plans to launch nine new models in India this year, which includes bringing AMG’s S 63 E-Performance and the C 63 E-Performance to the market by June 2024.

Also see:

Mercedes-AMG C 43 vs BMW M340i comparison

Mercedes AMG electric super SUV in the works

4cyl Mercedes AMG GT 43 revealed with 421hp

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