Mercedes-AMG has had an interesting past few years, as it replaced the engine in its venerated C 63 S with a tremendously complicated turbocharged hybrid four-cylinder setup. That raised eyebrows across the board despite the fact that the new powertrain delivers stunning performance. AMG’s latest model takes a more traditional route to speed, employing a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and a nine-speed automatic. The new Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe brings solid specs, a mild-hybrid system, and performance-tuned all-wheel drive.
AMG promises 443 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque with an available temporary boost to 443 pound-feet. The nine-speed auto sends that power to all four wheels through an AMG-tuned all-wheel drive system. Rear-axle steering, three-stage speed-sensitive steering, and adaptive suspension are standard. That combination produces a 4.0-second 0-60 mph time and an electronically limited 155 mph top speed.
Five drive modes give the car better traction and performance in a range of conditions. Modes include slippery, comfort, sport, sport +, and individual. Each setting changes suspension firmness and damping, steering feel, and engine output, tailoring them to the weather or driving situation. A separate control for vehicle dynamics lets the driver dial in granular settings for the electronic stability controls and other features.
Inside, the car offers a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and an 11.9-inch touchscreen oriented toward the driver. AMG Performance Seats are available, bringing more aggressive bolstering and available Nappa leather.
We don’t have pricing details yet, but the car is expected to go on sale in the summer of 2024. Though a new car with an inline-six is exciting, it’s unlikely that it means Mercedes is eyeing a return to larger engine sizes in the long term. The automaker has repeatedly stressed its plans to go all-electric, so we won’t see too many more high-displacement gas engines going forward.