Said platform is the MRA II, as in the second coming of the Modular Rear Architecture for rear-biased vehicles. Compatible with everything from a puny four-pot engine to a 6.0-liter V12, this platform is artificially limited to four-cylinder lumps in the C-Class. Even the C 63 flaunts a hand-built four in combination with plug-in hybrid assistance.
Certain voices expect Mercedes-AMG to use said powertrain for the 63 series of the CLE, which may hold water. But on the other hand, the mad professors in Affalterbach would shoot themselves in the foot for preferring four over six cylinders.
For starters, the 2024 model year E-Class is available with a turbocharged inline-six mill stateside. It's dubbed 450, and this very engine has also been confirmed by Mercedes through an EPA filing for the CLE. Scheduled to arrive in showrooms for the 2024 model year as well, the CLE is also getting a 53 version, as per the aforementioned EPA filing.
Care to guess the number of cylinders? Not surprising in the least, we're getting the 450's engine. Codenamed A236 in cabrio form and C236 as a coupe, the CLE is due to go on sale in October 2023. Lesser versions are certain to use the four-cylinder turbocharged engine of the 350 series. The question is, will the long-awaited CLE 63 get four or six cylinders?
Nobody except Merc knows for certain. We're keeping our fingers crossed for the sixer despite it not being a true AMG engine, and six makes more sense than four if you look at the bigger picture: C 63 with an I4, E 63 and CLE 63 with an I6, and S 63 with a V8. The incredibly powerful I4 of the C 63 may be a hand-built engineering marvel, but alas, the sounds it makes are best described as glorified vacuum cleaner.
Recently spied testing in sunny Spain, the CLE 63 is pictured with the sunroof and side windows fully open. Most likely, Mercedes is testing the climate control at full blast. We can further notice mismatched wheels and bronze calipers squeezing on drilled rotors. Bronze calipers usually mean carbon-ceramic brakes, which aren't presently available in the C 63. On the upside, Mercedes says they're in the offing.
Pictured with trapezoidal exhaust tips – just like the C 63 – the CLE 63 Coupe shows a fuel door on the right rear fender. The charging port door is located on the rear bumper, just below the right taillight. By comparison, the C 63's charging port is on the left rear fender, opposite to the gas cap.
Does this mean we're dealing with an inline-six? God willing!