Report: New Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 Could Return to V8 Power

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

The Mercedes-AMG “63” cars long featured hand-built V8 engines, but the brand stepped away from that model with the recent C 63 S E Performance. Its four-cylinder engine with F1-derived tech and a bafflingly complex turbo system didn’t resonate with buyers because its 671 horsepower wasn’t enough to overcome the decision to cut the number of cylinders in half. The automaker has reportedly seen the light, however, and the new CLE 63 will hit the streets with an old-school V8.

Autocar’s sources told it that Mercedes would lean on its twin-turbo V8 with mild-hybrid for the new car, reportedly making up to 585 horsepower. Despite offering almost 100 fewer ponies than the four-cylinder powertrain, buyers spending the kind of money Mercedes asks for a 63-level car apparently want a little more drama than all-out speed, which I can appreciate.

A return to V8 power is surprising from Mercedes, which has gone to great lengths to electrify parts of its lineup. That said, the range-topping AMG models likely sell in small enough numbers that their impact on the automaker’s fleet emissions averages doesn’t hurt that badly.

It’s worth noting that these are unconfirmed reports. Mercedes could debut a four-cylinder-powered CLE 63, in spite of many buyers’ disappointment. The company has been seen testing electrified versions of the car, so we could see a plug-in hybrid or fully electric variant at some point, but for now, we should take a moment to celebrate the V8—assuming it arrives.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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7 of 13 comments
  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis 7 days ago

    So they kill the E coupe only to immediately bring it back as the CLE? I really don't get their naming strategy *at all*.

    • Ajla Ajla 7 days ago

      This is meant to replace the C and E coupe. It is basically a revival of the CLK-Class but is not called CLK for some reason.

  • 1995 SC 1995 SC 7 days ago

    I feel like the people that were all in on EVs no longer are because they don't like Elon and that trump's (pun intended) any environmental concerns they had (or wanted to appear to have)

  • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts 7 days ago

    Something that Mercedes would never do, but that would be an extremely revealing experiment: sell both a "CLE 63" with the V8 in a ~500 hp state of tune and a "CLE 65" with the four-cylinder mega-hybrid powertrain at the 671 hp or higher level. Charge the same for them, sell both on custom order only, and see which sells more.

    I'm positive the V8 would outsell the four by five to one or more.