11 min read
06 Dec

Mercedes-AMG is set to redefine the entry performance coupe segment with the launch of the new AMG CLE 53 Coupe. This sporty two-door model combines the agility and sportiness of the AMG C-Class with the spaciousness and elegance of the AMG E-Class. 

At the heart of the AMG CLE 53 Coupe lies a thoroughly enhanced 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, delivering a formidable 443 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. The innovative 48-volt integrated starter generator (ISG) complements the powerplant, providing an extra 23 hp and 151 lb-ft at lower engine speeds. 

The result? A smile-inducing driving experience effortlessly managed by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9G transmission and the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive. Mercedes-AMG has just shared its newest performance coupe's best features, including the speed-sensitive variable assist power steering. 

See also: Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4MATIC+ vs. BMW X7: A Comprehensive Head-to-Head Comparison 

The Three-Stage AMG Speed-Sensitive Steering

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe Three-Speed Sensitive Sterring.

The Three-stage AMG speed-sensitive steering system is also commonly referred to as variable power steering, variable assist power steering, or speed-dependent power steering. These terms all describe a steering system that adjusts the level of power assistance based on vehicle speed to achieve optimal steering response and feel at different driving conditions. 

Similarly, the three-stage AMG speed-sensitive steering is a feature engineered by Mercedes-AMG that adjusts the power assistance provided to the steering system based on the vehicle's speed. This system aims to deliver optimal steering feedback and precision regardless of the driving condition. 

As the name implies, the system operates in three stages: 

1. Comfort: At low speeds, such as when parking or maneuvering, the system provides high levels of power assistance to make steering easier. 

2. Sport: At moderate speeds, the power assistance is reduced slightly to offer a better feel of the road and improve handling. 

3. Sport+: At high speeds, the power assistance is minimized to give the driver maximum feedback from the road and enhance precision steering. 

The three stages of the AMG speed-sensitive steering can be manually selected by the driver via the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs. 

The availability of this feature varies by specific model, and now Mercedes-AMG has just announced the new CLE 53 Coupe features the three-stage AMG speed-sensitive steering coupled with standard rear-axle steering. 

The feature promotes effortless steering during low-speed maneuvers and parking. As speeds increase, steering power assistance decreases, providing a balance of responsiveness and comfort. The "Sport" and "Sport+" suspension settings offer the driver significantly increased feedback for a more engaging driving experience.  

The Rear-Axle Steering

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe rear axle steering.

Standard rear-axle steering, also known as “active rear steering” and “rear-wheel steering,” refers to a system in which the rear wheels of a vehicle can turn in addition to the front wheels. 

This technology is designed to enhance maneuverability, stability, and overall handling. It can improve agility at low speeds, making parking and navigating tight spaces easier while also enhancing stability during high-speed driving by optimizing the alignment of the rear wheels with the front wheels. 

Mercedes-AMG has revealed that the all-new CLE 53 features a rear-axle steering system with a maximum steering angle of 2.5 degrees. At speeds up to 60 mph (variable based on the selected AMG DYNAMICS mode), the rear wheels turn opposite to the front wheels, virtually shortening the wheelbase. 

This enhances cornering agility, reduces steering effort, and improves maneuverability, notably reducing the turning circle during turns or parking. As speeds exceed 60 mph, the rear wheels turn parallel to the front wheels, up to a maximum of 0.7 degrees. 

This virtual wheelbase extension enhances driving stability, facilitating a faster build-up of lateral force during directional changes and allowing the vehicle to respond more directly to steering commands. 

Ultimately, the rear-axle steering's responsiveness depends on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program, offering a personalized and dynamic driving experience in every situation. 

The Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe's Aesthetic Mastery And Aerodynamic Brilliance

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe aerodynamics.

The highlight of the CLE 53 Coupe’s exterior design is the iconic elongated hood with power domes seamlessly blending into the front end. The steeply sloping windshield and an extended roof towards the rear create distinctive visual elements. 

The cabin - pushed further back, extends a graceful kiss to the sporty, compact rear via the rear window. The captivating forward-sloping front section, known as the “shark nose,” joins forces with the precisely shaped hood to create an athletic exterior profile. 

Notably, the AMG-specific radiator grille and sharply cut LED headlights imbue the athletic profile with a dose of power. Opt for the optional DIGITAL LIGHT headlights with a projection function for an enhanced dynamic appearance, featuring daytime running light ellipses and blue illumination at the base of the headlights. 

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe front fascia.

The front fascia flaunts a raised A-shape ("A-wing") middle section that optimizes airflow via a generous air inlet and outer air inlets with cross slats. 

The AMG CLE 53 owes much of its commanding presence to the distinctive body curves complemented by flared front and rear fenders, a widened track (+2.3 inches at the front, +3 inches at the rear compared to Mercedes-Benz CLE), and standard 19-inch wheels. You could turn the Commander into a General via the optional 20-inch wheels. 

Similarly, a muscular silhouette defined by flowing surfaces, smooth transitions, and two-part LED taillights with three-dimensional light bodies defines the rear fascia. A dark red design element connects the taillights, emphasizing the width of the vehicle's rear. To optimize aerodynamics, the round double-tailpipe trim accents seamlessly blend into the rear fascia wheel arches. 

For enthusiasts lusting after an even more powerful aesthetic, the optional AMG Performance Studio Package introduces additional elements such as flics on the front and rear fascia, a pronounced spoiler lip on the trunk lid, and a rear diffuser board between the tailpipe trims. 

You could further tailor your CLE 53 Coupe with two AMG Night packages and two AMG Carbon Fiber packages, offering endless possibilities for individualization. 

See also: Best Features Of The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class - #1 Luxury Midsize SUV For 2023/2024 

The AMG 53’s Opulent Interior And Cutting-Edge Technology

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe MBUX infotainment.

The 53 Coupe’s interior welcomes front and rear passengers to the exclusive cabin materials and the cutting-edge MBUX infotainment system. The interior showcases a free-standing 12.3-inch digital driver display and an 11.9-inch driver-oriented central display in a user-friendly portrait format. 

A 64-color dynamic ambient lighting gracefully extends from the center console to beneath the outer climate control vents. A strip of light runs along the contour lines of the armrest and the beltline in each door, creating a seamless visual journey to the rear seats. 

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe sport seats.

One of the interior's highlights is the sporty integral seats meticulously designed to provide exceptional lateral support. Standard MB-Tex/microfiber upholstery with AMG-specific graphics and red contrast stitching adds a touch of class and sportiness. 

To support your quest for a unique 53 Coupe, AMG offers you several optional leather upholsteries, or you could opt for Nappa leather featuring an embossed AMG crest in the front headrests. 

Despite the intensive fashion and convenience efforts, this car does not forget its performance orientation, which explains the optional AMG Performance Seat Package with more pronounced bolsters for highly dynamic driving. 

Vertical openings in the backrests not only provide visual accents but also contribute to weight saving and improved ventilation. The seats can be accentuated in a contrasting color when specified with Nappa leather. 

One can already imagine the feel of the AMG Performance steering wheel with its double-spoke design and flattened bottom. It’s a standard feature that adds a sporty and ergonomic touch. 

Fast and intuitive operation of dynamic driving functions is made possible by two round AMG DRIVE UNIT steering wheel buttons, seamlessly integrated for the driver's convenience. 

Customizable Driver Display

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe customizable driver display.

The new Mercedes-AMG CLE 53’s driver display features three configurable display styles – "Classic," "Sport," and the exclusive "Supersport." 

The "Supersport" style, reserved for AMG enthusiasts, features a central round tachometer and horizontal displays with driver-focused content, creating a spatial impression of depth. Utilize the AMG menu to access engine data, suspension settings, transmission settings, and more. 

The central multimedia display further underscores the vehicle's dynamic character, showcasing individual AMG displays like the visualization of AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs and vehicle telemetry data. 

Performance-Enhanced Engine With Hybrid Assist

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe engine.

The new CLE 53 gets motivation from a thoroughly upgraded, AMG-enhanced M256M 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder turbocharged engine. The upgrades include optimized combustion chambers, redesigned inlet and outlet channels, new piston rings, optimized injection, and a cutting-edge exhaust gas turbocharger. 

Complementing the formidable powertrain is the precision-tailored AMG high-performance brake system. Crafted for the demands of the CLE 53 Coupe, it uses 14.6 x 1.4-inch perforated and internally ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers on the front axle. 

The rear axle features 14.2 x 1-inch internally ventilated discs with single-piston floating calipers, ensuring unparalleled stopping power and performance. The foundation is the Mercedes-Benz M256 straight-six featuring a 48-volt electrical system and an integrated starter-generator (ISG), which provides hybrid functionality. 

Mercedes designed the M256 engine for use in a variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including both standard models and high-performance AMG variants. The M256 engine is notable for its advanced engineering, which includes a mild hybrid system to improve fuel efficiency and performance. 

The included integrated starter-generator supports features like energy recuperation during braking, seamless engine start-stop functionality, and an extra boost of power during acceleration. 

The upgraded version propelling the new AMG CLE 53 boasts an impressive 5.8 psi increase in boost pressure to 22 psi, resulting in a torque output of 413 lb-ft and a staggering 443 lb-ft with overboost, available for up to 12 seconds. 

The enhanced electric auxiliary compressor operates nearly continuously, delivering higher torque across a broader range of engine speeds and elevating overall engine responsiveness. This innovative feature also allows for the integration of a larger exhaust gas turbocharger to maximize peak performance. 

The automaker says the CLE 53 Coupe owners will benefit from heightened engine efficiency, particularly at full load, with the added advantage of the new second-generation integrated starter generator (ISG). 

Integrated into the transmission bellhousing, this component plays a central role in the 48-volt electrical system, functioning not only as an electrical generator but also undertaking mild-hybrid functions. These functions encompass support at lower engine speeds with 23 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, recuperation, load point shifting, gliding, and seamless operation of the start-stop function. 

The 53 Coupe’s DYNAMIC Drivetrain

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe DYNAMIC drivetrain.

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9G transmission, coupled with AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, offers a range of driving characteristics from efficient to highly dynamic. 

The AMG DYNAMICS driving dynamics control system, integrated into the drive programs, anticipates and enhances vehicle behavior based on driver input. 

The CLE 53 Coupe also features AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension supporting the aforementioned three-stage AMG speed-sensitive steering and standard rear-axle steering for unparalleled handling agility and comfort. 

See also: The Seven Most Powerful 4-Cylinder Engines And The Cars Using Them 

The CLE 53’s AMG DYNAMIC Drive Modes

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe drive programs.

Integrating the AMG DYNAMICS into the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs enhances the new CLE 53 Coupe’s tailored driving experience thanks to a selection of five distinct driving modes – "Slippery," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+," and "Individual." 

From efficient and comfortable to highly dynamic, each program fine-tunes the engine, transmission, suspension, and steering parameters. 

At varying levels – "Basic," "Advanced," and "Pro" – the seamlessly integrated AMG DYNAMICS systems influence the control strategies of ESP® (Electronic Stability Program) and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive. 

The intelligent control system anticipates desired vehicle behavior based on driver actions and sensor data. Regardless of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving program chosen, drivers have the flexibility to switch seamlessly to manual mode, effortlessly taking control of gear changes via the steering wheel shift paddles.

More so, the suspension settings can be adjusted independently of the drive programs. Drivers have easy access to the AMG DYNAMICS using the AMG DRIVE UNIT steering wheel buttons. 

Whether choosing from "Basic," "Advanced," or "Pro" levels, these functions empower drivers to tailor their driving experience to match their preferences, ensuring a dynamic and responsive performance that meets the driver's intentions. 

The AMG CLE 53 Coupe’s Fully-Variable AWD

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe fully variable AWD.

The new Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 comes standard with the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive. This cutting-edge system seamlessly blends optimal traction for dynamic driving with a high level of safety under all conditions. 

Intelligent control is intricately integrated into the entire vehicle system architecture, allowing a continuous transition between rear and all-wheel drive. Torque distribution adapts dynamically to the driving situation. 

In scenarios, like moderate driving conditions where all-wheel drive is unnecessary, the front axle decouples to enhance overall efficiency. 

As the ESP® transitions to the "Sport" setting and beyond, torque distribution becomes more rear-biased, amplifying the CLE 53 Coupe’s sporty character. The automaker says engaging Drift mode for an exclusive rear-wheel-drive experience unleashes the vehicle's performance pedigree. 

The Ride Control

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe ride control suspension.

Complementing the 53 Coupe’s all-wheel-drive system is the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, exclusively developed in Affalterbach for the CLE 53 Coupe. This advanced suspension system is engineered to enhance handling agility, achieve more neutral cornering, and deliver superior traction. 

The steel spring suspension, featuring sporty damper tuning and adaptive adjustable damping, combines excellent driving dynamics with heightened ride comfort. The damping system on each wheel responds swiftly and precisely to the current driving situation and road conditions. 

AMG welcomes the CLE 53’s drivers to leverage the distinct damper maps – "Comfort," "Sport," and "Sport+" – to tailor the driving experience. Marrying the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension is a masterstroke of driving sensations. 

The New 53 Coupe’s AMG Dynamic Plus Package

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Coupe DYNAMIC PlUS Package.

The AMG Dynamic Plus Package is an optional package offered by Mercedes-AMG for some of its performance models. While the specific features included in this package vary by model and year, it typically aims to enhance the vehicle's performance and driving dynamics. The AMG Dynamic Plus Package typically includes: 

1. Performance-oriented suspension tuning: This includes a more sport-tuned suspension system for improved handling and cornering, often with adaptive damping for a balance of comfort and performance.

2. Enhanced braking system: Higher performance brakes, often with larger discs and calipers, for improved stopping power and fade resistance. 

3. Additional drive modes: These often include a "Race" mode for maximum performance settings and sometimes a "Drift" mode for rear-wheel-drive-like handling in certain all-wheel-drive models. 

4. Enhanced steering system: This could include a performance-tuned steering system for more precise feedback and control. 

5. Performance seats: Sport seats with more bolstering for better support during spirited driving. 

6. Unique interior and exterior styling elements: These can include special badges, trim elements, and sometimes unique wheel designs. 

This sports coupe takes the driving experience to new heights with the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS Package, including – most notably – the RACE drive program with Drift mode, allowing enthusiasts to unlock the CLE 53 Coupe’s full performance potential. 

Also, the active engine mounts further contribute to an enhanced balance between performance and comfort due to increased adaptability to varying driving conditions. The Package also brings the microfiber AMG Performance steering wheel. 

The red-painted brake calipers, proudly displaying the AMG lettering on both the front and rear axles, not only make a visual impression but also underscore the vehicle's dynamic character. Ultimately, the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS Package transforms the CLE 53 Coupe into a finely tuned performance machine.

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