Mercedes-Benz CLE Spied With SL-Like Looks: Here’s What We Know So Far

This one's just hanging out in Las Vegas

Mercedes’ smaller CLE roadster is right around the corner.

There’s a lot of moving and shaking going on within the Mercedes-Benz lineup, and that includes shaving down the number of convertibles it has on offer. There’s the revamped, AMG-only SL-Class, while it’s smaller sibling should emerge in the next few months as the CLE-Class. In essence, this car — spotted as a prototype mule by our friend Ryan in Las Vegas — is the successor to the C- and E-Class convertibles. A new coupe model is on the way as well, though this one previews the droptop model that should go on sale sometime next year.

While the front end and side profile certainly look like the SL, the rear end sports a distinctive design to its larger sibling, even with the early-prototype features and camouflage to throw off the casual observer. Other versions of this car are lurking out in the wild, including the hotter AMG variants, but the wheels and generally toned-down exterior features suggest this is your more everyday variant. The lack of quad exhuast pipes (since we can only really see it from the back) mark this out as something like a CLE 300 or 350 model.

If that’s the case, we’re looking at a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. An entry-level version based around similar C- and E-Class models would put out 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That’s not the fire-breathing output you’d get in the AMG-only SL-Class, but this certainly won’t demand six figures to own, either.

For the folks who need more performance, it’s most likely we’ll see CLE 53 and even 63 models in the pipeline next year. The latter may even go as hardcore as the C 63 S E-Performance, packing the 2.0-liter M139 turbocharged engine and an electric motor for some serious grunt. In fact, the hottest C-Class manages 671 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque, despite only packing four cylinders. Mercedes-AMG may dial things back a bit for this application, not to mention overshadowing the SL, but the automaker always offers something good up to the performance nuts, even on its smaller and less expensive models.

While we wait for the CLE, check out its larger sibling below: