Future Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 4Matic: V8 mild hybrid instead of 4-cylinder PHEV 

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The top version of the new CLE, the Mercedes-AMG CLE 63, will have a V8 engine with 48V mild hybrid technology and not the PHEV system from the AMG C 63 S E Performance, British magazine Autocar reports, citing Mercedes officials. 

Mercedes had begun an intensive electrification of the AMG model portfolio. While the AMG S 63 E Performance and the new AMG GT/SL 63 E Performance use a PHEV system with a twin-turbo V8 engine combined with an electric motor at the rear axle, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 and GLC 63 use the same PHEV system but the ICE engine is only a four-cylinder with an electrically driven turbo.

The original plan was that the new top versions of the CLE Coupe and Cabrio, AMG CLE 63 Coupe and Cabrio, would get the same PHEV system based on a 4-cylinder ICE engine. 

However, Mercedes has changed its mind, and there are several reasons behind this decision:
– customers do not like the 4-cylinder engine in the top version AMG C 63 and GLC 63, whose sales are below expectations.
– Mercedes dealers have suggested that confusion will be caused by positioning the top version AMG CLE 63 4Matic with a 4-cylinder engine above the Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 4Matic version, which has a 6-cylinder in-line engine. 

Following the same logic, it means that the future Mercedes-AMG E 63 will also have a V8 engine because Mercedes has already presented the AMG E 53 4Matic in the E-Class with 6-cylinder in-line. 

Markus Schafer, head of development at Mercedes, said that the PHEV system in the AMG C 63 S E Performance was inspired by Formula 1, where a smaller displacement combustion engine and a powerful electric motor are used, and this system delivers stunning performance.  On the other hand, Schafer mentioned that the P3 Hybrid system with an electrified rear axle is compatible with both 4-cylinder and V8 engines. In the AMG S 63 E Performance and AMG GT/SL 63 E Performance, the PHEV system is based on a V8 engine, and in the AMG C/GLC 63 S E Performance, on a 4-cylinder engine. Schafer admitted that, ultimately, it is the customers who decide, and Mercedes will take into account feedback from them

But a V8-powered PHEV system would be far too powerful for the AMG CLE 63, so Mercedes will fit the 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 combined with 48V mild hybrid technology, with the new AMG CLE 63 top model set to be a direct rival to the BMW M4 Facelift which offers 550 PS from a twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline-six engine.