Mercedes-AMG planning a 585-hp V8 for the AMG CLE 63

2025 mercedes amg cle 53

Before Mercedes-AMG products were great to drive, they were great to listen to — that V8 rumble was an enthusiast balm’s for lackluster dynamics. When AMG started making great driver’s cars almost 20 years ago, it made its exhaust notes even better, then fed the addiction with increasing sales every year. Now buyers can’t quit the drug: Ever since AMG put a four-cylinder PHEV powertrain in the latest C 63 and E 63, compliments on the power and performance of both cars are drowned beneath indictments of excess weight and insufficient thrills. Last August, we heard rumor that Mercedes was contemplating a V8 return for the AMG C 63 and E 63 variants. Two weeks later, Mercedes-AMG’s CEO personally scotched the scuttlebutt. However, it appears the love child of both sedans, the AMG CLE 63, will get a V8. That’s the word from Autocar, which says it got the info from “senior officials at the division’s Mercedes-Benz parent company.”

Seems a few evidentiary exhibits have gone into this verdict. First, AMG owners around the world have voted with their pocketbooks, withholding purchases of the new C 63 and E 63. Autocar reports that sales of the latest top-class AMG C and AMG E are “well below” their V8 forebears. Second, dealers have supposedly told Mercedes that since the CLE 53 is powered by an inline-six mild hybrid with 443 hp and 413 lb-ft, customers might be confused by the more powerful, more expensive version getting a four-cylinder. This sounds like desperation logic from a dealer body that will say anything to get a V8, but it might work. To give this rationale some context, the C-Class is powered by a four-cylinder engine in standard and AMG guises, the E-Class features a six-cylinder engine whether it has a three-pointed star or an Affalterbach crest on the hood. Mercedes reportedly believes the sixer in the AMG CLE 53 helps justify putting a V8 in the AMG CLE 63.

Autocar says the mild hybrid V8 option will produce 585 horsepower, down a healthy amount from the 670-hp four-cylinder PHEV powertrain. AMG apparently wants the CLE to line up against the BMW M4 in customers’ minds; a 585-hp V8 would make a more suitable AM-branded counterpart to the M4’s 542-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six.

The upshot beyond the CLE is that Mercedes might be softening its position about the AMG C 63 and AMG E 63. Autocar wrote that at last month’s Beijing Motor Show, “Markus Schäfer, head of Mercedes-Benz’s R&D operations has indicated the company is monitoring closely monitoring sales of the C63 and GLC 63 amid calls for them to return to V8 power. …  Schäfer said it will be ‘up to customers to decide’ whether AMG continues with its downsized petrol-electric drivetrain.” The fight ain’t over.

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