Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 may go with V-8 over 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid

Mercedes-Benz AMG may already be preparing to reintroduce the V-8 engine into its more accessible models, after having abandoned it in favor of a 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid setup in vehicles such as the latest C 63 and GLC 63.

Citing anonymous senior officials at AMG, Autocar reported last week the Affalterbach tuner will offer a V-8 in its upcoming CLE 63 based on the new CLE-Class coupe and convertible. The engine will reportedly deliver 577 hp in the CLE 63, which notably is less than the 671 hp that the C 63 and GLC 63 plug-in hybrids deliver.

According to sources, AMG had planned to use the 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain in the CLE 63 but reversed that decision due to slow sales of the latest C 63 and GLC 63. AMG hasn’t published sales figures, but Autocar reported the numbers are “well below” those of the previous-generation V-8 models.

Prototypes for the CLE 63 with what sounded like the 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain have previously been spotted.

2025 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLE 53 Cabriolet

Should the report prove accurate, the engine destined for the CLE 63 is likely a version of AMG’s familiar twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 paired with a mild-hybrid system. Such a setup features in the updated 2025 G 63, where it delivers the same 577 hp reported for the CLE 63. Even though horsepower may be down compared to the 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain, the more emotional sound of the V-8 and the reduced weight of skipping the plug-in hybrid setup’s heavy battery will likely be more appealing to certain buyers.

AMG has just launched a 2024 CLE 53, which uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 and mild-hybrid setup to deliver 443 hp. According to Autocar’s sources, another reason for the switch to a V-8 in the CLE 63 is concerns from dealers that customers may be confused by the higher positioned CLE 63 having a smaller engine than the CLE 53.

There are also rumors that AMG plans to reintroduce the V-8 in the C 63 and GLC 63, as well as using it in the next E 63. When asked about the possibility during last month’s 2024 Beijing auto show, Markus Schäfer, Mercedes’ R&D chief, told Autocar the company was closely monitoring sales of the C 63 and GLC 63 to determine what route to take.

“We will stay close to the feedback of people and customers, and then we will go from that,” he said.