Mercedes jump-started a new trend of four-door coupes with the CLS. But after several years of having the niche market to itself, the German automaker is bracing for an onslaught of competition, from above and from below. While the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide attempt to take the four-door coupe formula even farther upmarket, Volkswagen has launched its assault by undercutting the CLS with the new CC (until now known as the Passat CC). If the reports are to be believed, it's the latter that Daimler sees as the bigger threat, and the automaker is preparing to launch its own counter-assault with what's being dubbed as the CLE.

Like the CLS is based on the E-Class, the CLE would be based on the C-Class. But instead of coming in under the C-Class like the recently facelifted but still ageing CLC, the CLE would likely slot in between the C and E. Most of the mechanics would probably also carry over from the C-Class sedan, and the prospect of a swoopier version of the C63 AMG makes us hope the project comes to fruition.


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