Mercedes has made no secret of the need to prune its product offering. “Complexity adds costs,” as put bluntly by R&D boss Markus Schäfer in 2020 when vowing to “eliminate” the manual gearbox and cut the number of powertrains.
But the move to replace six models with two – the upcoming CLE coupé and convertible – will be the most tangible of any rationalisation efforts.
How will the CLE replace at once the S-Class Coupé, which started at more than £100,000, and the C-Class Coupé, at around £41,000?
Mercedes might have to make concessions and usher in a plethora of trims and powertrains to cover the broad price range or risk buyers being tempted by the still-extensive range of rival BMW two-door models.