Mercedes-Benz CLA Electric Concept Revealed With 750KM Range Based On The EQXX Platform

Mercedes-Benz showcased the new CLA electric four-door sedan concept at the 2023 IAA Munich Motor Show. The new CLA will be using the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA) and draws inspiration for interiors and tech from the Vision EQXX. The specs of the car have not been revealed yet, however, there are some interesting details revealed by Mercedes-Benz.

New CLA Concept

While most manufacturers are now looking at converting their ICE-powered cars to electric, Mercedes-Benz is gearing up to introduce a new family of cars that will be electric-first. This means the upcoming new cars will be powered by an electric powertrain under the bonnet. But can feature an IC engine too. It allows the manufacturer to utilise the platform completely for an electric powertrain without any compromises that are usually made while converting an ICE platform to an EV. Brilliant!

New CLA Concept Range & Electric Powertrain

Mercedes-Benz will be offering the CLA in two battery pack configurations. The lower-spec will use the lithium-iron phosphate chemistry and the top-spec battery pack will use the silicon-oxide for higher energy density. Further, the battery pack on the new in-house developed electric powertrain will use adhesive rather than screws to hold the cell modules. Merc says this makes the battery pack lighter, riding and safer during a crash.

Although the exact capacity of the battery pack is not revealed, Mercedes-Benz has provided a couple of figures hinting at the usable battery capacity of the new CLA electric. Also, the battery pack uses liquid cooling rather than the air-cooled unit on the Vision EQXX.

  • Maximum Range: Over 750km
  • Energy Consumption: 12kWh/100km
  • Approximate Usable Battery Capacity: 90kWh

The CLA could be offered with a battery pack of around 90kWh to 100kWh on the top-spec model. The new CLA concept was showcased in an RWD configuration with just one motor mounted at the back. However, Mercedes has confirmed that the platform allows for AWD applications with a dual-motor setup. Power figures are expected to start at around 250hp from a 175kW electric motor and a two-speed transmission.

Charging speeds have been enhanced as well with the use of 800V architecture. The new CLA is slated to feature 250kW DC fast charging giving the car a 400km range in just 15 minutes.

As mentioned earlier, the platform will also spawn an ICE version of the electric CLA and could feature RWD and AWD setup as well. 

New CLA Concept Design

An aerodynamic body is critical for an electric car to reduce drag. But, it is not critical for ICE vehicles. Mercedes-Benz have designed the new CLA keeping the electric vehicle requirements and blended in the style required for ICE vehicles. This is clearly seen in the side profile of the new CLA with a long bonnet, sloping roof line and a short overhang with a swoop at the end.

Up front, the design highlights include LED lighting, a three-dimensional star pattern on the grille, and DRL that spans the length of the car and merges with the chrome strip that runs on the side of the car. A similar design for the LED tail lamps has also been followed at the rear. Completing the look are flared wheel arches, flush door handles and the killer-looking 6-spoke alloy wheels. It looks fresh and new and we cannot wait for this to go into production.

New CLA Concept Interiors

The sustainability theme is maintained on the inside of the new CLA concept. The interior features innovative materials like paper trim and vegetable-tanned Nappa leather alongside high-gloss surfaces. The door pockets are made from vegan silk-like fabric. The interior is flooded with natural light from the expansive glass roof and subtle LED lighting.

The interiors of the CLA look nice and make you feel nice too. But, it is also intelligent to help in your tasks. Sitting on the dashboard is a large display that spans the length of the dashboard inspired by the Vision EQXX. The display is internally split into a couple of sections to handle driver display, infotainment, climate control and co-passenger entertainment.

Two dials that are placed on either end of the screen are actual climate controls to set the temperature of the cabin, which is displayed at the centre of the dial. Neat! The screen also uses Mercedes’ new MB.OS technology that is displayed below the dashboard.

The forthcoming MMA platform, powered by MB.OS, will feature advanced technology like NVIDIA chips to create supercomputers in every vehicle, incorporating artificial intelligence and the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Cloud.

New CLA Concept Safety

  • The Concept CLA Class exhibits SAE Level 2 automation, complemented by LiDAR support, enhancing safety, lane-changing, parking, and collision prevention features.
  • The sensor suite comprises multiple cameras for various viewing angles, as well as radar and ultrasonic sensors.
  • MB.OS’s networking capabilities enable advanced safety functions, such as the Child Presence Detection (CPD) system, which identifies the presence of children in parked vehicles and takes various measures to prevent tragic accidents.
  • The MB.OS software and computing power are tailored to facilitate an SAE Level 3 system upgrade for vehicles equipped with comprehensive sensor arrays and redundancies for crucial vehicle systems.
  • Over-the-air updates are available for continuous improvement.

New CLA Concept Launch

Apart from the CLA, the new platform will also be used in the new GLA, GLB, GLC and possibly a new station wagon with an electric-first theme. Safe to say the future of electric vehicles looks promising thanks to Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming new family of vehicles. These vehicles are some time away from hitting the market. We expect them to arrive by the end of this decade.

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