The CLA Concept announces the future “small” electric Mercedes, designed on a new platform and equipped with engines with record fuel consumption.
In Munich, Mercedes unveils the restyling of the EQA and EQB. But the manufacturer already has the head to their renewal. He came to the show with the CLA concept, which lays the foundations for the future entry-level family. A family that will be reviewed in depth, since the gateway to the Mercedes universe will therefore be the CLA, the Class A and B having to go by the wayside.
In addition to the product offering, there will be major technical changes. Aware of its delay in the face of the essential Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, Mercedes has put the small dishes in the big ones, starting almost from a blank sheet, with, to start, the development of a new platform, still capable of receiving thermal, but especially thought for the electric.
IAA Munich 2023 – The restyled Mercedes EQA and EQB gain even more autonomy
To put it simply, we have before our eyes the next generation of CLA in electric, and therefore the anti Model 3 from Mercedes. The German brand squarely promises the reference in its category, echoing its slogan of offering the best or nothing (a slogan that is not always followed anyway). The brand thus promises a very good autonomy for a small sedan, 750 km. And this with a battery size that would remain reasonable. We do not know its size, but Mercedes puts forward another big associated argument: record consumption. The manufacturer is thus aiming for 12 kWh per 100 km. The future CLA will thus be the first production car inspired by the EQXX concept, which stood out for its record fuel consumption.
This lowest consumption notably involves excellent engine performance, with 93% of the battery’s energy going to the wheels. The concept features the MB.EDU, an electric drive unit, which includes motor, two-speed transmission and power electronics. This integrates engine and transmission control into a single processor and features a silicon carbide inverter.
This set was developed in-house. The permanent magnet synchronous block here develops 175 kW. The concept is a propulsion, but Mercedes already evokes 4×4 versions. Mercedes points out that the MMA base is thus hyper modular, allowing customers to choose between two chemistries for the batteries. The entry level uses lithium iron phosphate, while the top end will receive an anode design with silicon oxide content for excellent energy density. The car benefits from an 800V architecture, thus recharging more quickly. The DC load can go up to 250 kW. There is also a two-way charging function.
Low consumption is also due to the very aerodynamic silhouette of the car. The CLA thus retains its silhouette of a coupé sedan. The aero is improved with the very smooth shapes of the bodywork. The designers played a lot with the lights and the Mercedes star. In addition to making the mesh of the grille, it forms the light signature of the headlights and lights. These are connected by illuminated strips… which extend over the sides of the vehicle! One wonders what will remain of all this in series.
Inside, the CLA concept uses the principle of the superscreen, screens that seem to form a giant under a single glass. The aluminum edge evokes high-tech products and gives a floating appearance to the whole, in which Mercedes wanted to merge digital and analog. Example with the side vents, drawn virtually on the sides, the hearing being hidden behind.
New record: the Mercedes EQXX has traveled more than 1,200 km on a single charge!
To dress the seats, Mercedes has not renounced leather, but it is indicated that animal welfare has been respected and that the leather has been treated in a sustainable manner. It was thus tanned using vegetable-based tanning agents such as coffee bean pods, chestnuts… Decorative elements mix hemp and recycled paper!
In addition to the technical and aesthetic changes, the next MMA-based family will bring its share of new technologies. Driving assistance will thus be improved with the adoption of a Lidar, allowing operation on virtually all types of roads. The MMA will be Mercedes’ first platform 100% compatible with the in-house developed operating system, MB.OS.
This promising standard electric CLA is to be presented in 2024.