Update: ‘Curved full-width Display’ with new tech features’ sub-section added to ‘Interior.’
Mercedes-Benz has started testing a new pure-electric compact car that would be more efficient, range-focused, and perhaps cheaper than the EQA SUV. The first spy shots suggest that it is something like a Mercedes CLA Electric, and it could set several benchmarks in the segment when it hits dealers next year. Here’s what we know:
Mercedes could drop EQ branding in future launches
Future EV models from Mercedes-Benz, starting in 2024, may not feature the ‘EQ’ branding, as per a Handelsblatt story, filed on January 12, 2023. EQ stands for “Electric intelligence” and the brand values of “emotion and intelligence,” introduced in the market with the Mercedes EQC in 2019. The German automaker plans to go all-electric by 2030 where market conditions permit. By moving away from the combustion engine, a separate electric brand is no longer necessary, adds the German newspaper report.
Sticking with one nomenclature for all its cars in the future, including the CLA, would also avoid confusion.
Design & Interior
Spy pictures have shown Mercedes-Benz testing a new low-roof compact EV, and from the design of its roofline and greenhouse, it’s clear that we’re looking at an electric successor or an electric alternative to the CLA.
The mini four-door coupe should feature a deep black surface in place of a traditional radiator grille, or “Black Panel,” as Mercedes-Benz calls it, with a three-dimensional star pattern on it. It may have sleek headlamps with Digital Light technology and a narrow light band connecting them. Mercedes-Benz could have big expectations from this car in China, so it would need to ensure it’s snazzy and bold enough to sit next to the striking (some might even say outlandish) cars from Nio, BYD, Zeekr, Xpeng Motors, and others.
‘Curved Ultrawide Display’ with new tech features
All future MMA-based models from Mercedes are to feature a full-width display that stretches from one A-pillar to the other, JESMB reported on January 17, 2023, citing confirmation by Mercedes-Benz. The CLA Electric is to be the first of these models to feature the display, says the German publication while identifying Continental as the supplier. Further, JESMB mentioned that the system used in the EQXX will reach MMA models.
Comparing the specifications of the “one-piece” display (as Mercedes calls it) in the Vision EQXX and the “pillar-to-pillar” display manufactured by Continental, we found striking similarities. Both are 47.5-inch TFT panels with a curved design, measure 1.29 meters (4.2 feet) in width, have a circumference of 4,200 mm (165.3 inches) with a resolution of 7680×660 pixels, and comprise 3,000 individual LEDs arranged in a matrix pattern that can be turned on or off automatically to conserve energy.
Mercedes says that the EQXX features a 3D moving map, which uses satellite data to display a high-definition render of the world outside. It can auto zoom in/zoom out based on the requirement, with the lowest height setting being 10 meters (32.8 feet). There’s also an all-new “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant who’s accompanied by the “Mercedes Jelinek” virtual guide for the screens! It’s not clear whether the standard CLA Electric will get the massive display and its raft of features, though it could be offered as an optional extra.
The Mercedes CLA Electric will likely debut the company’s electric-first MMA platform and eATS 2.0 electric drive unit (EDU) with a radial motor. The inverter, a two-speed gearbox, and the power electronics will likely also be a part of the eATS 2.0 EDU, which may come from the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim, Germany. All of them may feature silicon carbide (SiC) for high efficiency.
The Mercedes CLA EV could have a system voltage of 800 volts, even though it would be an entry-level model. In comparison to the current, 400-volt Mercedes-EQ EVs, this would mean lower energy losses, reduced cabling weight, and increased fast-charging capacity.
There’s no word on the battery pack capacity, but according to a report JESMB released on December 6, 2022, the Mercedes CLA Electric’s range (presumably WLTP) could be up to 850 km (528 miles). The maximum EPA-est. range could be over 400 miles in that case.
The Mercedes CLA Electric could be a four-door electric coupe offering a sleek and stylish design, high levels of aerodynamic and energy efficiency, and an impressive driving range that sends range anxiety into the history books! Expect prices to start at around USD 50,000 in the U.S.
Mercedes CLA Electric FAQs
What is the Mercedes CLA Electric release date?
The Mercedes CLA Electric could start arriving at U.S. dealers in H2 2024.
What will be the Mercedes CLA Electric price?
The CLA Electric could cost around USD 50,000 onwards.
Which cars will be Mercedes CLA Electric rivals?
The CLA Electric could rival the Tesla Model 3 in the U.S. and also the Nio ET5 in other markets.
Featured Image Source: Mercedes-Benz