A concept will be revealed in September ahead of the scheduled 2025 arrival.
Mercedes-Benz has decided on the next member of its EQ electric vehicle lineup, picking the CLA-Class as the model that will go electric in time for 2025.
According to Autocar, we will glimpse the newcomer, albeit in concept guise, at the Munich Motor Show in September. Unlike the current crop of electric Mercedes vehicles, the CLA will retain the manufacturer's traditional nomenclature and not use the EQ designation we've seen on models like the EQB.
The battery-powered four-door coupe will debut the brand's new MMA architecture, designed to accommodate gasoline and electric drivetrains. Described as "electric first," the platform was created for EVs but can be adapted for more conventional powerplants.
"This new MMA architecture ushers in a new generation of technology, both on the drivetrain side in ... battery chemistry, efficiency, and the drivetrain itself," said company CEO Ola Kallenius last year.
The CLA will be introduced as an electric car, with a mild-hybrid variant following half a year later. The ICE-powered model will only be sold in specific regions; we anticipate this model will cater to markets that haven't embraced fully-electric vehicles.
EV drivers have lots to look forward to, with Mercedes-Benz claiming that the 800-volt architecture allows for rapid charging at up to 350 kW. When plugged into a DC system, the battery can charge from 10-80% in 30 minutes. The skateboard platform uses a new lithium iron phosphate battery that offers greater efficiency than the lithium-ion packs currently used by the automaker.
As per the report, Mercedes-Benz intends to introduce a long-range electric CLA powered by silicon-anode batteries. Initial testing has shown an energy consumption of around 5.2 mi/kWh.
These batteries have been developed in collaboration with Sila and will be implemented in the forthcoming EQG electric off-roader.
Battery capacity will sit around the 100 kWh mark. As such, we can expect the electric CLA to boast a range of around 530 miles. That's impressive, but we expect a more modest figure once the vehicle is subjected to EPA testing.
The compact luxury car will gain motivation from second-generation permanent magnet synchronous motors, known as eATS2.0 by Mercedes-Benz. These units will receive a silicon carbide inverter and send power to the wheels via a two-speed transmission.
It's safe to assume the Stuttgart-based brand will offer different drive setups. Expect a dual-motor derivative with all-wheel drive and a single-motor CLA with front- or rear-wheel drive. Even though it will share a platform and styling with its electric sibling, the gasoline model will be vastly different under the skin, thanks to its new four-cylinder engine.
"It is an all-new engine engineered for Euro 7 emission regulations," said the company's Markus Schafer. While development took place in Germany, the four-pot will reportedly make use of certain components from Geely. The Chinese automaker has worked closely with the German giant in the past, with their most recent efforts culminating in the new Smart #1 electric car.
A source has told the British publication that the four-cylinder CLA will not be offered as a plug-in hybrid. "In the future, the customer will be able to choose between pure electric or mild-hybrid petrol depending on the market."
Regardless of the chosen drivetrain, the CLA will also introduce the new MB.OS infotainment software. This chip-to-cloud system has been designed to support Google Maps and other third-party applications. Level 2 assisted driving will also be available on the entry-level Benz.
Thanks to our spy photographers, we've already seen the new CLA-Class during winter testing. Camouflage conceals much of the design, but the new model will be larger than its predecessor and sport an even larger front grille.
Expect the 2025 CLA-Class to borrow styling cues from the latest crop of high-end Benzes, including the new SL. The CLA is one of the luckier entry-level cars from the marque. The A-Class and B-Class may have received a facelift, but reports from Germany suggest they are not long for this world.
This is all part of the automaker's strategy to focus on more luxurious models. Previously, Mercedes focused on volume and introduced a car to fill almost every niche. That's no longer the case, with a renewed emphasis on pricey products like AMG and Maybach-badged vehicles. The CLA - along with the GLA and GLB crossovers - will survive the mass culling of Mercedes vehicles.
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