h3aNOU82 Mercedes Benz Concept CLA Class 6
Mercedes Benz Concept CLA Class 6

CLA Concept door to the future

Riley Riley

You’re looking at the very future of Mercedes-Benz.

Unveiled at IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich, Concept CLA Class represents a “close-to-production insight” into the upcoming family of vehicles that stands at the gateway to the brand.

It will see CLA Class promoted to become part of its long-term portfolio strategy.

Making its debut the advanced next-generation electric-first drivetrain points the way for the next-generation electric-drive technology underpinning series-production.

It is scaleable and engineered for a family of four vehicles covering a range of body styles, and set to play a major role in accelerating the ramp-up of the Mercedes-Benz electric fleet.

With an anticipated range of more than 750km (WLTP), the electric drive will set a new benchmark in its class.

This represents around 12kWh/100km, in effect turning Concept CLA into the 1.0-litre car for the electric age.

Directly derived from the electric-drive system in the VISION EQXX, the new in-house developed drivetrain comprises 800V electric architecture combined with a battery with exceptional energy density and a highly efficient electric drive unit.

In Concept CLA Class it is configured for sporty rear-wheel drive, but it is also suitable for 4×4 vehicle applications.

The innovative battery system under development for the MMA platform is based on a highly modular architecture that will allow customers to choose from two different cell chemistries.

The top-level variant features an anode design with silicon-oxide content for excellent energy density, while the entry variant leads the way in the segment with its use of lithium-iron phosphate.

The battery itself has a remarkably small overall volume.

In a first, its cell modules are held in place using adhesive rather than screws.

The resulting structure is not only lighter than a conventional battery configuration; it is also stiffer, which offers benefits in crash safety.

Likewise, the 800V configuration facilitates a high level of electric endurance in a compact package and with lower cooling requirements.

The high-voltage configuration also enables high-power 250kW DC charging, delivering up to 400km of range in 15 minutes.

The 175kW permanently excited synchronous machine is paired with a two-speed transmission.

The high-performance power electronics incorporate control of motor and transmission in a single processor and feature a silicon carbide inverter for exceptionally efficient power usage.

This reflects the high degree of functional integration throughout the MB.EDU that results in a compact overall package weighing less than 110kg.

Its extremely high energy efficiency of up to 93 percent from battery to wheel in long distance driving is thanks to meticulous minimisation of losses throughout the system and places it at the forefront of the sector.

Concept CLA Class marks the start of a new era and the next step in the continuous evolution of the brand’s unique design language of sensual purity.

Very-low-energy LED lighting, visible from all perspectives, is an integral part of the overall sculpture that enhances the proportions and brings added movement, life and functionality to the exterior.

Mercedes-Benz designers applied the iconic three-pointed star as an emotional lighting motif throughout, re-affirming this symbol as the most enduring mark of automotive progress.

“The Concept CLA Class marks the start of a new era,” Chief Design Officer, Gorden Wagener, said.

“It reinterprets iconic elements of the brand’s rich design heritage to craft a whole new face of Mercedes-Benz.

“Here, the sporty forward lean of the distinctive shark nose from the 50s and 60s pairs with a new signature graphic for the electric age.

“The composition enhances the so-called eyebrow of the daytime running light with a stylised star.

“The star motif repeats as animated light bands in the A-shape grille design. These are defining features of our future look.”


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