Mercedes Benz unveiled a new concept car for the upcoming CLA Class lineup at the 2023 IAA Mobility conference in Munich.
The CLA lineup is a compact car series containing four models built on the new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA). When it enters production, the new battery-powered CLA four-door coupe showcased at the IAA summit will see the first application of the MMA platform, which is designed to support both ICE and electric vehicle manufacturing. Silhouettes of the three remaining models in the series, revealed by Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius to be two SUVs and a shooting-brake-style station wagon, were also shown at the event.
In a LinkedIn post, Källenius offered additional details on the first entry in the CLA lineup. The all-wheel-drive concept sedan features a driving range of 466 miles, with 12 kWh consumed for every 62 miles driven. Fast-charging capabilities are also included, with 246 miles of range available from only 15 minutes of charge. The car comes with a glass roof inlaid with low-energy LED lights that display an animated star pattern when powered on. The vehicle will also be one of the first to feature the Mercedes-Benz Operating System, which includes a suite of driver assistance and safety software. The CLA lineup is expected to launch in 2025.
The new CLA lineup builds on trends established by other premium car manufacturers, who have sought to ramp up excitement for electric vehicles through high-tech entries and luxury trims. Mercedes has been at the forefront of technological innovation with its emphasis on vehicle software and has established partnerships with both Microsoft and Google to develop “supercomputer” like navigation, automated driving and artificial intelligence tools. However, mass-market brands continue to fall behind in the EV segment, as companies such as Toyota and Honda drag their feet on developing competitive battery-powered models.