Mercedes Concept CLA // Source : Mercedes

Mercedes unveils the electric CLA of the future with XXL autonomy and ultra-fast charging

The IAA Mobility automotive event has just given us a glimpse of what Mercedes is planning for its CLA. A near-production-ready prototype has been demonstrated, packed with futuristic technology and dazzling design.

The first thing that strikes us is this innovative use of the MMA platform, short for Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture. Designed primarily for electric vehicles, but not exclusively, it should offer good performance.

This would make it possible to achieve an autonomy of more than 750 kilometers (according to the WLTP cycle) with surprisingly low consumption of 12 kWh per 100 kilometers (we just ask to believe it), without forgetting 800 volt technology for charging. Working with 800 volt technology allows Mercedes to certify that its car will recover 400 km in just 15 minutes.

Futuristic design: it’s beautiful

Beyond the technical prowess, it is the design of the CLA Class Concept that is striking. Its dimensions are impressive: 4.74 meters long, an increase of five centimeters compared to the current model, and 1.95 meters wide. And that’s without mentioning its revolutionary aesthetic elements.

THE 274 3D stars which perform the front fascia, combined with bold lighting, give it an aura worthy of science fiction cars. These luminous stars are even more present with the 1584 stars which adorn the 21-inch rims and the 652 other stars which dot the glass roof.

The interior is not to be outdone with a plethora of stars which, combined with the silver leather, gives the impression of being inside a disco ball. Although this leather is naturally tanned with coffee bean hulls, its animal provenance in 2023 may seem somewhat out of place.

However, it is specified that respect for animal welfare has been ensured and that the leather has been treated in an eco-responsible manner. It’s kind of amusing to read such claims in 2023, given changing expectations around ethics and sustainability.

The sleek cockpit is dominated by the MBUX Superscreenwhich appears to float across the width of the vehicle, merging analog and digital in a move that Mercedes describes as hyperanalog.

Towards a new era with MB.OS and MB.EDU

The introduction of the new operating system MB.OSPowered by a chip from Nvidia, is undoubtedly one of the most promising advances. With AI and machine learning, it is designed to redefine in-car entertainment at Mercedes and will be introduced for the first time on the MMA platform as early as 2024.

MB.EDUOr Electric Drive Unit, is just as innovative. Benefiting from the expertise of Vision EQXX, it displays a high efficiency of 93%. The electric car itself also promises impressive performance, coming close to the performance of the Vision EQXX.

Although the design of the CLA Class Concept could be modified between now and its launch in 2024, it is clear that Mercedes wants to take on Tesla with this announcement. The MMA platform, the new MB.OS operating system and advances in design and technology promise to make the next CLA a real challenger.

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