Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA stars at the Munich Motor Show
Mercedes-Benz will debut the new Concept CLA Class at the 2023 Munich Motor Show. The Concept CLA-Class, which is based on the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA), has a slick style, sustainable interior materials, and a company-estimated range of 750 km on the optimistic WLTP scale.
Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA: Design
The exterior of the Concept CLA Class is distinguished by iconic design motifs reinterpreted for the electric era. The dynamic shark-nose front end, in conjunction with the seamless "grille" panel, serves as a backdrop for an illuminated animated star pattern. A long wheelbase, a slim greenhouse, and an extended bonnet are among the exterior features.
When you go around the back, you'll notice that Mercedes has discreetly pushed the bottom end of the rear window out towards the trunk, disguising a slightly hatchback-ish form in what is plainly a CLA sedan. The taillights are naturally three-pointed stars, and the same forms are carved into the glass roof, which also extends to create the back window.
Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA: Powertrain
Mercedes-Benz claims that the Concept CLA's powertrain previews 'next-generation electric-drive technology' for production EVs. It is based on the Vision EQXX and has a stated range of more than 750km. The Concept CLA-Class has a 250-kilowatt DC rapid charging capacity thanks to its 800-volt electrical design, allowing it to add an estimated 400km of range in 15 minutes.
When the CLA is on the road, the battery transmits electricity to a small Mercedes-Benz Electric Drive Unit (MB.EDU), which houses the electric motor, two-speed gearbox, and accompanying inverters and electronics. Each unit weighs 110kg and produces 238PS, and the MB.EDU uses significantly fewer rare-earth metals than previous Mercedes motors to improve sustainability.
The MMA platform is an all-electric design that can also accommodate combustion engine drivetrains. The CLA Class idea is rear-wheel drive only. However, because of the powertrain's modular construction, it is also suited for all-wheel drive applications.
Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA: Interior and Features
The CLA Concept's interior incorporates displays from pillar to pillar, including at the air vent centres, all of which sit slightly proud of the beam-stile dashboard on chrome risers. The Concept CLA takes several cues from the Vision EQXX, including the use of sustainable materials and a high-tech Superscreen display. The silver and white seat upholstery is made of Nappa leather tanned using coffee husks, an otherwise worthless waste of the beverage industry, while the shimmering purple accent cloth is made of recycled PET plastic.
The Superscreens will be kept for the production version and will run Mercedes-Benz's new MB.OS operating system. Mercedes-Benz's new chip-to-cloud architecture, which will handle Google Maps navigation as well as other embedded apps, marks a fresh approach to in-car infotainment.
The MMA platform that the CLA Concept is based on is the first to be entirely powered by MB.OS, Mercedes' own proprietary software system. The installed hardware is capable of Level 3 autonomous driving, which will be made accessible through an over-the-air upgrade whenever Mercedes and local governments are ready. Expect a high level of customization, including swappable themes and the 'Hey Mercedes' virtual assistant.
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