Mercedes CLA Idea Takes Effectivity To A New Stage

Mercedes created the EQXX idea automotive to check the boundaries of electrical automotive expertise and problem its engineers to stretch their skills to the utmost. Now the teachings realized from that journey are starting to trickle right down to precise manufacturing automobiles, beginning with the quickly to be launched next-generation CLA sedan.

“The Idea CLA Class is the forerunner for a completely new all-electric phase of entry-level autos at Mercedes-Benz. The vary will comprise a complete of 4 new fashions — a 4 door coupe, a capturing brake, and two gorgeous SUVs — every with considerably elevated product substance. This new mannequin household is impressed by a technology of automotive patrons who need that unmistakable Mercedes-Benz really feel, with extra options, even larger consolation and security and essentially the most superior expertise,” says Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group in a press launch.

“Additionally they search a sustainable selection that may be a reduce above the remainder. This hypermiler is the one-liter automotive of the electrical age, with a variety of greater than 750 kilometers (466 miles) within the WLTP and vitality consumption of simply 12 kWh/100 km (5.2 mi/kWh). Based mostly on the MMA platform, it supplies an perception into the primary full household of Mercedes-Benz electrical automobiles developed from scratch to place our Ambition 2039 on the highway, whereby we purpose to realize internet carbon neutrality alongside the whole worth chain in our fleet of latest autos in 2039.”

Mercedes CLA Idea

Courtesy of Mercedes

There’s a lot to love concerning the CLA idea on show on the IAA present in Munich this week. The design is recent and interesting whereas sustaining the basic styling cues that clients crave. It begins with the shark-like entrance finish that options sufficient three pointed stars to populate a complete galaxy. Whereas specs are usually not official but, the brand new automotive is inside just a few millimeters of the present CLA, however the wheels have been pushed additional towards the corners of the automotive, which leads to more room within the passenger compartment.

Sharp-eyed readers might discover a really refined bulge in the vanguard of the roof the place it meets the windshield. That’s the place Mercedes plans to put in the sensors wanted to permit Stage 3 autonomous driving sooner or later. At launch, the brand new CLA automobiles may have the identical Stage 2 assisted driving system accessible at present. Elon Musk would by no means allow such a bubble to disturb the looks of Tesla vehicles however Mercedes has executed it in such a means that few folks will discover it except somebody particularly factors it out.

Effectivity Is The Key

Courtesy of Mercedes

The first focus of the CLA Idea is effectivity — getting essentially the most mileage out of each kWh accessible. It begins with 800 volt structure for the all new Mercedes Modular Structure (MMA) platform that may type the premise of all future midsize electrical automobiles from Mercedes. The bottom mannequin might be powered by a 175 kW (235 hp) Mercedes-Benz Electrical Drive Unit ( that makes use of little or no uncommon earth supplies. The is a direct descendant of the expertise used to create the EQXX. Silicon carbide electronics within the motor management system additionally promote higher effectivity.

Mercedes has chosen to go in opposition to the grain with regards to getting the ability of the engine to the wheels. Integrated into the drive unit is a two pace transmission to extend effectivity at larger speeds. It has additionally added a brand new warmth pump system to heat and funky the inside that may extract warmth from the air outdoors the automobile even in chilly temperatures. Put it multi functional package deal and Mercedes says the CLA has 93% effectivity that’s good for 750 km of vary within the European WLTP take a look at.

There’s extra to the story, after all. The CLA will supply a twin motor possibility and a selection of battery packs. The lengthy vary battery pack makes use of silicon oxide anodes and was developed in cooperation with CATL. It has a said vitality consumption of 12 kWh per 100 kilometers or 5.2 miles per kWh. Autoblog ran these numbers via is in home tremendous laptop and decided the pack measurement should be about 90 kWh.

As compared, the Euro-spec Volvo XC40 Recharge is rated at kWh per 100 kilometers (3.2 miles per kWh). As regular, when evaluating any electrical automotive, vary numbers are closely influenced by pace and whether or not of not the heating or cooling programs are functioning. Our 2017 Chevy Bolt recurrently travels about 5 miles per kWh in blended freeway and rural driving however seldom is the warmth or A/C engaged. Your mileage might range. See seller for particulars. The Mercedes CLA can even be provided with an LFP battery pack that might be cheaper and have much less final vary.

Because of its 800 volt structure, the brand new CLA — which is able to most likely go on sale in late 2024 as a 2025 mannequin — will have the ability to settle for as much as 250 kW of energy from a DC quick charger — sufficient so as to add  400 km (248 miles) of vary in quarter-hour. The manufacturing model might be able to bi-directional charging as nicely.

Inside Goodness Abounds

CLA Concept

Courtesy of Mercedes

The CLA might be accessible with the fabulicious EQXX impressed MBUX Superscreen that spans the whole space in entrance of the entrance seat occupants from pillar to pillar. Mercedes has not fallen for the big central touchscreen vibe pioneered by Tesla, preferring to combine all of the devices and controls into one seamless expertise.  The show is powered by a bespoke MB.OS chip-to-cloud structure that blends all the digital options of the automotive collectively. As anticipated, Mercedes claims the consequence might be a singular consumer interface and consumer expertise.

Within the idea automotive, that MB.OS chip is prominently featured in an illuminated water cooled housing within the heart of the automobile under the MBUX display. Automobile and Driver notes it seems like a Flux Capacitor from Again to the Future. Whereas it most likely gained’t make it into the manufacturing model of the automobiles, it’s a means cool little bit of eye sweet that may make house owners of lesser autos insanely jealous, which is perhaps a darn good motive to maintain it.

The Takeaway

Elon Musk as soon as urged different producers to construct compelling electrical automobiles. Mercedes seems to have executed exactly that with the CLA Idea. Of specific observe is that each one this goodness shouldn’t be confined to the higher reaches of the Mercedes line-up — the EQS and the Maybach. No, that is the following technology CLA, which can be as near an entry degree Mercedes sedan as you may get.

Costs, after all, are but to be introduced, however a protracted vary, quick charging sedan is what the EV revolution wants extra of. The truth that Mercedes plans a wagon/property model of the CLA and two SUVs as nicely suggests compelling electrical automobiles are lastly right here, or practically so.

If there may be one clunker in all of the hoopla concerning the CLA Idea, it’s that it’s designed to simply accept inside combustion engines in addition to batteries and electrical motors. That’s the explanation the hood is quite lengthy for an electrical automotive. Mercedes has each proper to organize for all market contingencies, after all, but it surely nonetheless suggests the corporate has not absolutely dedicated to the EV revolution the way in which many CleanTechnica readers would possibly choose.

With that one quibble, we welcome the CLA Idea as proof that the transition to electrical transportation has taken one other step ahead.


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