Concept CLA Class Represents Next-Gen Entry-Level Mercedes EVs

mercedes concept cla class bows at iaa munich
Mercedes’ Concept CLA Class Is Affordable LuxuryMercedes
  • Mercedes-Benz revealed an all-new concept at IAA Munich last weekend: a stylish electric four-door coupe similar in shape to the CLS but on a much smaller platform.

  • The all-electric Concept CLA has a range of 400 miles.

  • It rides on a new platform called MMA for Mercedes Modular Architecture that will underpin the next GLA and GLB, as well as a Euro-only wagon.

Until now, if you wanted Mercedes-prestige and comfort in an electric car, you had to buy an EQS sedan for over 100 grand, or at least and EQE at $75,000 or so. Okay, you can get an all-electric EQB crossover for $52,750, but that’s not exactly Mercedes’ most stylish and handsome vehicle.


All that’s about to change since Mercedes revealed its Concept CLA Class at the IAA in Munich last weekend, and it is a promising platform, indeed. The exterior sports the same lines and proportions of the $75k CLS Coupe, while Mercedes promises an all-new, all-electric drivetrain that is more efficient than anything it’s made before.

The Concept CLA rides on the all-new, EV-specific Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) platform that will be used by at least three other EVs that are currently in the works: a wagon version of the CLA that we will likely not get here in the US, and the GLA and GLB electric crossovers. The CLA sedan will be the first to see production, with plans calling for a late-2024 on-sale date, followed, we are to assume, by the other three vehicles.

There is no word on the size of the battery pack yet, but whatever it is will give the CLA a range of around 400 miles on our EPA cycle here in the US (European range on the WLTP cycle is listed at 466 miles). That range is due not only to battery size, but to efficiency of the car's overall drivetrain.

Customers will get to choose between two different battery chemistries: a power-dense setup with silicon-oxide anodes, or lithium-iron phosphate for cost- and durability benefits.

The electric power will go to a 235-hp motor mounted on the rear axle and mated to a two-speed transmission. We are assuming that will be an automatic but Benz did not specify. The motor, transmission, and controller weigh less than 243 pounds, MB says.

The whole thing has what the automaker claims is close to zero rare earth elements. The battery will be capable of bi-directional charging, powering either your home during a blackout, or the electric grid to buffer demand during hot afternoons when the entire city is blasting its air conditioning.

mercedes concept cla class bows at iaa munich
Seats in the Concept CLA look like happy hammerheads.Mercedes

Inside is one of the biggest infotainment screens you’ve ever seen. The so-called MBUX Superscreen first appearing in last year’s Vision EQXX concept goes A-pillar-to-A-pillar.

“The MBUX Superscreen comes to life with advanced real-time graphics powered by game engine technology,” Mercedes boasts. “The instrument cluster adapts to user needs, including the level of driver assistance.

“In so doing, the intelligent system communicates with more than just data, incorporating shapes and light into an intuitive dialogue. This ensures the driver has a clear overview of all relevant information without overload. From the dynamic virtual cockpit that helps optimize driving style for maximum range, to the 3D navigation with integrated information on points of interest, they have everything they need when they need it.”

Looking forward to seeing that.

While some Mercedes models get limited Level 3 autonomy, the Concept CLA gets only Level 2, but it is enhanced with Lidar to aid not only in driving but in changing lanes and even parking.

There was no mention of price nor performance beyond that 400-mile range, but we’ll know all closer to the CLA’s launch at the end of 2024.

With its lower price point, do you think the production version of the Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA will become the brand’s most popular EV? Please comment below.