This is what it’s essential to find out about Mercedes-Benz’s new vary of smaller automobiles
Mercedes is pouring a complete lot of tech into its next-generation “small” automobiles, and quite a lot of alternative too.
It is making a complete bunch of fuss in regards to the electrical facet of the coin, previewed by the Idea CLA unwrapped on the Munich motor present. However there shall be petrol and plug-in hybrid variations too. They use a brand-new platform going by the interior abbreviation MMA.
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There shall be a complete of 4 physique kinds on that platform. First is the 2025 CLA-class fastback saloon as previewed by the idea, and likewise a taking pictures brake and what Mercedes says shall be two SUVs. One of many SUVs shall be a GLA-style crossover, the opposite a seven-seater to exchange the GLB.
The CLA idea offers us robust clues to the design of the manufacturing electrical CLA, and that front-end remedy be carried throughout all 4 electrical MMA our bodies. The variations with engines may have larger grille openings and totally different mild signatures, simply as a EQA and GLA are totally different right now.
Källenius says of the MMA platform: “It’s designed to be totally electrical from scratch. As soon as the EV model was perfected, we added the combustion engine choices.”
Which is why the proportions aren’t fairly what a pure EV’s would have been: they needed to go away room for an engine, radiator and transmission. Nonetheless, meaning fairly extra conventionally enticing proportions than the giant-computer-mouse blobbiness of Mercedes’ electric-only massive automobiles, the EQE and EQS.
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Really, the CLA is a correctly handsome factor. Light creases outline the tops of the entrance wings, and one other pair run again via the bonnet. Operating from all 4 corners alongside the belt-line in direction of the centre are blades of chrome with fading LED backlights. All of it helps give the form a definition your eye can lock on to, regardless that it is classily freed from visible noise.
Again to the electrical variations. The platform is ready for two-motor four-wheel-drive, after all. However the CLA idea options rear-wheel-drive, in order to get the headline 466-mile WLTP vary. There is a two-speed transmission, which implies at excessive pace the motor would not spin inefficiently quick. The motor itself makes use of studying from the one in Mercedes’ ultra-long-range EQXX experimental EV, which itself used the experience of the F1 crew. It is ultra-efficient and makes use of solely tiny quantities of rare-earth components in its magnets. Motor, transmission and inverter are multi function compact mild unit.
The CLA would not use the identical kind of battery as within the EQXX. That had such low inside resistance it did not want water-cooling, however the upshot of that was it could not take the warmth of fast charging. So the CLA’s packs – there are two capability choices – are extra regular water cooled preparations, for super-rapid 250kW charging, or 250 miles-worth in a quarter-hour. A novelty is glued modules – not bolted – to enhance power. The bigger one among them has superior anodes of excessive silicon-oxide content material. There may even be a smaller, cheaper, lower-range one with LFP chemistry, which is cobalt-free.
We’ve not correctly skilled the brand new working system for the huge cabin screens. However in a transfer to indicate it is received loads of processor heft, Mercedes has mounted the processor on a plinth beneath the sprint, lit up just like the chip in some overclocked gaming PC.
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And placing devoted local weather screens on the finish of the sprint not less than means these controls aren’t buried in the principle display. Though these circles on the finish of the sprint appear like vents, they are not. The air emerges from behind the sprint, in a subtle move.
Though Mercedes frames it as ‘compact’, it is really near C-Class size, and has loads of room for adults inside with heaps of tech and glitzy (considerably recycled) supplies. There’s quite a lot of tech and luxurious.
The low-power low-spec A-Class hatch is clearly historical past.