Mercedes-Benz will enter into a direct battle with the highly successful Tesla Model 3 by introducing an all-new generation of its CLA four-door compact saloon, which is slated to be developed under the “electric-first” strategy.
A concept car previewing the 2025-bound EV is slated to debut at the Munich motor show in September, when we’ll get a better understanding of what the German brand has in store for what it calls the “Entry Luxury” category in its portfolio.
According to the British publication Autocar, the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA will be offered in two variants, starting with the all-electric version and continuing with a mild-hybrid that will arrive about six months after the introduction of the EV and only in select markets.
As per Autocar, the upcoming CLA will sit on the Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) platform, which – in pure electric form – is engineered to work with an 800-volt battery pack that can accept up to 350 kilowatts of power when charging, for a top-up from 10 to 80 percent state of charge (SoC) in roughly 30 minutes from a high-power DC charger.
The new electric CLA is rumoured to be in the works in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants, with both using what’s described as being second-generation permanent magnet synchronous motors bearing the internal name eATS2.0. Coupled with a newly-developed silicon carbide inverter, the motors will provide motivation through a two-speed gearbox, but it’s unclear if this setup will be the standard affair on both front- and all-wheel drive versions.
Gallery: Mercedes EQA / CLA Saloon Spy Photos
Set to receive a new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack that’s built around a cell-to-pack production principle, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA is said to be much more efficient than the company’s current models that use lithium-ion packs.
With a longer body than the current model (rumours say it will have a length of around 4.7 metres or 185 inches), the new German electric saloon was spotted out testing for the first time last month, when our spy photographers managed to snap some close-ups of the vehicle’s charging connector, confirming that Mercedes-Benz was indeed working on a new compact EV.
With an expected debut sometime next year, the next-generation CLA will also compete with the BMW i4 and Polestar 2, bringing some much-needed rivalry to this particular vehicle segment.