Are we already seeing the AMG performance version of the upcoming electric CLA? Almost anything seems possible for the Swabians' new entry-level segment, but first things first, so that we don't get confused.

At the IAA Mobility in September last year, Mercedes provided what was probably the most spectacular study of the trade fair with the Concept CLA Class. The preview of the first electric CLA was a feast for the eyes and it was a technological fireworks display to boot. 800-volt architecture, new eATS 2.0 drivetrain with two-speed gearbox and lots of technology from the energy-saving miracle Vision EQXX. The target for the series: 12 kWh per 100 kilometres (5.2 mi/kWh) and a range of 466 miles. 

This is made possible by the new MMA platform (Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture), which, however, is not only capable of pure electric power. The motto here is: electric first, but not electric only. In other words, pure combustion engines and plug-in hybrids are also likely to be found under the stretched bonnet of the CLA and its future platform siblings GLA, GLB and CLA Shooting Brake. 

In the case of this prototype, however, we are probably dealing with a purely electric vehicle. The lack of exhaust tailpipes at least suggests this. What everything else about this prototype points to is AMG. 

Mercedes-AMG CLA EV (2024) als Erlkönig

Is it all just camouflage to make us scribblers speculate ourselves into the ground, or are we in for something really powerful? There is the almost comically large duck tail at the rear, and further indications of more electric oomph are seen in the large sports wheels, the thicker front brakes and a significantly lowered suspension compared to the previously seen prototypes of the new CLA. 

The IAA study has an electric motor with 238 PS on board. What is under the bonnet of prototype BB-AA 4722 is of course pure speculation, but there will certainly be room for a second engine. We currently have no information on whether there will also be AMG variants of the combustion engine version.

Mercedes CLA Concept (2023)

The Concept CLA Class study made its debut in September 2023

Mercedes CLA Concept (2023)

The eye-catching rear lights can also be seen to some extent on the test prototype

In the meantime, it is clear that the IAA message about the "near-series study" was probably more than just a statement. It can be recognised by the headlights with the light strip above them and the rear lights, which look very much like the concept car. The side line and the star that has moved down into the grille also signal a certain loyalty to the concept car.

Our spy photographers have not yet been able to capture images of the interior of the new CLA on camera. In the Concept CLA Class, the new "MB.OS" operating system forms the basis for a new user interface via the MBUX Superscreen. It was derived from the display of the VISION EQXX with state-of-the-art real-time graphics.  

The new Mercedes CLA is due to be unveiled later this year. It is widely assumed that it will start with a combustion version. The electric CLA will then follow in 2025. A sporty AMG derivative could also be presented in 2025.

Gallery: Mercedes-AMG CLA EV (2024) spy photos

Source: Automedia