Mercedes’ new gen EV is coming

The upcoming entry-level Mercedes-Benz EV was finally caught out in the wild. The electric Mercedes CLA was spotted testing near the Arctic Circle. The new EV is seen as Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the Tesla Model 3 and will be the most affordable EV from Stuttgart.

The new CLA is also dubbed the ‘electric hypermiler’ or the ‘one-liter car’, a reference to the holy grail search for a car that consumed only one liter of fuel per 100 km in the heyday of the internal combustion engine.

The new CLA is supposed to have an average WLTP consumption of less than 12 kWh/100 km and is expected to feature a 750 km plus range, as it is based on Mercedes’ next MMA platform. That is derived from the ultra-efficient Vision EQXX concept.

When it was presented, the latter already managed to do a cross-European test drive of more than 1,000 km and recently completed a 1,010 km trip through the Arabian desert (from Riyadh to Dubai), with a range of over 300 km left in the battery pack.

More than 1,000 km in the desert with the Vision EQXX and 300 km of range left /Mercedes-Benz

A new era

The electric CLA will be the first Mercedes EV to ride on an 800V system, enabling rapid charging of up to 400 km in a quarter of an hour. Mercedes claims the new CLA “marks a new era” for the brand’s design evolution. With new features that have become “icons in their own right,” the vehicle is a modern take on Mercedes’ iconic design, according to Stuttgart.

In the words of Mercedes-Benz Group chief designer Gordon Wagener, the concept “reinterprets iconic elements of the brand’s rich design heritage to craft a whole new face of Mercedes-Benz.”

Winter testing

We got a first look at the outside of the new electric Mercedes CLA after it was spotted during winter testing near the Arctic Circle. The video from CarSpyMedia gives us a closer look at the CLA prototype, revealing the electric car’s sleek curves and low stance as it drives by. Despite the camouflage, you can see the new seamless grille panel and shark-nose design peeking through.

Inside, the entry-level EV is expected to feature Mercedes’ new OS (MB.OS), the “digital brain” behind the vehicle. AI and machine learning will power every vehicle based on the MMA platform. Mercedes says the MB.OS software is “generally ready” for an SAE Level 3 autonomy upgrade, but the EV will initially roll out with Level 2 capabilities.

As Mercedes’ entry-level EV, the CLA is expected to rival Tesla’s Model 3 and other EV models from direct competitors as Mercedes’ most affordable electric car so far.



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