All-electric Mercedes CLA is coming in 2025 to compete with Tesla Model 3

Max McDee, 27 March 2023

In a sign of a major shift in strategy, Mercedes is planning to unveil the third generation of its ever-so-popular CLA class that will be built around the Electric First approach. There will be only four models available and the EQ sub-brand will not be used to identify the electric version.

The times are changing and they are changing fast. Audi recently confirmed it will most likely ditch the 'e-tron' sub-brand and instead revert to a more traditional model naming with even numbers signifying electric models while uneven numbers identifying ICE vehicles.

Now Mercedes is apparently getting ready to ditch the idea of a sub-brand and make electric vehicles the main offering. In fact, the third generation of the CLA class will be built as electric-first with just one mild hybrid version offered in addition to battery-powered models.

Artist's impression of the upcoming all-electric Mercedes CLA Artist's impression of the upcoming all-electric Mercedes CLA

Mercedes is undergoing big changes, the company is shifting away from its compact models and wants to focus more on luxury offerings. The company will cut the 7 existing compact models down to just four in the next three years. Mercedes A-Class, the Chinese A-Class sedan with its long-wheelbase version, and the Mercedes B-Class are all getting a chop.

The CLA will represent the entry into the Mercedes brand, it will be available as a sedan and a Shooting Brake. The EQA crossover and EQB crossover will be initially joined by GLA and GLB models and eventually will merge into just one model, just like the CLA.

Mercedes is still pursuing the dual strategy, though. Its MB-EA platform goes into production in 2025 and will form the base of the upcoming C-Class and GLC models. While it is designed to be used exclusively with electric powertrains, Mercedes will deploy an MMA platform alongside it. The new CLA will use this platform since it is electric-first, but it supports combustion engines as well.

This was an early electric A-class prototype - the CLA will keep its front This was an early electric A-class prototype - the CLA will keep its front

As for the new CLA - the car will have a longer wheelbase than the current model, and it will offer a substantial improvement in the interior space. Both the front and the rear of the CLA will feature the body-wide LED strip which has become the signature of EQ models. Thanks to the 800V architecture of the MMA platform, the battery will support up to 350 kW fast DC charging which should result in 10 to 80% charge time of fewer than 30 minutes.

The 2025 CLA will use LFP batteries in the entry-level models, and the long-range version will get the new silicon-anode battery which Mercedes is already testing in the CLA sedan versions. According to the company, this new technology translates to 12 kWh of energy per 100 km (62 miles) - that means a 66.5 kWh battery (similar to one found on Mercedes EQA) could deliver over 550 km of range on one charge.

The new CLA will come both in single and dual-motor versions and there will be a fast AMG version as well. The electric motors are the second generation permanent magnet synchronous units known under internal code eATS2.0. Finally, the silicon carbide inverters will ensure fast power delivery and the two-speed gearbox will make sure all that power is put down to the road with utmost efficiency.

THis is only the artist's impression of what the CLA may look like THis is only the artist's impression of what the CLA may look like

It seems that once the transition to electric power is complete, sub-brands such as EQ models will be integrated into the old ways of model naming. What has started as a new electric-only branding is proving to be only a temporary shift, one that none of the automakers could predict to last so short. Customers are simply losing interest in combustion engines and aren’t happy about the confusing sub-brands. What they want are the brands and models they are used to, but with modern, electric powertrains.



Reader comments

  • Viames

It is one of the most beautiful renderings ever for Mercedes! I would book it right away!

looks toy to me, not an actual vehicle.

  • andrew

Those M EQ models look awuful. I'm in love with the Mercedez featured at the top picture render, that grey one has an amazing look!!


Popular models