STUTTGART, Germany – Mercedes-Benz confirms plans to unveil a concept previewing its upcoming third-generation CLA at the 2023 Munich auto show in September.
The new 4-door sedan will be the first model to be based on Mercedes-Benz’s Modular Mercedes Architecture platform – a hybrid structure conceived to support both conventional internal-combustion engines and battery-electric drivetrains – when it is launched late next year prior to a start to North American sales in 2025.
Mercedes-Benz hints at the styling of the new CLA sedan with the release of an image showing the upper side profile of the new model, which is billed as a direct rival to the likes of the BMW i4, Telsa Model 3 and Nio ET5.
It receives a low-set front end and a coupe-like profile, with a rounded roofline, shallow side glass, a heavily angled rear window and a relatively short trunk – styling elements already seen on the larger EQE and EQS sedans.
Other design elements set to appear on the concept include an illuminated grille and full-width LED taillamp assembly, according to insiders privy to the vehicle’s final design.
The new CLA forms part of what Mercedes-Benz calls its “Entry Luxury” lineup, which will also include successor models to today’s CLA Shooting Brake, GLA CUV and GLB SUV – all based on the same MMA platform.
Together with a new battery-electric drivetrain offering the choice of standard single-motor rear- and optional dual-motor all-wheel drive together with either a lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) or lithium-ion (li-ion) battery, the Mercedes-Benz model is planned to be sold with a newly developed gasoline-engine drivetrain in selected markets. Developed by the German automaker, it will be produced by Geely in China prior to export to Europe, where the CLA is to be produced at Mercedes-Benz’s Rastatt plant in Germany and the Kecskemét plant in Hungary for the U.S. market.
The MMA platform is among four new platforms being developed by Mercedes-Benz. Others include the MB.EA structure for more up-market electric models, the AMG.EA structure for dedicated electric models from the automaker's AMG performance car division and the VAN.EA structure that will underpin upcoming electric-powered commercial vehicles.
Other premieres planned by Mercedes-Benz at the 2023 Munich auto show include the public debuts of the new E-Class sedan, wagon and All Terrain.