CLA successor? Mercedes teaser gives first glimpse of new compact car family

Mercedes future compact family teaser

Published Jul 25, 2023

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Mercedes-Benz is giving its compact car range a complete rethink, and here is our first clue as to where things are headed.

This is of course a very early preview. The shadowy teaser image that you see here shows the side profile of a new concept car that will be revealed at the upcoming IAA Mobility show in Munich this September.

Mercedes says the new concept will show its future vision for the Mercedes-Benz Entry Segment, in which it promises class-leading innovation, design and digital experience.

The carmaker is remaining tight-lipped about the rest, but it would seem logical that the car in the image previews a single model that will replace both the current CLA and A-Class sedan.

As before the company will still offer a family of compact body styles, but it will have fewer members.

As reported in May last year when Mercedes outlined its future plans, the number of compact model ranges will be reduced from seven to four.

It is already widely rumoured that the A-Class hatchback will be discontinued after the current generation and it’s very likely that the B-Class compact MPV will follow it out the door.

This would theoretically leave the sedan pictured above, as well as a possible Shooting Brake variant, and replacements for the GLA and GLB SUVs as the only compact models Mercedes offers in future.

Mercedes says its upcoming compact family, dubbed “Entry Luxury” will be underpinned by a new modular platform called MMA, which will also introduce a new electronic operating system called MB.OS.

This will almost certainly bring more artificial intelligence (AI) to the car’s on-board assistance systems, and don’t be surprised if you see ChatGPT voice control as this is already being trialled in the current MBUX system.

But you’re probably also wondering if this new compact car family will be electric only or if internal combustion versions will also feature.

According to CarBuzz, the new MMA architecture was designed as an EV-first platform, but it will still be able to accommodate combustion derivatives.

But while the petrol models might get a stay of execution, for now at least, there will be a clear focus on the electric models.

To that end, many of the innovations from the futuristic EQXX concept car will “soon” find their way into production models, a Mercedes spokesperson told Autocar recently.

Customers can also expect the upcoming MMA-based products to be more spacious and luxurious inside, the British publication added.

But given the German carmaker’s upmarket shift, and the fact that its future compact models will be significantly more technologically advanced, prices are of course only going in one direction..

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