Markus Schafer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG., confirmed in an interview with the German magazine “auto motor und sport” that the future Mercedes CLA will also have mild hybrid ICE engines with 48V technology.
The details of the MMA platform (Mercedes Modular Architecture) were announced as early as three years ago at the Daimler Shareholders Meeting in October 2020. Since then, there have been many speculations about the types of propulsion that this platform will support as Mercedes officially announced the MMA platform is an “Electric First” platform and not “Electric Only.”
Markus Schafer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement confirmed in an interview given to the German magazine “auto motor und sport” at the Munich auto show on September 4, 2023, that the future CLA will also have conventional engines with mild hybrid technology on 48V in addition to full electric versions.
The ICE four-cylinder engines are designed by Mercedes and will be produced in the new plant in China together with Geely for Mercedes, Volvo and other Geely brands.
The future electric Mercedes CLA will debut at the end of 2024, while the versions with ICE mild hybrid engines will be launched a year later.
As initially announced, the electric motors in the new Mercedes CLA are designed and manufactured by Mercedes, will be of the permanent magnet synchronous type and will still use rare earths. But Markus Schafer said the percentage of rare earths has been substantially reduced by more than 90%, from 40 grams in the EQA and EQB to just 3 grams. By comparison, BMW already uses externally excited electric motors without rare earths.
Schafer also said that the new CLA will not have bidirectional charging from the start, but this option is planned for the future.
In the same interview, Schafer clarified how the compact range will be structured in the future. He confirmed that the number of compact models will be reduced from seven to four, and he specified very clearly what these will be: CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and two SUVs which cannot be other than the successors of EQA/GLA and EQB /GLB.
Schafer justified the restriction of the compact range by the fact that Mercedes has to sell these models all over the world. In the compact range so far, there are models that sell very well in Europe but not in China or the USA. Therefore, there is a need for cost optimization and economies of scale for individual components, which ensures more stability.
Thus, through his statement, Schafer confirms the abandonment of A and B-Class and explains the reasons behind this decision.