Soon Mercedes will launch the CLA successor, it will be based on the new “EV first” platform that can use as well an ICE…here are my illustrations of the car how it could look like.
Although the company aims to reign on the diversity of its nameplates (the new CLE just succeeded two models, not one), that doesn’t mean Mercedes-Benz will refrain from an avalanche of new introductions this year and the next.
The new W214 E-Class executive sedan is already here, the CLE coupe and convertible have appeared to send the C-Class and E-Class Coupe plus Cabrio into retirement, the second-gen AMG GT is the closed top sibling of the AMG SL, and even the mid-size minivans got a thorough update with the V-Class Marco Polo shown in all its glory at the ongoing Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf.
However, that also doesn’t mean Mercedes won’t focus on the little ones. The compact models will be spearheaded by the third generation of the CLA series, which is expected on a new architecture with the usual array of gasoline and diesel powertrains but joined at the hip with PHEV options and at least one all-electric variant.
Arriving stateside as a 2025 model year, the next Mercedes CLA could still indulge in sporting the Shooting Brake station wagon variant along with the four-door sedan, and we think the top-dog AMG CLA 45 S won’t be missing out on the party. However, it’s even more interesting to think about the battery-powered version. If not in the real world, just yet, at least across the imaginative realm of digital car content creators.
For example, the virtual artist behind Larson Design (aka lars_o_saeltzer on social media) brings to life his CGI vision of the next Mercedes CLA – in EQA Sedan form to make a case for a family with the EQA SUV that’s already out in the wild. Naturally, the pixel master played with expectations and wanted to make sure this little Mercedes incorporated all the latest trends.
As such, his vision of the CLA successor with zero emissions has wide LED strips both at the front and rear to connect the headlights and taillights in a ritzy manner at night. His interpretation also comes with a color-coordinated grille featuring lots and lots of little three-pointed stars. Another one, much larger, is depicted in every corner of the roundish taillights at the rear.
Interestingly, the reception has been mixed for this unofficial interpretation of the CLA EV (or EQA Sedan) – with some claiming that removing the front logo will make this vision a generic Chinese EV and others claiming the taillights were inspired by Mazda’s styling. A small minority did appreciate the novel lines, but we ultimately think this backlash is mainly directed at Mercedes rather than the artist itself.
After all, Mercedes styling has become rather bland and quirky as far as the EQ models are concerned, or even outrageous or way too subtle when it comes to regular, ICE-powered models. So, do we give this virtual project our CGI hall pass or not?