Report: 2025 long wheelbase Mercedes-Benz CLA EV to replace A-Class Sedan
Hans · Feb 25, 2022 09:00 PM
We’ve previously reported that the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan (V177) will not be replaced after the current generation model ends. The move is part of Mercedes-Benz Cars’ efforts to streamline its product offerings, focusing on higher margin products.
It begs the question, is Mercedes-Benz really going to exit the compact sedan segment entirely? Not at all, according to a recent report from German business publications Automobilwoche.
The report claims that the vacuum that will soon be left in the wake of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan’s eventual discontinuation (circa 2024), will be filled by a new generation Mercedes-Benz CLA coupe, albeit one that’s going to be very different from the current model you know.
Contrary to our earlier report (which since been corrected), the higher margin CLA will remain, though it will be dropped from North American markets, while the CLA Shooting Brake will be dropped globally.
The all-new 2025 CLA will reportedly be a China-focused product, with a longer wheelbase, thus allowing the 4-door coupe to take on the current A-Class Sedan’s role.
While the outgoing C118 generation CLA and V177 A-Class Sedan ride on the front-wheel drive MFA II platform, the all-new 2025 Mercedes-Benz CLA (C119?) will be built on the next generation Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA), and the model is expected to be previewed sometime around 2024, with sales expected to commence in 2025.
The MMA platform was initially presented as a dedicated electric vehicle platform, but Mercedes-Benz also described MMA as an ‘Electric First’ platform, alluding to the possibility that it could still support combustion engines, which Automobilwoche says it can.
So will the A-Class Sedan and CLA be merged into an electric, EQ badge-only product or will combustion engine variants still be offered? The German publication says the latter is true.
The claims is not without basis. Mercedes-Benz has previously said that by 2025, it wants 50 percent of its sales to come from either BEVs or plug-in hybrids, and by 2030, it will only sell BEVs in markets where conditions allow for it.
This also implies that Mercedes-Benz will not phase out combustion engines entirely, at least not before 2030.
Following that rationale, it makes sense for the more price sensitive, lower range compact cars to continue to be sold with combustion engines for a longer period of time, before switching to EV-only models.
To do that, the compact car-focused MMA platform has to support engines in parallel with electric drives.
Mercedes-Benz global PR has yet to confirm (or deny) these reports regarding the A-Class Sedan's future, although Mercedes-Benz USA has confirmed that the A-Class Sedan will be dropped from North American markets after 2022, saying that the decision is “consistent with our ongoing effort to streamline our product offering strategy."
On a related note, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s Vice-President Michael Jopp denied that the A-Class Sedan will be dropped, at least not for Malaysia.
“All the portfolios, all the products that we have in our portfolio, all the segments that we are currently serving in Malaysia, we are doing (it) with a purpose. We see demand and we would be foolish to exit any of these segments. There is no plan to exit any of the segments we are currently serving,” said Jopp, who also emphasised "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet."
Putting these two very contrasting statements side by side, it’s difficult to make a conclusion.
Manufacturers of course, don’t like to talk about their future product plans, especially ones that disrupt sales or perception of existing models.
However the key takeaway from Jopp’s comments is that Mercedes-Benz will not be exiting the compact car segment – at least that part corroborates with Automobilwoche’s report.
Perhaps the next question that we should be asking is whether will the A-Class Sedan’s successor still be called as such?