Mercedes to launch electric CLA & GLC in 2024
Mercedes-Benz is preparing the market launch of the all-electric CLA and GLC next year. These two electric cars were among those shown at a North American dealer meeting and will probably no longer be marketed under the EQ label.
The electric variants of the CLA sedan and the GLC crossover are meant to compete with the Tesla Model 3 and the Model Y, respectively. The market launch of both electric models is planned for 2024.
The electric CLA offers around 400 miles (640 km) of range, and the electric GLC, the successor to the EQC, offers around 300 miles (480 km) of range, according to various media reports citing the aforementioned dealer meeting.
According to Automotive News, US dealers were shown a total of eight upcoming models (including internal combustion engines) – some of which are already known to the public, for example, the revised eSprinter, which is to be launched in the US in 2023, and the new E-Class. The electric variants of the two models, on the other hand, are new and have not yet been presented in the form of a study.
While it was leaked from the dealer meeting that the two new electric models were shown, not many details about the vehicles themselves have been revealed. The electric CLA is said to be “taller and sleeker” than its combustion counterpart. This is not surprising, as the electric model – unlike the EQA and EQB models, for example – is no longer based on an internal combustion engine model and its platform but is built on a new architecture with the MMA, which was designed to be “electric first” but not “electric only”.
It is not clear from the reports in which plant the electric CLA will be built. The German carmaker has already revealed that it will convert the Rastatt plant (i.e. the lead plant for compact vehicles in the worldwide Mercedes production network) for the production of MMA electric cars from the summer onwards, with the plant in Kecskemét, Hungary, to follow shortly afterwards. The A-Class, B-Class and GLA are currently produced in Rastatt, the CLA, GLB and EQB in Kecskemét. As Mercedes’ compact portfolio is to be thinned out, there may be shifts in the model series at the plants.
Not much has been revealed about the electric GLC crossover, either. Since the GLC does not belong to Mercedes’ internal definition of ‘Entry Luxury’ like the compact models, but to the ‘Core Luxury’ segment, it will not be based on the MMA. The MB.EA is intended as the purely electric platform for the Core Luxury models. Whether the electric GLC will be built in Bremen like the combustion engine model and the EQC, is not yet certain. In March, Mercedes production boss Jörg Burzer stated in an interview that in Kecskemét, “a model from the C-Class segment is envisaged” alongside the electric MMA model – which the GLC would theoretically fulfil.
Interestingly, the new electric vehicles were not mentioned in connection with the EQ label at the dealer meeting, which suggests that Mercedes-Benz will indeed do without the additional EQ label for its electric models from 2024, as suspected. It is not yet clear how the electric models will be named in future.