Currently reading: New Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake to lead compact car shake-up
Four new-era small Mercedes with EV and combustion power are inbound, as the A-Class and B-Class are axed

Mercedes-Benz will launch a shooting brake version of the forthcoming new CLA, as well as electric-focused successors to the GLA and GLB SUVs, as part of a renewed attack on the compact vehicle class. 

The three new models will follow the production version of the sleek Concept CLA, due to arrive in late 2024 as a saloon with an electric range of up to 466 miles thanks to a prevailing development focus on efficiency. 

Mercedes boss Ola Källenius has said the new CLA will be one of four compact models to use the new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) platform. 

The MMA replaces the firm’s MFA architecture, which was developed for combustion-engined cars and then adapted for EVs. 

The new platform was created with a focus on electric powertrains and has the ability to accept differing motor types and drive layouts. 

It also uses an 800V architecture that can allow for faster charging and different battery chemistries. Although it is an EV-first platform, MMA can still support combustion engines and the CLA will be launched with a choice of both powertrains. 

That will give Mercedes what Källenius refers to as “strategic flexibility” while it moves towards a fully zero-emission line-up. 

Merc cla amg shooting brake render 2023 copy

The four new models will mark a major revamp of the firm’s compact line-up in which the current A-Class and B-Class will not be directly replaced – with the new CLA becoming Mercedes’ entry-level machine. 

Despite this, sales boss Britta Seeger confirmed the company is committed to the compact segment, saying “we will adapt our offering”. She added: “It’s about finding the right customers in all segments. 

As we have from A[-Class] to S, and in the future from CLA to S, we want to have the best products in each segment.” Notably, the Concept CLA features a number of elements that will be used across not just the four new compact models but all of Mercedes’ future EV line-up. 


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These include key design features such as the new-look daytime-running lights that incorporate the company’s three-pointed star, and the revamped front grille area. However, Mercedes bosses have vowed that each model will also be given its own identity. 

A priority will be to push the models further upmarket by drawing on luxury design concepts and Mercedes’ rich heritage. Källenius has cited a focus on maximising the “desire” of models, saying: “We’re dedicated to building the Mercedes of EVs – instead of just EVs from Mercedes.” 

Seeger added: “What we give to the car is the Mercedes DNA. We know that for customers who are interested in Mercedes, the main reasons are exterior design, interior design, safety, innovation and comfort.” 

The next-generation CLA Shooting Brake will, as with the existing generation, be based closely on the saloon version – and it is likely to be one of the first compact luxury electric estates to hit the market. 

It will have a similar model line-up to the regular CLA, including what is tipped to be a choice of a 58kWh lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery and an 85kWh nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) option. 

Although the shooting brake won’t be quite as aerodynamically efficient as the CLA Saloon – which has a claimed average energy consumption of 5.2mpkWh – maximising its efficiency will still be a key goal. 

As a result, it will adopt similar aerodynamic principles to the saloon that were pioneered on the EQXX concept, which last year travelled from Stuttgart to Silverstone – 747 miles – on a single charge. 


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An official preview image of the four compact models shows that the two SUVs will occupy similar market positions to the cars they succeed. The next-gen GLA (which the electric EQA is currently based on) adopts a crossover profile and the GLB (EQB) successor continues with a blockier, more overtly 4x4-inspired silhouette. 

The more upright stature of the GLB should enable Mercedes to continue offering the electric version with seven seats – currently a unique feature in its segment. 

The two SUVs will be crucial for Mercedes, with Seeger noting that the current EQA and EQB are particularly popular in Europe. All four models will feature a range of both combustion and EV powertrains. 

The electric options are set to include single-motor two-wheel-drive and twin-motor all-wheel-drive layouts. Mercedes claims that a new lightweight two-speed electric transmission being developed in-house allows for 93% of the energy in the battery to be delivered to the wheels – making it around twice as efficient as a combustion-engined car. 

There will also be AMG performance versions of the four new models. Although no details of these have been released yet, they are likely to feature significant power increases and tweaked chassis settings to offer improved dynamics and performance. 

As well as its efficiency-focused in-house unit, Mercedes is working with British firm Yasa on an axialflux electric motor, which has been shown in the One-Eleven supercar concept. 

Yasa motor 0

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The technology is claimed to offer increased power and torque density, alongside significant packaging benefits. 

It is currently being developed for large-scale production by Mercedes, although it isn’t yet clear if it could be used in the Benz-badged compact models or will be reserved for the stand-alone Mercedes-AMG models that will use the forthcoming bespoke AMG.EA platform. 

Technology will play a vital role in the entry-level models’ focus on the luxury market, in particular through the latest use of the firm’s MB.OS operating system and infotainment. 

Källenius vowed this will enable a “fundamentally enhanced customer experience”, which will include advanced driving assistance systems that traditionally have not been offered on entry-level models. 

The Concept CLA also features a new version of the MBUX Superscreen, offered in larger models such as the EQE and EQS, including connected options like video streaming for the front passenger while the car is in use.

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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NavalReserve 16 October 2023

P. S. China has at least 3092 coal fired power stations.

Andrew1 16 October 2023
UK illegally exports rubbish in other countries to be burned so that hypocrites like you don't realise the impact you have on the environment.
NavalReserve 16 October 2023

"Sorry, but in 2023 if you say things like "hippy save the trees" you either live in a cave with no windows, or have an agenda.
Take a look around you - the environment is collapsing, future generations will inherit a hellish world"

Best thing for you to do is go out to Tienaman Square and don't leave it until the last Chinese coal fired power station has been scrapped.

The UK no longer has a coal fired power station.

Andrew1 16 October 2023
No, because UK has cut down all forests, exterminated virtually all big wild animals, burned all it could burn and now hypocritically points the finger to others.
Deputy 16 October 2023

Like many other latest model Mercs, I expect other markets will have this car with loads of options and features but Mercedes UK product managers will decided that we are not worthy of it over here!!  Example, latest GLC/C/GLE class get all sort of extra seat options, heat packs, air suspension, off road packs, remote heating etc.  But Mercedes UK decide not to offer these!  I wanted the latest GLC but live in a cold area of Scotland.  They don't offer heated rear seats and steering wheels, remote heating in the UK but every other cold area market does!  (I ordered a Volvo instead, had it all as standard!)

Andrew1 16 October 2023
It simply because the UK customers don't buy those options, so they can save money but not offering them.
Another example that the UK buyers only go for the badge, not the substance.