German automobile maker Mercedes-Benz thinks it can put range anxiety to bed with its new concept car.
Concept CLA Class, debuted at the International Motor Show in Munich this week, can drive 466 miles on a single charge – more than Tesla cars.
Measuring more than 15 feet long, the low emissions four-door sedan also has panoramic windows, expansive glass roof and low energy lights.
It’s been made with ‘more sustainable’ materials including biotechnology-based fabric, bamboo fibre and reduced emissions steel and aluminum.
Unlike other prototypes from the company, Concept CLA Class is actually set to go into production, in late 2024 – but price is to be confirmed.
The German carmaker claims its new concept vehicle ‘blends aesthetics with masterful engineering’
Concept CLA Class: Specs
Range: 466 miles (750km)
Power consumption: 5.2 miles per kWh
Availability: Late 2024
The German carmaker claims its new concept car ‘blends aesthetics with masterful engineering’.
‘The Concept CLA Class is the forerunner for an entirely new all-electric segment of entry-level vehicles at Mercedes-Benz,’ said CEO Ola Källenius.
‘It is inspired by a generation of car buyers who want that unmistakable Mercedes-Benz feel, with more features, even greater comfort and safety and the most advanced technology.’
A big factor putting the public off buying electric vehicles (EVs) is ‘range anxiety’ – the fear of not having enough charge to get to a destination.
Therefore, many automakers want to give their vehicles as large a range as possible, by installing a bigger battery or improving the battery chemistry.
Other ways to increase range include making the car’s shape more aerodynamic, using lighting materials, tweaking the software, or adding ‘regenerative braking’ – capturing energy from braking that would otherwise be lost and using it to recharge the battery.
With a range of 466 miles (750 kilometers), Concept CLA Class has more range than electric cars already on the market, including the Model S and Model X from Elon Musk’s company Tesla.
With a range of 466 miles (750 kilometers), this is more than electric cars already on the market
The Mercedes-Benz CEO said: ‘It is inspired by a generation of car buyers who want that unmistakable Mercedes-Benz feel, with more features, even greater comfort and safety and the most advanced technology’
Tesla’s Model S has a range of 410 miles, while another budget model of the Model S revealed last month has an even lower range (320 miles), and the Model X has even less.
However, 466 miles doesn’t quite match up to the Lucid Air Dream Edition from US firm Lucid Motors, which holds the market record for range, at 520 miles.
Mercedes said its new car has an ‘innovative battery’ that includes more silicon-oxide for better ‘energy density’ – the amount of energy stored in the battery per unit of mass.
A 800V charging configuration also enables rapid top-up of up to 248 miles (400km) in 15 minutes.
Concept CLA Class also has the ‘sporty forward lean’ of the distinctive shark nose as seen in models from the 50s and 60s, helping aerodynamics.
Other nifty features include an LED panel where the grille would be at the front of the car, just above where the number plate would go.
Each LED is shaped like a three-point star – in a nod to the company logo which is also at the front – and emits light at ‘very low energy’.
Meanwhile, an expansive glass roof – likewise dotted with little three-point stars – covers most of the top of the car to let in plenty of natural light.
The pattern ‘brings an added air of sophistication to the exterior sculpture, while evoking a spa-like elegance in the interior’, the firm says.
Pictured, an LED panel where the grille would be at the front of the car, just above where the number plate would go, emits light at ‘very low energy’
An expansive glass roof, which is dotted with little three-point stars, covers most of the top of the car to let in plenty of natural light
Inside the car are white and purple racing-style seats that are ‘upholstered in sustainably produced and processed leather’, it adds.
Behind the steering wheel there’s an ultra-wide digital panel along the dashboard presenting drivers with key metrics like speed and internal temperature.
The panel stretches all the way to the front passenger’s side, where it presents video streaming options while the car is traveling.
Eye-tracking technology ensures the person behind the wheel is not distracted by the video when he or she is trying to drive, according to the firm.
The interior also uses sensors to reduce the risk of children being accidentally left in the vehicle during warm weather – which sometimes has tragic consequences.
Behind the steering wheel there’s an ultra-wide digital panel along the dashboard presenting drivers with key metrics like speed and internal temperature
The panel stretches all the way to the front passenger’s side, where it presents video streaming options while the car is traveling
Pictured, racing driver-style seats with adjustable headrest. The firm says: ‘The seats themselves are upholstered in sustainably produced and processed leather’
Although Concept CLA Class looks futuristic, it’s positively classic compared to the One-Eleven, which Mercedes revealed earlier this year.
One-Eleven is an all-electric reboot of the experimental C111 from the 1960s and 1970s, still in trademark orange, but shaped like a bullet.
C111 has an ultra-flat aerodynamic body and gull-wing doors that open upwards on either side – much like the DeLorean in the 1985 American sci-fi classic ‘Back to the Future’.
Mercedes-Benz referred to C111 as a ‘study’, because is it not expected to go on sale, but it could be a glimpse of the sort of machines the company has in the works.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed the One-Eleven concept supercar with gullwing doors opening up to reveal a silver ‘lounge’. On the front of the car is a ‘rectangular element with rounded ends’ – a pixelated external display that can display messages to other road users
Another odd concept car from the firm can drive sideways, is operated by a ‘jellyfish’ joystick, and has a virtual control panel controlled by the driver’s hand gestures and breathing.
Vision AVTR was launched last year in partnership with James Cameron’s movie, Avatar: the Way of Water.
Much like the avatars in the science-fiction film, the car is intended to serve as an extension of the human body.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Mercedes has not announced any plans to release the Vision AVTR as yet.
The Vision AVTR concept car from Mercedes-Benz is intended to blur the lines between man and machine, and was produced in partnership with James Cameron’s film Avatar: The Way of Water
Lazy drivers rejoice! BMW’s new £50,000 5 Series Saloon lets you change lanes using just your EYES
If you’re a self-proclaimed lazy driver and find manual steering too much of an effort, BMW’s latest car is right up your street.
The German carmaker’s all-electric 5 Series Saloon lets you change lanes just by looking at your wing mirror.
The car – which starts at £49,850 – is fitted with cameras behind the steering wheel that monitor the gaze of the driver.
When the vehicle suggests a lane change, such as when the car in front is going too slowly, it can be confirmed by the driver by looking at the wing mirror.
The new BMW 5 Series includes a feature called ‘Active Lane Change Assistant’ that tracks eye movements of the driver
Once this confirmation sign has been received, the vehicle takes over the necessary steering movements automatically and changes lanes.
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