Radical MMA platform to provide Mercedes with a true Volkswagen ID 3 rival
Our render shows how the electric Mercedes-Benz A-Class could look
The current Mercedes-Benz A-Class is available in plug-in hybrid and ICE forms
EQA uses same platform as GLA, unlike ‘EQ A-Class’
Development of a bespoke EV architecture for small cars will facilitate a direct electric replacement for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback, in line with the firm’s plan to usher in an EV in every segment by 2025.
Currently, the smallest model in the EQ family is the Mercedes-Benz EQA crossover, an electric version of the combustion-powered Mercedes-Benz GLA that shares its sibling’s platform. It is one of four EVs in the brand’s portfolio – alongside the slightly larger Merceds-Benz EQB, the Mercedes Benz EQC SUV and the van-based Mercedes-Benz EQV – to use a modified version of an existing combustion-engined architecture.
But with the new MMA platform, Mercedes is well placed to take on the Volkswagen ID 3 with a lower-slung premium hatchback that matches the current A-Class for interior space and its rivals for range per charge.
The MMA platform is intended, in the first instance, for EVs in this segment – the smallest in which Mercedes-Benz currently operates – and it will bring a step change in the functionality and performance of its entry-level EVs.
No doubt the packaging constraints of a C-segment car will mean the ‘EQ A-Class’ comes with a smaller battery than the largest cars on this platform. However, the substantial increase in power density – in conjunction with a greater focus on lightweighting and aerodynamic efficiency – means it will improve on the 264-mile range of the current longest-legged version of the EQA.
The car will also have a more characteristically spacious and airy interior, given the slim battery pack and lack of transmission tunnel – both of which mean it can also sit closer to the ground, adopting a less overtly crossover-style stance.
Importantly, it will also be a much more overtly luxurious proposition than Mercedes’s current entry-level cars, in line with a radical repositioning of the brand which will focus on higher-margin models. So as Mercedes winds down its presence in the compact segment to just four models, it will imbue those that are left with refinement and technology on a par with some of the largest and most luxurious models in its line-up.