Mercedes CLA concept DRL lighting to be “electric exhaust” of future


aria-label="Mercedes CLA concept 3"

Entry-level Tesla Model 3 rival from Merceedes will come with Superscreen, 250kW charging and an AMG variant.

The three-pointed star daytime-running lights (DRLs) on the new Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA will become a new design “signature” of its future electric cars that will be the equivalent to the exhaust pipes of a combustion-engined car, according to the firm’s design boss.

The bold new concept features distinctive DRLs in the shape of the brand’s logo that are built into the round lights at the front and rear of the car. Along with a striking new digital grille, which is illuminated with a pattern of star graphics, they will be seen on the production version of the CLA and the three further compact models that will be built on the new MMA platform.

aria-label="Mercedes CLA concept 4"

Asked which styling elements of the Concept CLA will be carried over to the production car, Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener said: “Pretty much everything.”

Highlighting the new star-shaped DRLs, he said: “Iconic elements like the new daytime-running lights, the star – that’s a new signature for Mercedes and it’s very cool. It’s a new electric exhaust: electric cars obviously don’t have one, and for customers having good pipes is always great, so these are the new pipes.”

Wagener also highlighted the new grille as being a key element. He said: “It is a new interpretation of the Mercedes grille, but we still use the grille. There are so many faceless cars around and we want to make a difference here. Our grille is very iconic.

“Everything we do is along our design philosophy of central purity. So that’s a significant style for a luxury brand similar to the style of Chanel. We almost evolve it like an operating system – 1.2, 1.3 and so on – and at some point there will be 2.0, but that will be further in the future. This car is maybe 1.8, so already going into the new generation with a couple of things.

“What’s crucial for us is being iconic. We want to make a difference to the sea of sameness, all these faceless cars that have no identity. We want to stick out of that with iconic features, and with Mercedes we have all the possibilities to do so.”

Mercedes showed its high-tech CLA replacement – the Concept CLA – at the 2023 Munich motor show.

Mercedes has confirmed that the new CLA will be the first in a range of models based on the MMA (Mercedes Modular Architecture) – also including next generation Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake, Mercedes EQA and Mercedes EQB – to receive a new type of electric motor developed and produced in-house.

In a further development, Mercedes says its third electric sedan will offer the choice of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide (NMC) batteries, with energy capacity of between 58kWh and 85kWh, Automotive Daily network partner Autocar has been told.

The LFP unit pioneers a new construction technique, with its cell modules held in place with adhesive rather than screws for reduced weight and more compact packaging.

Crucially, the new CLA will be the first production car from Mercedes-Benz to have an 800V electrical architecture, allowing charging at up to 250kW on a rapid DC charger.

Toyota 222D – the Group S Rally Car

This 560kW rallying MR2 could have seen Toyota conquer the stages, but instead fate intervened

Further Reading

2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster ute review

Adding a bed to the company's go-anywhere Grenadier 4x4 comes with compromises, but its appeal is clear