Sleek New Entry-Level Mercedes CLA EV Spotted As Tesla Model 3 Rival [Video]

Mercedes has a large lineup of pure electric models, but none of its bespoke EVs are particularly easy on the eye. That’s all about to change with the introduction of the 2025 Mercedes CLA EV, spotted here quietly undergoing cold-weather testing near the Arctic Circle.

Its design will stay true to the Concept CLA-Class design study that previewed it, which does away with the awkward proportions of Mercedes’s current flavor of electric sedans. It looks a lot like the gas-burning CLA, with a low-slung appearance, wide muscular flanks, and a coupe-like roofline. It will certainly become the best-looking electric Mercedes when it debuts in 2025 to take on the Tesla Model 3.

The Mercedes CLA goes electric

Mercedes created the four-door coupe body with the introduction of the CLS, which it then distilled into the smaller CLA that is going electric for its third generation.

It should charge about as quickly as its Tesla rival, though, up to 250 kW, enough to add 248 miles of range in 15 minutes, and its 800-volt architecture should help it operate more efficiently too. Mercedes will implement lessons learned from the EQXX to make the electric CLA do about 5.2 miles per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed and provide a range of up to 466 miles WLTP—that equates to a battery pack of over 80 kWh capacity.

The CLA will be the first model underpinned by the new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) that can be used for both hybrids and fully electric vehicles. This platform will be used for vehicles bigger than the CLA, including an all-electric C-Class equivalent model that should debut in the next few years.

Mercedes will offer both single- and dual-motor versions of the CLA, and the top performance models will wear AMG badges and feature a more aggressive exterior. If the manufacturer retains the configuration shown in the concept, base versions of the CLA EV should be rear-wheel drive, although this will probably only apply to electric models built on the MMA platform—the first two generations of gas-burning CLA were front-wheel drive vehicles.

The pair of camouflaged CLA prototypes spotted by CarSpyMedia show that many of the concept’s design elements will make their way into the production vehicle. The strong shoulder crease that gave the study a lot of presence is still there, and the design of the rear lights seems to closely mirror what we saw on the concept.

The video doesn’t give us a good look inside the electric CLA, but just like with the exterior, you can expect a more toned-down version of what Mercedes showed on the concept. The single-pane dashboard design will be present on the production car, and it should mark a big departure from the tablets-on-top-of-the-dash look that the current CLA and other Mercedes models have.