Mercedes-Benz Will Switch to Just Four Car Platforms

Mercedes-Benz C-Class W205 Suspension 1 photo
Photo: Daimler AG
From no less than nine different platforms until a few years ago, Mercedes-Benz is preparing to switch to only four car architectures for their upcoming models.
In a bid to reduce both the costs and the speed of development for new models, the three-pointed star car maker is hard at work in developing four different modular passenger car platforms which will cover their entire ever-expanding lineup.

The MFA (Modular Front Architecture) platform currently consists of the A-Class, B-Class, CLA-Class and the recently-unveiled GLA-Class, with an upcoming CLA Shooting Brake to complement the rest of the models later this year. A not-yet-confirmed SLA Roadster might be part of the second generation of the MFA platform, which is set to arrive in 2017.

The MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform debuted with the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class W205, featuring an extensive use of aluminium and a dramatic decrease in weight. It is presumably a lot more flexible than the fixed-wheelbase MFA, with Daimler's Thomas Weber being quoted as saying that over ten different vehicles could be manufactured on the MRA platform, as it allows engineers to differentiate them with different wheelbases and even body width.

The MHA (Modular High Architecture) platform will be used on future large crossovers and SUVs from Mercedes-Benz, including the upcoming MLC crossover, which should be unveiled in 2015 and built alongside the ML, GL and C-Class W205 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The next generations of the ML and GL will also be manufactured on the MHA platform, with smaller crossover/SUVs to be built either on the MRA (upcoming GLK X205 and a GLC competitor for the BMW X4) or the MFA (the GLA X156) platforms.

The MSA (Modular Sports Architecture) platform will also use a hefty amount of aluminium but also carbon fiber reinforced plastic to decrease weight even more. The future generation of the SLK might switch from using a modified C-Class platform to the MSA, along with the Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster R232, but nothing is confirmed as of yet.

Story via Automotive News
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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