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Mercedes-Benz GLA concept debuts

The uptown wagon market goes into overdrive as Mercedes enters the premium compact SUV sector. Shown this week at the Shanghai motor show, the Mercedes-Benz GLA concept becomes the third A-Class model and the first baby SUV to take on the Range Rover Evoque, BMW X3 and Audi Q3.

Mercedes Australia spokesman Jerry Stamoulis says the GLA - heavily based on the concept shown at Shanghai - goes into production next year and is expected in Australia soon after. It will be shown in production form later this year at the Frankfurt motor show.

Pricing is expected to be around $50,000-$70,000 to match rivals, with prices depending on drivetrain and specification. Mr Stamoulis says the GLA - which shares the platform and drivetrain with the current A250 hatch, the upcoming CLA sedan and the B-Series hatch - will be available with the same petrol and diesel engines.

An AMG version is predicted by Mr Stamoulis says it hasn’t been confirmed. The GLA will be the second compact SUV from Mercedes to come to the Australian market within 18 months. The next generation of the GLK - based on the C-Class platform - is also on its way.

The GLA repeats the styling of the A250 and other models with a large twin-bar grille and swept-back headlights. But it follows the A250 detail with coupe-style frameless doors, recessed door handles and wrap-around tail lights. The headlights have laser technology that shine more light on the road than other lights and can also become projectors.

Mercedes vice-president of sales and marketing, Joachim Schmidt, says “the Concept GLA marks a new approach for us in the compact SUV segment’’.
“This is a sporty and more coupe-like evolution of this category of vehicle.

“It combines its sporting spirit with the all-round qualities of a tough, leisure-time companion. “It also makes clear the further potential of our compact vehicle architecture.’’

Mercedes-Benz GLA Preview

New Mercedes doubles as a drive-in theatre.