We know Mercedes-Benz is planning a new compact crossover based on the platform underpinning the CLA and to be labeled a GLA. We also know the vehicle is scheduled to make its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show on September 10. Now we have our first official look thanks to a set of official images that leaked onto the internet just hours after Mercedes released a teaser video and some design sketches.
This isn’t the GLA concept car we saw at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show but the production GLA set for a debut next month and due in Australia towards the end of the year, as a 2014 model.
Pricing is expected to be around $45,000-$70,000 to match rivals, with the spread of prices depending on drivetrain and specification. The GLA - which shares the platform and drivetrain with the A250 hatch, the CLA sedan and the B-Class hatch - will be available with similar petrol and diesel engines.
That means the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder found in the A250 and base CLA, delivering 155kW of power and 350Nm of torque, with drive sent to either the front or all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Other engines are also on the cards, including 115kW turbo 1.6-litre for the base model GLA200, a 100kW 1.8-litre turbodiesel for the GLA200 CDI, and the 265kW turbo petrol four-cylinder from the A45 AMG.
We’ve already seen numerous prototypes, though these have been heavily camouflaged. The images show a rugged vehicle that’s managed to maintain the svelte lines of the previous concept. The GLA echoes 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. Shots of the interior showed a layout virtually identical to that found in the CLA. Key competitors include the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque.