An early look at Mercedes' smallest crossover in its second iteration while testing alongside the current model.
It was only last week when Mercedes-Benz introduced the mildly facelifted GLA at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and as you can see work is already underway at a second generation. It’s only a test mule for now, so there is nothing to report in terms of design since the camouflaged vehicle has most of the bits and pieces borrowed from the current model. Speaking of which, in some of the images you can see the test vehicle was being escorted by a first-gen GLA.
The A-Class on high heels will be underpinned by the same second-gen Modular Front Architecture (MFA2) platform as its hatchback counterpart, which is set to enable a healthy weight loss by making more extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel. Although you can’t really tell from these images, the new GLA is expected to grow a little bit in length and width to enable a more spacious interior cabin. If that won’t be enough, rumor has it a more rugged GLB will join the family to bridge the gap between Mercedes’ smallest crossover and the compact GLC.
Customers who are not too fond of diesels but prioritize fuel efficiency will be happy to hear a plug-in hybrid derivative is in the works and will join the family by combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor.
Cheaper versions of the GLA will once again be front-wheel drive, so you will have to fork out more money for the stronger engines optionally available with 4Matic. Since we’re on the subject of more powerful mills, the range-topping GLA45 will allegedly have more than 400 horsepower from an evolution of today’s turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline unit. Slotting below it might be a warm GLA40 taking into account there are rumors the company with the three-pointed star logo will launch a 300-hp A40.
The GLA is expected to go on sale in Europe at some point in 2019, with the U.S.-spec model to follow shortly likely as a 2020MY seeing as how the current facelifted GLA has already reached the 2018 model year in the U.S. of A.