Mercedes' baby SUV has been imagined as an A-Class on stilts.
Larger than ever, Mercedes’ compact car lineup now includes an A-Class Sedan and a GLB seven-seat crossover. Over in China, there’s also a long-wheelbase A-Class Sedan offering loads of legroom for rear passengers to serve as a cheaper alternative to the bigger and fancier C-Class. Aside from adding new nameplates, the three-pointed star has refreshed nearly all of its existing products in the compact segment, but there’s still one that needs to make the transition towards the next generation.
We’re talking about the GLA, which we spotted out and about last month hiding its production body under heavy camo. If the rumor mill is to be believed, Mercedes will take the wraps off this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show where the baby crossover from Daimler is expected to reveal its jacked-up A-Class appearance. A couple of new renderings attempt to see into the near future of the GLA by giving the compact hatchback an increased ride height and a slightly rugged body to turn it into a small crossover.
It’s certainly a predictable design exercise, but then again, the second iteration of the GLA is essentially going to be a crossover take on the A-Class hatchback. While the newly added GLB has adopted a somewhat blocky look reminiscent of the old GLK, the smallest crossover in Mercedes’ lineup will retain the curvy shape of the outgoing model applied on a slightly larger body as the next gen is expected to grow a bit.
Few will remember, but Mercedes once indirectly teased a “GLA Coupe” on a product roadmap released in July 2016. Three years later, the crossover-coupe is still nowhere to be found, but we are wondering whether that’s still on the agenda. With more and more crossovers and SUVs getting the “coupe” treatment, the German brand might be cooking up something to fight the BMW X2, all-new Range Rover Evoque, and the upcoming Audi Q4.
Meanwhile, the regular GLA will inherit all of the oily bits and tech from the other new-era Mercedes compact cars. It goes without saying the high-tech dashboard you’ll find in a B-Class minivan or a CLA wagon will have a correspondent in the small crossover, complete with a pair of 10.25-inch screens on the more expensive variants. The growth in size won’t come with a third row because that’s what the new GLB is for – to offer seven seats.
If the GLA won’t show its production metal in Frankfurt, we might get to see it in the second half of November at the Los Angeles Auto Show since the U.S. market is important for Mercedes’ entry-level crossover.