The latest spy images of the Mercedes-Benz GLA reveal the shape of the vehicle better, with previous thick plastic cladding now absent, and in its place, simple black and white camouflage. The shape revealed is, as you might expect, of a compact Mercedes-Benz crossover, though with pronounced haunches and an undisguised glass roof. The roofline arches slightly, sloping quickly at the rear to adopt an almost hatchback-like shape.
The new crossover is expected to go on sale early next year as a 2014 model. No name has been formally announced, though we’re expecting it to be called the GLA since a concept version revealed earlier in the year was called the Concept GLA.
To compete against the likes of the Range Rover Evoque, BMW X1, upcoming Lincoln MKC and, to a lesser extent, the MINI Countryman, expect the GLA to be a bit more sporting in appearance than the average crossover, although engines are likely to be pulled from current A and B class offerings. In other words, expect the GLA to look fast but not go so fast (unless, of course, you opt for the planned AMG version).
The base engine in the U.S. should be the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder found in the base CLA. Rated at 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, this engine will be able to send drive to either the front wheels or all four via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Other markets will receive less powerful units as well as diesels. An AMG version, most likely labeled a GLA45 AMG, is also in the works, and will be coming with the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four with 355 horsepower found in the A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG models.