2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class spy shots
While the new compact crossover, likely to be called a GLA Class, isn’t due in showrooms until the end of the year, we’ll get our first look at the vehicle possibly by the end of next month.
At a press conference held in Germany last week, Mercedes chief Dieter Zetsche revealed that the new compact crossover will be previewed in concept form at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show in April and in production form at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
A private showing of the new GLA concept could happen even earlier, however. We're hearing that the concept could be shown privately during the week of the 2013 New York Auto Show in late March, in the same way Mercedes showed its CLA during the week of the Detroit show but not actually on the show floor.
At the same conference, Zetsche also revealed that Mercedes is making preparations at its plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for the start of production of another tall-riding model. This model will be a coupe crossover sharing a platform with the M Class and rivaling the likes of the BMW X6 and the upcoming Audi Q6. The first test mules have already started public road trials.
As for the GLA, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. To compete against the likes of the Range Rover Evoque, BMW X1, 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.
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, has also been spied, and will be coming with the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four with more than 330 horsepower that will be fitted to the upcoming A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG models.
Stay tuned for an update.