Mercedes-Benz is almost ready to show us its redesigned GLA.
The covers will come off the second-generation compact crossover SUV on December 11 in what will be the automaker's first reveal taking place exclusively online. There will apparently be some augmented reality involved in the presentation which will be streamed live on Mercedes' media website starting at 8 a.m. Eastern.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class
Prototypes for the new GLA have been testing on public roads for over a year and show that the vehicle will maintain its predecessor's hatch-like shape, likely to differentiate it from the bigger and boxier GLB.
The roof has been raised close to four inches, though, which enabled the designers to raise the seating positioning while also increasing headroom. The low stance was one of the biggest gripes of the outgoing model. Rear legroom is also more generous in the new GLA despite the vehicle's overall length measuring in 0.6 inches shorter than the predecessor.
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The new GLA is based on the same MFA2 (Mercedes Front-drive Architecture) as the new A-Class, CLA and GLB, meaning it will feature turbo-4 engines, a dual-clutch transmission, and available all-wheel drive. A plug-in hybrid option will likely be offered at some point as well. The Mercedes-AMG division will offer its own versions. These will include a new GLA35 with 302 horsepower and a repeat of the GLA45 with up to 416 hp on tap.
The MFA2-based cars also benefit from a much more advanced interface. Dubbed MBUX, short for Mercedes-Benz User Experience, the new interface features digital screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, much like on the pricier E-Class and S-Class. There's also touch capability for the infotainment screen and you'll also be able to use natural speech to control many vehicle functions.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Availability of the new GLA in the United States is yet to be confirmed. If brought here, we should see it arrive as a 2021 model and priced to start just above the A-Class which starts at $33,495.
Compact cars have proven to be big business for Mercedes. Buyers snapped up 609,000 of the automaker's compacts in 2018, which accounted for 25 percent of total sales, and the number this year is likely to be even higher due to the arrival of a redesigned range, plus new entries.