Mercedes has released images of the upcoming GLA SUV, ahead of its unveiling at the Shanghai Auto show.
The new five-seater is set to rival the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque. It will be part of a five-strong global line-up based on Mercedes’ new MFA platform, along with the A-class, B-class, CLA small saloon and CLA Shooting Brake, that’s designed to bring younger customers to the Mercedes-Benz brand.
The Mercedes GLA features the contemporary styling theme of the new A and B-class, with a bold front end, flamboyant swage line graphics and shallow glasshouse, all aimed at providing it with the modern-day appeal that Mercedes’ recent small cars have lacked.
Design details include a large oval grille bookmarked by curvaceous headlights, generously dimensioned wheel arches, heavily structured flanks, a curvaceous rear shoulder, an angled tailgate and a raised ride height.
The new junior SUV is set to offer the same range of transversely mounted engines as the B-class.
Globally, petrol units will include a Renault-sourced 1.6 with 120bhp or 154bhp and an in-house-developed 2.0-litre turbo with 208bhp, or around 330bhp in the twin-turbo AMG version. Two diesel engines will also be offered, consisting of a 1.8-litre unit with either 108bhp or 134bhp and a 2.2 with 168bhp.
A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as an option. Base GLAs will get front-wheel drive, while more powerful models will be four-wheel drive.
The GLA will support a range of optional media connectivity services as part of Mercedes’ efforts to ensure future models carry greater appeal among younger buyers.
The GLA is one of three new SUVs Mercedes is planning to launch before the middle of the decade. Joining it will be the second-generation GLK which could come to India and will be based on the next-generation C-class and a new BMW X6 rival, the MLC, that’s based on the current ML-class.
Complete photo gallery here