By Jens Meiners
Mercedes-Benz’s intention to produce a crossover based on the wildly popular new front-wheel-drive architecture underpinning the A-class, the B-class, and the CLA-class is no secret. We’ve spied Benz’s littlest ute being tested, and we know it will be built at the brand’s Rastatt, Germany, production site. Now, after being tipped off by a report from Motor Authority, we hear from company sources that a concept version of the compact crossover, called GLA-class, will bow at the Shanghai auto show in April. The GLA shown in Shanghai won’t be up to production specification, but we can expect a fairly accurate interpretation of what will land at dealerships likely by the end of the year.
The GLA will be offered with front- and all-wheel drive, and a choice of four-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines taken from the parts bin available to other Mercedes vehicles making use of the shared architecture. An AMG version is possible, but not confirmed, and it wouldn’t become a reality for some time.
- Instrumented Test: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 / GLK350 4MATIC
- First Drive: 2013 BMW X1 sDrive28i / xDrive28i / xDrive35i
- Instrumented Test: 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML350 RWD / 4MATIC
Mercedes’ front-wheel-drive family will receive at least one further model beyond the A-class, B-class, CLA, and GLA. A station wagon version of the CLA—which the Stuttgart-based manufacturer could erroneously call a Shooting Brake—is the likeliest to complete the fab five, but an A-class cabriolet is close to being finalized, as well.