Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it will produce a crossover based on its new A-Class in a bid to take on such rival offerings as the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque and the recently spied Volvo XC40.
The crossover will reportedly wear the GLA-Class moniker and will slot into the model range below the company’s GLK compact SUV. It will be underpinned by the same MFA platform that forms the foundations of the new A-Class and B-Class models and, according to a report from UK-based Car magazine, will measure 4,41 metres long, 1,77 metres wide and 1,49 metres high, making it marginally longer, lower and narrower than the Audi Q3.
In addition to the MFA platform, there is also a strong chance that the GLA will share its engine line-up with the B-Class. This would mean a range of four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel units with outputs ranging from 80 to 115 kW with torque between 200 and 300 N.m. Given Merc’s propensity for serving up many of its offerings to its Affalterbach-based tuning arm, there is a possibility that an AMG version with a 250 kW turbopetrol engine – especially if Audi gives its RS Q3 concept the green light for production.
Drivetrain options are likely to include front-wheel drive for entry-level models and all-wheel drivetrains higher up. This makes sense from a production-cost standpoint and links in neatly with BMW’s plans to make its future entry-level X1 front-wheel drive. There is also a suggestion that three- and five-door body shapes will be offered as a counter to the Range Rover Evoque.
Production will take place alongside the standard A-Class at the firm’s Rastatt plant in Germany, with the GLA making its official debut towards the end of 2013.