The expansion of models riding on the new Mercedes-Benz MFA platform continues with the compact SUV seen here. The new Benz, expected to receive GLA badges, will compete with other premium small SUVs including the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3.
The tester is debadged and covered up, but a number of Benz styling cues are visible including its door handles, two-bar front grille, and headlights that mimic the A-Class. Unlike the A-Class hatch, this test mule has a slightly higher ride height and a sharply angled rear hatch, both of which give it a distinct crossover appearance.
Earlier this year Mercedes-Benz confirmed it would produce the GLA at its Rastatt, Germany plant, where the new A-Class is currently being built. Details haven’t been released, but it should share the same front-drive powertrain options as the A and B-Class, as well as the CLA sedan unveiled at the 2012 Beijing auto show. The CLA is expected to arrive in the U.S. with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas I-4 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. We expect all-wheel drive will be optional and wouldn’t be surprised if AMG got their hands on this model as well.
Should Mercedes decide to bring the GLA to our shores, expect to see it here sometime in 2014. For now, the only MFA-based model confirmed for the U.S. market is the CLA sedan, which is scheduled to arrive next summer or fall. No word if we’ll see the A-Class in the U.S., but current rumors speculate that the B-Class could arrive here as an electric vehicle in 2014.