Mercedes tests new crossover in extreme conditions as it prepares to take on BMW X1 and Audi Q3.
Whether Mercedes calls its upcoming baby SUV the GLA is still unconfirmed, but what we can be sure of is that it won't be bought for its off-roading capabilities. Nonetheless the new Silver Star has been spied undergoing cold weather testing in Northern Europe - wearing slightly less camouflage than the last time we saw it - to make sure it can cope with extreme conditions. With more of the car exposed to the elements, its resemblance to the A-Class, with which it shares the same MFA platform, is coming into focus.
Taller and more muscular than the A-Class hatchback with an upright grille and more pronounced front and rear fenders, the GLA bears a more fashionable couple-like shape than the boxy GLK, and will sport a panoramic sunroof stretching back to the C-pillar. Mercedes will offer the GLA in front- and four-wheel-drive formats, while powerplants and transmissions will likely be carried over from the A- and B-Class models, so expect four-cylinder engines burning either gasoline or diesel. The GLA will likely hit European showrooms in 2014, followed shortly after by a CLA four-door coupe and SLA roadster.