Next Gen Mercedes GLA Looks Like An Off-Road Capable SUV

Spy Shots / Comments

Not that it's grown any.

Plenty of automakers are struggling right now despite the period of high auto sales we're currently experiencing. However, Mercedes, like the people who buy its cars, is tossing back champagne and caviar while having a wild good time as the jobless and underemployed starve close by. This is due in no small part to a rise in the brand's prominence thanks to entry level models like the GLA. The Tri-Star recently gave its baby SUV a refresh that debuted at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

Not satisfied with that, Mercedes has been out testing the next generation GLA and our spy photographers have just spotted it out testing in the snow. Fortunately, as evidenced by this GLA's snow traversing capabilities, the next generation of GLA will be a better off roader thanks to the fact that it will share a platform with the Mercedes A-Class. This means a slightly wider track, a higher ride, and bigger wheels to fill in the larger wheel wells. While it will keep its quirky dimensions, the new GLA should be able to better utilize its AWD (when optioned) drivetrain thanks to the fact that it will be a tad bit more SUV-like than it was before. Keeping it powered will be easy thanks to Mercedes' vast range of engine options.

These include small and fuel efficient four-cylinder gasoline and diesel units and even high-powered AMG models utilizing the automaker's impressive 2.0-liter twin-turbo power plant making an astonishing 375 horsepower (187 hp per liter!) and 550 lb-ft of torque. Given Mercedes' current trajectory, it would be foolish not to expect an electrified version of the new GLA. Gearboxes will also be shared with the A-Class, and while European GLA SUVs get the choice of a manual, Americanized versions will keep the automatic as the only option. While it's a bit hard to tell with the camouflage, the new GLA will likely not change much in terms of proportion because the current version still sells well.

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We can expect a reveal of the newer GLA in 2019 or 2020 although the latter of the two dates is more likely thanks to the newness of the 2018 refresh. When it does come, it will happily pave the way for a handful of new baby Mercedes models.

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