Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz debuted a lightly refreshed GLA lineup. The sport compact crossover received minimal changes to the car’s front and rear ends, new fog lights, optional LED headlights, and some additional interior bright work.
However, while the refresh extended the car’s life, this model isn’t long for this world as Mercedes-Benz is hard at work designing the next generation here and abroad, that we’ve captured during testing.
First spied in Germany, our intrepid photographers caught the GLA mule late in its testing as body cladding and camouflage isn’t as abundant as it was when spied a few months ago.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA will ride on a next generation A-Class platform, although the differences once seen between the European hatchback and the compact crossover appear less than the current generation with more of the A-Class’s characteristics seeping through.
Automobile reader Bill Ruttan managed to snap a few photos of another tester with his iPhone when he spotted the next GLA in Utah recently.
“It was surrounded by high end Mercedes cars and guys who didn’t have a Utah accent,” Merlis said via email.
Although the camouflage is still obscuring much of the car’s features, some aspects are easily distinguished. At the front, a more aggressive hood and front bumper encompass the new headlights that resemble the GLA’s distant cousin, the AMG GT.
Moving rearward, the wheel wells have been enlarged and given protruding fender flares, very similar to the fender flares we saw on the E-Class All-Terrain 4×4² concept shown not too long ago.
Further back, the hatch appears to have a reshaped rear spoiler, new rear fascia, and new taillights. Engine options are likely to stay similar to the current model with small-displacement turbocharged engines to make up the bulk of the engine choices. It’s also likely that there will be another AMG-tuned model like the current GLA 45 AMG with a hotter engine.
The GLA will also likely receive a host of diesel options, but with Mercedes-Benz’s recent commitment to electrification, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an all-electric GLA or at the very least, a hybrid GLA, further down the 2019 GLA’s lifecycle.
Mercedes-Benz hasn’t disclosed when the new GLA will launch, but given that the German company just released the updated GLA earlier this year, we’d guess the next generation’s launch won’t arrive until the end of next year to early 2019.
Photos courtesy of Bob Merlis and CarPix.