Mercedes GLA spied

1 Oct, 2012 5:29pm Tom Phillips

Our spies have caught the Mercedes GLA SUV testing, as the CLA name is confirmed at Paris

The Mercedes GLA has been spied in prototype form for the first time. We’ve already seen the car disguised underneath the body of the latest A-Class, but this is the first time that the GLA has been seen in complete form.

The GLA replaces the GLK, which isn’t sold in the UK as it is only available in left-hand drive.

Unlike the GLK’s boxy design, the GLA follows the look of the current A-Class, with a large grille and Mercedes three-pointed star up front. However, a raised ride height, flared wheelarches and roof rails give the GLA a little extra ruggedness.

In 2014, the GLA will become the fourth model built on Mercedes’ new small car MFA platform that underpins the new A-Class and B-Class.

The new A-Class is the most successful Mercedes model launch ever. Mercedes CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche confirmed that around 70,000 advance orders have been placed in Western Europe in a speech at the Paris Motor Show.

Zetche also confirmed that the saloon version of the A-Class, spied undisguised last month, will be called the CLA and will make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January.

Hot hatch fans will also have something to celebrate with the arrival of the four-wheel drive A45 AMG hatch at the Geneva Show in March. That car will go on sale in the UK in late summer 2013.

The five-model line-up to be built on the MFA platform will be completed by a shooting brake version of the CLA, also due in 2014.