2021 Mercedes GLA To Debut Online In A Few Weeks
A-Class hatchback, A-Class sedan, A-Class sedan long wheelbase, B-Class, GLB, CLA, and CLA Shooting Brake for a total of seven Mercedes compact cars, but an eighth one is on its way. Having racked up nearly one million sales in five years, the GLA is one of the most important vehicles in the automaker’s small car lineup and needs to step up its game to better compete with the newer BMW X2 and Audi Q2. That’s exactly what Daimler is doing as the second-generation of the city-oriented crossover will debut in a few weeks.
The 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show is merely a few days away, so we’re definitely not going to see the new GLA there. Instead, Mercedes will unveil its smallest crossover at a dedicated event that will be livestreamed on the Internet for the whole world to see. Meanwhile, the three-pointed star has allowed Autocar to share some preliminary technical specifications about the high-riding model.
Despite being nearly 20 millimeters (0.8 inches) shorter than the outgoing model, the engineers have found a way to expand the wheelbase by 30 mm (1.2 inches), now at 2729 mm (107.4 inches). Needless to say, the extra distance between the axles will be put to good use by freeing up more legroom in the back where the passengers will sit on adjustable rear seats akin to those of the boxy GLB and the B-Class minivan.
Not only have they changed the overall length and wheelbase, but also height. The second-generation GLA will be almost 100 mm (3.9 inches) taller in an attempt to eschew the high-riding hatchback silhouette for a crossover look. Doing so has also paid dividends in terms of headroom, particularly for rear passengers.
According to Autocar, the cabin will fuse elements from the A-Class and GLB, which isn’t really all that surprising seeing as how Mercedes’ latest compact cars all have pretty much the same interiors. It’s the same story with the underpinnings as it will use the same engines and gearboxes as the other members of family, all the way up to the AMGs with 302 horsepower for the “35” model, 382 hp for the “45” version, and 416 hp for the range-topping “45 S.”
Joining the conventionally powered models will be a GLA 250e EQ plug-in hybrid variant with the same electrified powertrain as the A250e and B250e. It will combine a turbocharged 1.33-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor for a total output of 215 hp and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) sent to the road via an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. It should do over 40 of WLTP-certified miles by using a 15.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
The next step in terms of electrification will be the EQA, a fully electric version based on the GLA slated to come out in 2021. As you may recall, the EQA concept from 2017 was a sleek three-door hatchback, but the production version will morph to a five-door crossover to capitalize on the strong demand for CUVs. It is believed the production-ready model will travel more than 300 miles (483 kilometers) between charges.