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Mercedes GLA – the A-Class SUV – will arrive in production guise at Frankfurt

Sat, 10 Aug 2013

The production version of the Mercedes GLA Concept (pictured) will debut at Frankfurt 2013

It’s only three months since the new Mercedes GLA debuted at the Shanghai Motor Show as a concept, but it’s already close to arriving in production guise. In fact, it looks like the new GLA – based on the new Mercedes A-Class underpinnings – will arrive in production form at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, ahead of going on sale in early 2014.

The new GLA is aimed squarely at the competition from the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, and if it delivers as well as the A-Class has it stands a very good chance of becoming the pick of the premium compact SUVs.

Expect the production GLA to lose some of its concept fripperies when it arrives – like the bespoke interior and huge alloys – but expect the basic offering to remain unchanged.

That will mean a big range of model and engine combinations from the GLA 180 CDI SE to the immensely powerful GLA 45 AMG with 4WD 4MATIC and that peachy 4-cylinder 2.0 litre turbo that delivers an amazing 360bhp and a 0-62mph in the mid-4 second range – even in the GLA.

In many ways the high-riding GLA will appeal more to Mercedes’ old A-Class customers than the new A-Class does, with its higher seating position offering a more commanding view – much more like the old A-Class than the much slicker new model.

But as a premium pocket-rocket compact SUV for blatting around, the GLA 45 AMG will probably take some beating, even if it is likely to cost around £40k before you start dipping in to Mercedes extensive options.

We’re expecting the GLA to start at around £25k and rise to over £40 for the GLA 45 AMG, which will pit it not just against the BMW X1 and Audi Q5, but also against the Range Rover Evoque.

Which may just be a step too far for the GLA to tackle, even if – certainly at the top end until the Evoque Sport arrives – it is a lot quicker in AMG guise than anything Land Rover can offer.

By Cars UK