by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class (X 156) spotted during a development session

The new portfolio of premium compact models at Mercedes-Benz will grow by at least three new variants in the next 2 years. One of them is the new compact-sized crossover vehicle that the Germans plan to bring on the market by mid-2014.

This niche version, underpinned by the same MFA front-driven platform, will carry the title GLA and be fairly resemblant to the A-Class hatchback in terms of outer styling. The X 156 project will feature a compact and attractive body shape, with more pronounced side shoulders, a muscular front fascia and a risen ride height.

The powerful combo will be fully complete with the new set of alloy wheels with special design and the extensive customization programme Mercedes-Benz is carefully prepping for the future GLA-Class. We expect the model to be offered in various trim lines, including a chic proposition for moving around crowded cities and a terrain-destined 4x4 variant with bespoke looks.

The interior will be pretty much an evolution of the styling we have already seen on the new A-Class, but you can expect some special features that can make one feel like in a true offroader. Build quality and personalization options will meet the true Mercedes-Benz style, so no worries about that.

On the technical side, the 2014 GLA will impress environmentalists with its capabilities of ensuring complete functioning efficiency without any compromise. The engine range will consist of low-displacement diesel and gasoline powerplants, starting from 1.5 litres and climbing up to 2100 cubic centimeters. The entry-level model will be the GLA 180 CDI powered by the new Daimler-Renault engine with 109 hp, that shall also make its debut on the A-Class and the forthcoming CLA model during 2013. The range-topping variant is the GLA 250 SPORT, developed in cooperation with Mercedes-AMG experts and boasting 211 hp and a distinctive exterior and interior design.

Mercedes-Benz will offer the new GLA in two powertrain versions: the baseline models will get the 2WD, front-biased technical platforms, whereas the high-end ones fitted with larger engines, the 7G-DCT automatic gearbox and further sophisticated technology will get the 4MATIC traction system as a standard feature.

We are not sure whether an action-packed, sporty AMG variant for the GLA-Class is already being considered, but if ever greenlighted for mass production, the hypothetical all-wheel-drive GLA 45 AMG should use the staggering 2.0-litre turbocharged powerplant with up to 350 hp and over 400 Nm of torque. What we do know is that Mercedes-Benz is very keen on releasing a hommage model to the old G-Class, in fact a modern, youthful interpretation of the rugged Gelandewagen. Fully based on the GLA, the all new GLG could arrive by 2015 if Daimler executives agree to approve this model.

Image Credits: WorldCarFans

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