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Mercedes-Benz GLA concept revealed, previews new small SUV

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA concept SUV has been revealed ahead of its official unveiling at the Shanghai Motor Show next week. The concept is set to spawn a production vehicle which will tackle the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.

There’s been a few reports and rumours circulating around the idea of Mercedes-Benz stepping into the smaller SUV market. Up until now, the company has never produced such a vehicle despite the demand of the popular market segment.

In Australia, Audi’s best-selling model is often the Q3 SUV, while BMW’s X1 and X3 sales also make up a large percentage. It’s believed Mercedes-Benz will eventually develop a production model based on this concept which could take a slice of the market share.

The GLA-Class, as it’s expected to be known, is likely to borrow much of its design philosophy, dimensions, and underpinnings from the funky new A-Class. Powertains are also expected to be carried over, including the A 250’s 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder which produces 155kW.

As for an AMG version? Well, there’s been no confirmation yet, but like almost all showroom Mercedes models, an AMG version – a ‘GLA 45 AMG’ – could be in the works for the future. It could borrow the running gear from the 265kW A 45 and CLA 45 AMG models.

For the concept at least, styling is rather attractive. It features a wide and ready stance with a swooping roofline and a high waistline. The front end also incorporates Mercedes-Benz’s latest design theme with a large centre grill and pitched back single-piece headlights.

Inside, it’s typical concept car; outrageous and full of technology and crazy designs. A lot of the details seem to share some relationship with production Mercedes-Benz products though, including the circular aviator-style air vents and the three-spoke steering wheel.

As far as we know, a production version of this will make its way to the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.