We believe the next GLA will be a subcompact kind of contender now, about the size of the SEAT Ateca or Audi Q2. The technology is going to be the same, but the B model will offer more space and flexibility.
Introduced as a concept in China last month, the production GLB should be ready before the Frankfurt Motor Show, which is this fall. It also shares its platform with the A-Class and CLA, but takes a completely different approach to design.
It's got a boxier shape and blunt front end. We find it more appropriate than the new GLE-Class or GLS-Class. However, there's no telling how people will react to it. To make sure it's sharply dressed, Mercedes will offer an AMG Line body kit and even a powerhouse version with at least 300 HP.
Most of the normal setups will stop at about 190 HP, but that's still enough for the GLB. Remember, this is a crossover, based on a car platform; it's not as heavy 4x4s. We believe it will undercut the Evoque by several hundreds of kilos.
Nobody goes off-road in a crossover. It's just for the needs of an average family. However, you will still be able to buy it with a 4Matic AWD system that has an electronically controlled clutch pack at the back.
The interior is likely to look just like the A-Class, but done with a rugged twist. We expect to see the usual cliches, like brown Alcantara and orange accents.