Mercedes will expand its new A- and B-class family with a junior crossover – badged BLK or GLA – and coming in summer 2013.
Scooped here in our new artist’s impressions, the BLK/GLA is a four-door-crossover aimed at the 30-40 age group, according to CAR’s sources. It’ll be offered with FWD or 4×4, and will feature styling elements from the ML-alike GLK sold overseas.
The GLA/BLK will be longer and lower than its rivals, despite the crossover standing-on-tiptoes stance. It will be pitched directly against the BMW X1 and Audi’s forthcoming Q3.
Can we expect more A- and B-class spin-offs?
The A/B-class family will also include a BLS four-door coupe, a smaller CLS clone available with FWD and AWD. At this point, the BLS has no direct rival but this may have changed by its launch in mid-2013.
The new A/B-class family will be approximately 100kg heavier than the existing models, despite the simpler underpinnings which ditch the sandwich floor of the A-class. A hot AMG variant is expected, delivering around 250bhp.
The new B-class will hit the showrooms later in 2011, while the A-class follows in early 2012 to rival the Golf and Focus class. The BLK/GLC soft-roader and BLS are due in summer 2013.
Haven’t we already heard about the BLK/GLA, or whatever it’s called?
We first reported on the BLK/GLA in 2008 when Mercedes was on the look-out for a new partnership. It nearly struck a deal with groups as diverse as BMW, PSA and GM.
The deals soured, however, and Mercedes was forced to go it alone.
Chairman Dieter Zetsche decided to go with a conventional platform, using a simpler front-wheel drive architecture which stripped out much of the cost and complexity of the earlier ‘sandwich’ platform.
Dubbed MFA, for Mercedes front-wheel drive architecture, this package will underpin all future small Mercedes-Benz road cars.