To the untrained eye, this is a prototype of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, but look closer and you might doubt that.
Although its low ground clearance and overall stance point to this being the next A-Class, the test car that, naturally, is covered in camo has fender extensions, which makes us wonder whether we're looking at a mule of the hatchback or the next generation of the GLA.
Development of the premium subcompact crossover is still in an early stage, but the vehicle will continue to share the same architecture with the A-Class. However, it will differentiate itself with wider tracks, increased ground clearance and a higher driving position.
Most of the engine lineup will be shared between the GLA, A-Class, B-Class, CLA, and rumored GLB, and one of the units that will power them will be the new 1.3-liter petrol unit that's been co-developed by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Daimler. The new engine is already available on the Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic in three power levels: 115PS (113hp), 140PS (138hp) and 160PS (158hp).
The interior of the next-gen Mercedes-Benz GLA will be very similar to the brand's other compact cars, and it will be dominated by the MBUX infotainment system that on base trim levels will feature two 7-inch displays, whereas better-equipped models will come with two 10.25-inch or one 7-inch and one 10.25-inch screen.
Mercedes will, reportedly, unveil the next A-Class as early as the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, in March, and then they will focus on the A-Class Saloon and CLA/CLA Shooting Brake that will be followed by the second-gen GLA shortly after, so we expect the crossover to arrive near the end of the year or in 2019.