Multi-Talented: The New Mercedes-Benz GLA
STUTTGART – Aug 14, 2013: Progressive in design, versatile and with impressive off-road capability: the Mercedes-Benz GLA has been unveiled, aiming to set new benchmarks in efficiency as it mixes practicality with surefooted 4MATIC capability.
The first Mercedes-Benz in the fast-growing compact SUV segment is highly manoeuvrable around town (length x width x height 4,417 x 1,804 x 1,494 millimetres), lively on country roads and dynamic and efficient on the motorway (Cd figure 0.29). The high-quality appointments, developed with much love for detail, and the flexible interior clearly position the GLA as a compact premium SUV.
The GLA is the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to be optionally available with the new-generation permanent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution in the UK.
The new GLA rounds off the extensive SUV portfolio of Mercedes-Benz in the UK. With four model series (GLA, ML, GL and G) the company offers the widest range of any European premium manufacturer, and meets all the individual mobility wishes of its customers. At the same time the GLA-Class is the fourth of a total of five new compact models from Mercedes-Benz. The sales figures amply demonstrate how well the new compact models are received by customers: In the first half of 2013, for example, 173,362 units of the A- and B Class and the new CLA Coupé were delivered worldwide (+58.0%). Especially gratifying is the high conquest rate of the new A-Class: around 50 per cent of the buyers in Europe come from other brands.
As a serene day-to-day companion the GLA has a flexible and variable interior. The rear seat backrests can not only be folded down completely, but are also adjustable for angle if required. The generous luggage compartment (421 – 836 litres) is well-presented and can be loaded without difficulty thanks to the low sill and the wide tailgate, which opens automatically as an option.
The particularly rigid body structure provides a reliable basis for a wide range of applications. Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines will extend from 156 hp in the GLA 200 to 211 hp in the GLA 250.
The two diesel engines excel with dynamic torque and outstanding efficiency: The GLA 200 CDI develops 136 hp and maximum torque of 300 Nm and has a displacement of 2.2 litres. It emits only 114 g CO2 per kilometre (provisional figure). The GLA 220 CDI likewise has a displacement of 2.2 litres and develops 170 hp and 350 Nm.
The GLA will celebrate its world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt (12 to 22 September 2013). Orders will be taken from the end of November in the UK, and the GLA will be in dealer showrooms in 2014.
Interior: attractive design features and high perceived
The muscular and imposing appearance of the exterior is systematically continued into the interior. This has a particularly high perceived quality that is achieved by the contours, choice and combinations of high-grade materials.
All trim surfaces are galvanised in silver-shadow for material authenticity, resulting in a metallic finish with a "cool-touch" effect. The impression is one of perfect detail. The heavy emphasis on horizontals, the dynamic design and the highly attractive design features are other high-quality attributes.
The dashboard consists of an upper and lower section, allowing surface structures that are different in look and feel. Matt and glossy graining creates an attractive light effect. The three-dimensional trim section finished in aluminium lends a new, modern touch to the interior.
Five round air vents are integrated into the dashboard. As an exclusive GLA feature, bezels are optionally available around these circular vents whose SUV-look echoes the underride guard and side member claddings. The bezels can be galvanised as an option. The direction of the airflow can be varied by butterfly-shaped inserts which can be optionally galvanised in silver-shadow.
The large, free-standing display has a high-gloss display facing in piano-black and a flush-fitting surround in silver-shadow. This gives the display a particularly high-quality look. A three-spoke steering wheel with 12 function keys and a galvanised chrome clasp is standard equipment. On request an instrument cluster version with two tubes is available. In this case there is a small dial instrument in each of the large dial instruments. When at rest the needles are in the 6 o'clock position. The needle inlays are always in silver.
The wide choice of seat upholsteries in material (e.g. leather, fabric, fabric/leather) and colour combinations allows plenty of scope for individualisation. Sports seats with integrated head restraints are available as an optional extra.
The high quality of the sports seats is emphasised by the aperture in the lower section of the head restraint. On the rear of the front seats this aperture is framed by a surround in silver-shadow, and can have ambience lighting on request.
If the optional Load Compartment package is ordered, the backrest of the rear seat unit can be moved to a steeper position, the so-called cargo position. This enlarges the load compartment capacity by 60 litres, providing space for bulky items while still allowing the rear seats to be used by passengers.
Set into a galvanised surround, the controls for the optional "electric seat adjustment with memory" are arranged on the interior door panels in typical Mercedes style – a unique feature in this segment. The interior door panels are likewise of extremely high quality. The soft, matt surfaces extend right from the beltline to the door pocket. In combination with the equipment packages the door armrests have a high-quality chrome trim strip and, as an option, ambience lighting.
Aerodynamics: goodbye to box-shaped
With the GLA, yet another model series becomes the leader in its segment with respect to aerodynamic efficiency. Its Cd figure is 0.29. At 0.66 m2 the frontal area Cd x A, which decisively affects fuel consumption from around 38 mph is likewise a top figure.
The good air flow characteristics, which are a major contributory factor to the vehicle's low fuel consumption in everyday conditions, result from numerous aerodynamic optimisation measures. These include a low A-pillar step with suitable A-pillar geometry and aerodynamically optimised exterior mirror housings. The rear end is also streamlined. The measures here include the roof spoiler lip and the aerodynamically shaped tail lights. Rear spoilers at the sides ensure that the airflow breaks off for optimal aerodynamic efficiency. Seals in the front bumper (radiator area incl. around the headlamps) and radiator shutters for regulation of the cooling air as required round off the aerodynamic measures.
Extensive underbody panelling, additional panelling in the middle area of the rear axle and an aerodynamically optimised rear silencer followed by a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.
Numerous measures have also been taken to reduce wind noise in the GLA. These, for example, include a multi-level door sealing concept, additional sealing of the joint between the tailgate and the roof and side seals on the tailgate. Particularly rigid window frames prevent the airflow from pulling on the doors at higher speeds, and reduce vibrations. External noise has also been minimised by the low A-pillar step and exterior mirrors connected to the body by a stem.
Engines and transmissions: dynamic claim to leadership
The GLA can achieve combined fuel economy of up to 65 mpg, setting new standards in its segment. Modern four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection, as well as an ECO start/stop function as standard, make for this superior efficiency. The new GLA-Class also takes the lead in its segment with its dynamic performance figures.
Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines will extend from 156 hp in the GLA 200 to 211 hp in the GLA 250.
The GLA 250 4MATIC sprints from zero to 62 mph in only 6.5 seconds, underlining the dynamic claim to leadership of the GLA-Class. It has a top speed of 145 mph and a combined consumption figure of 39.7 mpg (151 g CO2/km – provisional figures).
The two diesel engines excel with dynamic torque and outstanding efficiency: The GLA 200 CDI develops 136 hp, a maximum torque of 300 Nm and has a displacement of 2.2 litres. This engine has been reengineered for greater efficiency. The modifications include optimisation of the belt drive, a cylinder head package with different roller bearings and additional finishing, optimisation of the vacuum pump, aluminium pistons with optimised assembly clearances and a low-friction ring package, the roller bearings of the Lanchester balancer shaft and pressure sensor combustion control in the cylinder head.
The GLA 200 CDI can achieve 65.6 mpg on the combined cycle, which equates to 114 g CO2/km (provisional figures). It is rated efficiency class A. The GLA 220 CDI also has a displacement of 2.2 litres, 170 hp and 350 Nm.
All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines are combined with a six-speed manual transmission or with the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission (standard for GLA 250, GLA 220 CDI and the 4MATIC models), which unites comfort and sportiness to an outstanding degree.