The volumes game in the luxury car segment of India is hotting up. Just as Audi India launched a big volume product in the form of the A3 sedan earlier this week, Mercedes Benz is preparing to respond with the GLA luxury crossover. Mercedes Benz dealer sources close to CarToq reveal that the GLA crossover is primed for a September 2014 launch in India, in time to mop up bookings during the festive season. Pre-bookings for the crossover are likely to kick start in the next few weeks.
Based on the Modular Front Architecture (MFA), which is a characteristic of affordable luxury cars wearing the three pointed star, the GLA crossover is a jacked up, butch styled version of the A-Class hatchback. The GLA will use turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines that are also offered on the A-Class hatchback, albeit in more powerful states of tune. While the lower variants of the crossover will be front wheel driven, Mercedes Benz is could offer an all wheel drive layout on the top end models.
The GLA crossover will also share interiors with the A-Class, and this extensive parts sharing is expected to give Mercedes Benz significant savings. These savings are expected to translate into a competitive sticker price for the crossover. The GLA will represent Mercedes Benz’s first entry into the sub-30 lakh rupee luxury crossover space, dominated by the likes of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1. SUVs and crossovers are big sales spinners for luxury brands in India and the GLA is expected to take Mercedes Benz one step closer to outselling Audi in India.
Mercedes Benz also has a high-performance AMG badged GLA crossover in its global line up. Mercedes Benz has imported the GLA 45 AMG into India for homologation, which suggests that the high performance crossover could follow the regular variants into India, sometime in the future. The GLA 45 AMG uses a 2 liter turbo petrol engine that outputs 360 Bhp-450 Nm, an all wheel drive layout and a 7 speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The high performance car mechanicals are borrowed from the CLA 45 AMG sedan, which was launched in India earlier this year.