Mercedes teases a styling update for its GLA-Class crossover

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class teaser
Like the previous Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2017 Detroit Auto Show is shaping up to be an SUV-fest. Some of the reveals already confirmed include a new version of the Chevrolet Traverse, a seven-seat version of the Volkswagen Tiguan, and a luxury SUV concept from Infiniti. Now Mercedes-Benz is joining the party.

The German luxury automaker will unveil an updated version of its GLA-Class in Detroit next week. Like the refreshed version of the related CLA-Class that debuted at the 2016 New York Auto Show, the GLA likely won’t be drastically different from the current model. Subtle styling changes are expected to be the main differentiator of the new version, which will likely go on sale in late 2017 as a 2018 model.

Mercedes’ teaser image hints at a slightly more rugged appearance, possibly an attempt by designers to make the GLA look more like a traditional SUV. The GLA is really a Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback with a taller ride height, all-wheel drive, and some minor styling changes. The A-Class isn’t sold in the U.S., but the GLA is essentially the same car, but with an image that’s more palatable to American buyers than that of a hatchback.

No major mechanical changes are expected, meaning Mercedes will continue to offer a basic GLA250 model and a sporty AMG GLA45. Both models borrow powertrains from the CLA-Class, which shares a platform with both the GLA-Class and A-Class. The GLA250 is currently available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The GLA45 is available with all-wheel drive only, and a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo four. Expect a bump from 355 horsepower to 375 hp, just like in the updated CLA45.

Mercedes’ line of compact cars may soon expand. Alongside the A-Class, CLA-Class, and GLA-Class, the automaker may add a sedan model based on the same platform. This model would slot below the current C-Class, but it could also create confusion with the CLA-Class. Mercedes calls the CLA a “coupe,” but it has four full-size doors and a trunk, just like a sedan.

The 2017 Detroit Auto Show kicks off next week. We’ll have full details on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and everything else from the show, so stay tuned.

Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.