You've probably heard Mercedes saying it will discontinue several compact cars after the current-generation models run their course. While models like the A-Class Sedan, B-Class minivan, and the CLA Shooting Brake are in jeopardy, it makes perfect sense the GLA is staying given how people are obsessed with crossovers nowadays. A fresh batch of spy shots gives us an early look at the next GLA, disguised as a test mule using the existing body.
While it would be pointless to talk about how the car looks, we do notice this test mule sits a bit higher than usual. There's a good reason for that since we can spot the bulky battery pack underneath the vehicle. According to our pals at Motor.es who were kind enough to share these spy shots with us, the next GLA will drop the plug-in hybrid setup in favor of a self-charging hybrid system.
As a matter of fact, they claim the self-charging hybrid will be the only way to buy a new GLA as Mercedes allegedly intends to drop the gasoline and diesel variants altogether. A fully electric EQA will once again be offered, although it could go by a different name as the German luxury brand will purportedly begin to gradually retire the EQ branding beginning in 2024.
As radical as the change might be to limit powertrain offerings to hybrid and electric versions for the new GLA, we can't say we're shocked. After all, the Euro 7 standard will come into effect in the European Union in 2025, and it's going to make it even harder for automakers to comply with emissions regulations. Separately, Mercedes has already said it will be ready to offer an electric-only lineup in Europe by 2030 "wherever market conditions allow," so the writing is on the wall for pure ICE models.
In November 2020, Mercedes and Chinese automaker Geely announced a partnership to jointly developed hybrid powertrains. It makes sense for the next wave of compact cars to benefit from this technology, and we could see it first in the revamped CLA debuting in 2024. Since this GLA is an early test mule, logic tells us the production model won't be launched until later in 2025. Geely-owned Volvo will also use these hybrid powertrains, which will be manufactured in Europe and China.