Our scoop stories are full of Mercedes’ compact models – from the A-Class, B-Class, and CLA, to the GLA and GLB SUVs, everyone is getting a facelift soon. The last kid on the block is the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 as a lightly camouflaged prototype was spotted testing in Europe, albeit with US-spec headlights.
We have already seen camouflaged prototypes of the facelifted GLA in standard form, so it is no surprise that the updates on the AMG model are also focused on the front bumper and the taillight area, with everything else being carried over from the outgoing model. After all, the second-gen GLA premiered in 2019 and went on sale in 2020, as is the case with the GLA 35.
The GLA 35 benefits from redesigned LED graphics on the headlights as in the regular GLA, but features a deeper front bumper. The camouflage wrap is hiding the revised AMG-style intakes and the mildly updated Panamericana grille, but we can see that the lower bumper area is quite pronounced. The profile is virtually identical with soft plastic cladding on the boxy wheelarches, a familiar set of multi-spoke wheels (up to 21 inches), and red brake calipers contrasting with the black bodywork. At the back, the only change will occur in the LED taillight graphics, as the model will retain the sporty bumper with dual exhaust pipes, the diffuser, and the large rear wing of its predecessor.
Inside the cabin, changes will be focused on the updated MBUX infotainment. Mercedes will retain the dual-screen layout of the digital dashboard with new graphics, and ditch the trackpad on the center console, making more room for a wireless charging pad and new cupholders. Other interior updates will include a new steering wheel and fresh upholstery options. As an AMG variant, the model gets a pair of bucket seats with integrated headrests and plenty of sporty touches.
We don’t expect important updates on the mechanical side, although we cannot rule out the possibility of AMG giving a slight power boost to the 35 series of models. The current GLA 35 is fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 301 hp (225 kW / 306 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. The same powertrain is used by the A35, CLA 35, and GLB 35 models. Note that the GLA 35 is not the most powerful version of the compact SUV as AMG is also offering the hotter GLA 45 and 45 S versions with up to 415 hp (310 kW / 421 PS), which are also expected to be carried over in the facelifted range.
The revamped Mercedes-Benz GLA range, including the GLA 35, will most likely debut in 2023. Prior to that, we will already know a fair bit about the forthcoming upgrades thanks to the facelifted A-Class that will debut in late 2022.