The second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA isn’t that old, arriving for the 2020 model year. However, the Germany-based automaker is ready to refresh it, including the hotter AMG GLA 35, which our photographers spies caught testing for the first time.
Mercedes does not give the model a complete makeover. Instead, this is its mid-cycle refresh where the company tweaks the front and rear fascias and makes other updates, and the AMG GLA 35 variant can’t escape that. Photos show the sedan with its front fascia covered, hiding redesigned headlights and a revamped front bumper. The Panamericana grille remains with slight modifications. There’s not much camouflage on the rear, but the taillights are covered, suggesting Mercedes will tweak their styling, likely updating the internal graphics.
Inside, Mercedes should make even fewer updates. The car could get the same updates for the new A-Class, which include a new steering wheel and infotainment bezel. The refreshed model is also expected to receive the latest MBUX infotainment software.
With this mid-cycle refresh, we don’t expect the powertrain to receive any significant updates. The car’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 302 horsepower (222 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque, which may remain unchanged in the redesigned model. The engine is mated to the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with 4Matic all-wheel drive. Top speed should remain limited to 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour).
Mercedes’ plan for its smallest vehicle remains a bit of a mystery. There are rumors that the A-Class and B-Class are getting the ax, which would make the GLA and GLB very important to the company. The GLA will likely spawn a third-generation model, which could build on the company’s upcoming MMA architecture.
However, that transition is still a few years away and Mercedes hasn’t even revealed the second-gen mid-cycle update. The reveal probably won’t take place until early next year when Mercedes unveils the regular GLA and the GLA 35. The hotter AMG GLA 45 will arrive later. We haven’t spotted it yet in testing, but we wouldn’t be surprised if our spy photographers noticed it before the end of the year.