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A small SUV based on the Mercedes A-Class has been spotted testing for the first time...

The Mercedes A-Class is about to spawn a compact SUV, and these are the very first spy pictures of the high-riding newcomer. Concealed underneath a standard A-Class body, the new model will rival the BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque when it arrives in showrooms in 2014.

Although this is our first glimpse, it's no secret that this model is on the way. Speaking at the start of production of the A-Class at Mercedes' Rastatt plant in Germany two months ago, Mercedes CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche said: ""The compact SUV will be ""¨the third model we will build here in Rastatt.""�

It will be based on the new front and four-wheel-drive MFA platform which already underpins the A-Class and B-Class. A total of five new models, including a 'baby CLS' four-door coupe and a small shooting brake estate, will eventually be based on the new architecture.

So when it goes on sale, expect front and four-wheel drive models of the small SUV (expected to be badged GLA) and a similar engine line up to the A-Class.

Options could include turbocharged petrol engines ranging from 94bhp to 208hbp, plus three diesels ranging from 81bhp to 134bhp. It's not clear yet whether Mercedes will slot in the 330bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from the A45 AMG.
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