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Mike Stevens | May 2, 2012

Reports of a new compact SUV in the Mercedes-Benz family have swung around again, with the carmaker expected to launch a rival for BMW's X1 and Audi's Q3 in the coming years.

New reports out of the UK this week build on earlier talk that the SUV will be based on the new A-Class and B-Class hatches, arriving sometime after the upcoming CLA sports sedan.

The UK's Car magazine reports that the new model will follow Mercedes' revised naming system, carrying the GLA name. The GL signifies all future SUV badges starting with a G, and the A for its size.

Underneath the small SUV would be Merc's versatile new MFA architecture. Its dimensions will likely follow the larger of the A- and B-Class siblings.

Powerplants for the new X1, Q3 and Range Rover Evoque rival would likely include the turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines offered with the new A-Class and B-Class, with front- and four-wheel-drive configurations available.

The debut of the GLA would also give Australian buyers access to a Mercedes-badged SUV smaller than the M-Class, with the current GLK only available in left-hand-drive markets.

With the CLA set for a 2013 debut, watch for the GLA to hit motorshows later in the year or early in 2014.

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