The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been offered in Europe since 1997, but the brand has been characterized by having an all longitudinal/rear-drive lineup in the U.S. That's about to change, with the imminent introduction of the B-Class, as well as several other variations of its transverse MFA platform. One variation we're likely to see here is the GLA crossover, captured by our spy photo contributor in Germany.

Unlike the angular rear-drive GLK than mimics the style of the larger three-row GL full-size sport/utility, the GLA has decidedly low-slung styling and a high beltline reminiscent of the CLS four-door "coupe." Its relatively long nose shows some influence from BMW's recently introduced X1 crossover, but the front axle proportions and placement show its transverse/all-wheel-drive powertrain layout.

The GLA is expected to share the upcoming B-Class' lineup of four-cylinder turbocharged gas and diesel engines, including a possible AMG variant making more than 300 hp. With the GLK getting a Bluetec diesel option for 2013, there's a high probability that a diesel could be offered in the U.S. when the GLA arrives.

Source: CarPix