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by James Ward

The Australian launch this week of the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe has led to a bit of speculation around the CarAdvice office.

So far, Mercedes and BMW have played a game of tit-for-tat when it comes to fastback SUV models. First came the X5-based X6, then the X3-based X4. Mercedes-Benz countered with the GLE Coupe and now GLC Coupe models, both based upon their wagon counterparts.

At the 2016 Paris Motor Show, BMW unveiled the X2 concept, the next ‘sportier’ model to be based on the little X1 SUV.

If previous form is to be a guide, then, Mercedes should be looking at a ‘coupe’ derivative of the small GLA SUV to counter.

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Above: the new GLC Coupe. Top: an early preview sketch of the GLC Coupe.

There was a bit of a buzz about the GLA Coupe earlier this year, when an internal Mercedes-Benz presentation was leaked, showing the GLA Coupe in line for a 2017 release. Mercedes quickly corrected the slide, claiming it was a typo and should have read GLA Facelift.

Clerical errors aside, could a GLA Coupe be the next cab off the rank? And what would it look like?

The GLA, in its hatchback form, is hardly a big car. Our reviews have noted that rear head room is already getting tight, plus the 421-litre boot would likely be further reduced.

Mercedes-Benz-GLA200-CDI-17

Fair to note, though, the top-selling compact SUV in Australia, the Mazda CX-3, has just a 264-litre cargo hold, so maybe it isn’t that big of an issue.

The current GLA is based upon the MFA platform which it shares with the A-Class, B-Class and CLA models.

An updated A-Class, using a new MFA2 platform, has been spied testing. As has an all-new SUV that is rumoured to be named the GLB (that really had to happen though, didn’t it).

But could an updated MFA2 GLA also spawn a coupe?

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Above: Theophilus Chin‘s view of a three-door GLA maintains a functional roofline

One option would be in utilising a three-door layout. We haven’t seen that on sale since the old second-generation A-Class, and then in 2012 as the Concept A-Class. It never made it to production, but Range Rover has persevered with a three-door Evoque (not to mention a new convertible), so it might be an option.

A three-door GLA Coupe would help deal with rear passenger and cargo space, by simply not being practical enough for four-up buyers to consider!

Imagine, a high-riding, three-door, GLA45 Coupe. It would be even more like a rally car than the GLA is now!

RSQ3 v GLA45 opener 2

Or – and strap in for this one – is the GLA actually already the MFA-platform coupe, with the new GLB SUV swapping the order to become the missing-link wagon?

The BMW X2 is due to hit the streets in 2018, so if it’s keen to follow suit, Mercedes-Benz would want to get its skates on.

Do you think it’s possible? Would you be interested? Let us know in the comments below!

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