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Mercedes-Benz GLA Goes Underground For UK Debut

Not wanting your average “car in a mall” nationwide debut, Mercedes-Benz UK decided to have the GLA (X156) crossover/SUV launch in one of the most spectacular-looking British venues they could have ever chosen: 189 meters (620 feet) below the ground, in a salt mine.
Mercedes-Benz GLA X156 (UK-Spec) 9 photos
Photo: Mercedes-Benz UK
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Pretty much situated at the core of the United Kingdom, the enormous Winsford Rock Salt Mine is the largest and oldest rock salt mine in the British Isles, with mining operation having started as early as the 19th century.

Stretching 3 km (1.9 miles) from north to south and 5 km (3.1 miles) from east to west, the mine has an interior space of 23 million cubic meters and a network comprising of no less than 209 km (130 miles) of tunnels.

For the model's UK debut, four standard, right-hand drive Mercedes-Benz GLA models were lowered nose first into the salt mine, after which they were driven through the hundreds of tunnels in the underground.

Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2013, the Mercedes-Benz GLA (X156) is the smallest crossover/SUV in the ever-expanding lineup of the Stuttgart car manufacturer.

Since it is based on the Mercedes-Benz MFA (Modular Front Architecture) platform, the compact model shares all its engines and most of its interior with the A-Class (W176) and CLA (C117), but is otherwise a rather different car.

Above the ground, the Mercedes-Benz GLA has already gone on sale in the UK, with the cheapest variant starting at GBP 25,080 for a GLA 200 CDI. The most expensive version will obviously be the GLA 45 AMG, which is powered by the same bonkers M133 engine as the A 45 and CLA 45 AMG, delivering 360 hp (355 bhp) and 450 Nm (332 lb ft) of torque.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the autoevolution.com project.
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