The Mercedes-Benz GLA may have only been given a facelift last January, but clearly Stuttgart is already thinking of an all-new replacement. A development prototype of the three-pointed star’s smallest SUV has been spotted by our European spy photographers, and as before it looks like it will share plenty with its other compact car siblings the A-Class and CLA.

Seen in these photos is the body of the next-generation A-Class, with the tapered headlights, trapezoidal grille and two-piece tail lights clearly shared with the five-door hatchback. Crude-looking wheel arch extensions hide the wider track of the GLA, while the raised ride height is also clearly visible.

Built on Mercedes’ new Modular Front Architecture 2 (MFA2), the GLA will join the company’s expanded compact car range, which will include replacements for the A-Class, B-Class and CLA, as well as new additions such as the A-Class Sedan and a more rugged GLB SUV.

Expect the current range of four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines to be retained, along with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive. An AMG GLA 45 should also be on the cards later on, using an uprated version of the M133 2.0 litre mill that will likely surpass the 400 hp mark.