The GLA 45 AMG is one of the fastest and most poweful compact SUVs ever. Be very afraid.
If you like your compact SUVs very fast and relatively frugal, Mercedes has a veritable treat in store for you. The German manufacturer has just unleashed full details of its GLA 45 AMG, a performance-focussed version of the GLA model unveiled back in August 2013.
The GLA 45 AMG will enter a niche market of pint-sized, super-sporty utility vehicles occupied by the Porsche Macan and Audi RS Q3 when it goes on sale in June 2014 for an estimated £44,000, having made its public debut at the Detroit auto show on January 13th.
Underneath the bonnet is the world’s most powerful production 4-cylinder engine. Using the help of a twin-scroll turbocharger, the 2.0-litre generates a ridiculous 360bhp, with 450Nm of torque available from 2,250rpm. 0 to 62mph takes a mere 4.8 seconds and the top speed is an electronically limited 155mph.
The Porsche Macan Turbo and its 400hp 3.6-litre bi-turbo V6 offers more power, but the 0 to 62mph time is identical and the GLA 45 AMG is better on fuel.
Mercedes claims it can achieve 37.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 175g/km, making it more efficient than some cars with half the performance.
An AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission provides gear changes said to be ‘similarly sporty in character’ to that of the SLS AMG GT. Three modes – Sport, Manual and C (short for controlled efficiency) – offer varying levels of shift times, noise and engine response, while the Race Start helps you get off the line as fast as possible
The GLA 45 AMG comes with AMG’s 4matic all-wheel drive system, diverting the right amount of engine power where it needs to go to provide traction. Braking is taken care of by vented, cross-drilled brake discs and grey calipers.
Differences between the GLA and the GLA 45 AMG include a restyled grille that has two blades running through, a sports exhaust with twin rectangular tailpipes of the chrome variety, a rear diffuser and 19-inch titanium alloy grey wheels. Ten-spoke AMG 20-inch wheels are an option.
The interior is comprised of man-made black leather with red stitching, a three-spoke aluminium steering wheel and a brushed aluminium instrument panel. Splash a few quid and you can encase those dials in carbon fibre.
There’s no official word on a price or UK specification just yet but we’ll keep you posted. Until then, cast your eyes over the pictures below.
Mercedes GLA 45 AMG pictures