The new Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG is a High-Performance Ute

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG

Bringing AMG performance to the small SUV segment.

The cool, new segment that is taking the automotive industry by storm is the small crossover/SUVs. They sit higher than a car, sometimes have more space and capability, sometimes offer all-wheel drive, and are clearly safer and better choices due to these aforementioned “qualities”. Many premium automakers are unveiling small crossover SUVs to cash in on the expanding segment, and Mercedes-Benz has taken it further by injecting large dose of sport with their new GLA 45 AMG.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG is not your average “Cute Ute”. It’s a high-performance small SUV that is packed with all sorts of vicious goodies from AMG including a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four built by hand.

With the GLA 45 AMG, Mercedes-Benz is aiming for the young professional demographic. The GLA 45 AMG was designed to tap into the independence and dynamics that appeal to this demographic while also providing a fuel efficient performance option.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG

“The response to the Concept GLA 45 AMG during the world première at the Los Angeles International Auto Show has reaffirmed our decision to launch this new AMG model,” said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “Currently there is no segment growing faster than that of compact SUVs. For Mercedes-AMG it is therefore a logical step to make a dynamic statement in this segment with the GLA 45 AMG. Our new high-performance-SUV not only offers the world’s most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine, but also impressively low fuel consumption and emissions figures. Not least on account of the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the GLA 45 AMG is a true AMG when it comes to driving dynamics.”

The design of the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG is visually more aggressive and reflects the added muscle and dynamics from the team at AMG. A matte titanium grey AMG twin-blade radiator grille features new AMG lettering, which will soon be featured in the rest of the AMG lineup. Beneath the new grille sits a more commanding apron with integrated splitter flanked by aerodynamic black side flics. Instead of the size of the engine or number of cylinders, each front fender and aluminum roof rail sports a “TURBO AMG” badge. The rear of the crossover sits a new diffuser with matte titanium grey trim and integrated chrome-plated quad rectangular tailpipes. Mercedes-Benz also offers a range of aerodynamic and carbon fiber exterior accessories to further reflect the GLA 45 AMG’s performance capabilities.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG

Beneath the hood sits a hand-built turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine that is the most powerful series-production four-cylinder turbocharged unit in the world. All sorts of high-tech features are utilized such as multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition to increase thermodynamic efficiency and reduce emissions. A twin-scroll turbocharger helps to provide quick boost and up to 1.8 BAR (26 PSI) of pressure while an AMG sports exhaust system with continuously adjustable flap system provides an exciting note under load.

Although it may only displace 2.0 liters, the turbocharged four-cylinder cranks out a whopping 360 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 332 lb-ft. at 2,250 to 5,000 RPM, while achieving an impressive 37.6 mpg (NEDC combined) and meeting the EU 6 emissions standards.

All that power is sent through the seven-speed AMG Speedshift DCT transmission and to the variable 4Matic all-wheel drive system. The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox provides an uninterrupted flow of power and three transmission modes that allow for maximum control or efficiency. The advanced 4Matic system utilizes an electro-hydraulically controlled multiple-disc clutch with integrated rear-axle differential to ensure maximum grip in every situation. If necessary, torque can be split up to a 50-50 ratio for each axle. The quick shifting dual-clutch and all-wheel drive system work with the turbocharged engine to send the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG to 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds and to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

The GLA 45 AMG was outfitted with a special suspension designed to deliver maximum handling dynamics and reduce body roll. Stiffer steering knuckles and new elastokinematics are featured at the front while the four-link rear axle boasts a new design. The new AMG sports suspension has new spring and damper units paired with bigger anti-roll bars that have been tuned specifically for the GLA 45 AMG. Sitting behind the titanium gray lightweight alloy five twin-spoke, 19-inch AMG wheels is an AMG high-performance brake system with ventilated and cross-drilled discs and grey-painted calipers. As an option, customers can opt for red-painted brake calipers and 20-inch lightweight AMG ten-spoke wheels with two different finishes.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG

Inside, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG is aimed at showcasing the sporty DNA of the small SUV. New sport seats covered in Artico man-made leather/Dinamica microfiber with red stitching and red design seat belts instantly add a touch of sport. Facing the driver is a special three-spoke steering wheel wearing nappa leather with red stitching, perforated leather grip area, and shift paddles for greater control. Brushed stainless steel door sills greet the passengers along with an AMG start-up screen and brushed aluminum instrument panel that houses the two-tube cluster with central color display, AMG menu, and Racetimer. As an option, a wide range of special options, trims, and upholstery can be added from the AMG catalog.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG will make its international debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13th. Pricing and official specifications for other markets has not been released.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG Specifications

Engine:
Displacement: 2.0 liters
Number of Cylinders: Inline-four
Aspiration: Turbocharged
Maximum Boost Pressure: 1.8 BAR / 26.1 PSI
Maximum Horsepower: 360 at 6,000 RPM
Maximum Torque: 332 lb-ft. / 450 Nm from 2,250 to 5,000 RPM
Power Density: 181 hp

Transmission:
Type: Seven-speed AMG Speedshift DCT (dual-clutch)
Drive: 4Matic all-wheel

Performance:
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 4.8 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph (electronically-limited)

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG Gallery

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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Ryan Konko, Senior Motoring Editor

Since his first drive in a Porsche 911, Ryan has been infatuated with high-end automobiles. Dating back to his high-school days, Ryan has had a knack for writing about his adventures with cars, his first being a 1994 Chrysler Concorde (what an experience). Ryan is your satirical guide to the affluent caviar-fueled automotive world. He also likes to stand in front of moving objects while playing lacrosse and floor hockey.