This is the all-new Mercedes GLA45 AMG crossover, which has been shown in production form ahead of its official public unveiling at the Detroit motor show next week.
The GLA45 uses the same platform as both the recently launched A45 hatchback and CLA45 four-door coupe, but offers chunky, SUV-style bodywork and a mildly increased ride height.
Also carried over is the heavily turbocharged 2.0-litre AMG engine, which develops an astonishing 355bhp and 332lb ft of torque, making it the motor with greatest power to displacement ratio currently available.
Power is sent to all-four wheels through Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. Despite the additional traction and high-speed stability the system offers, hardened AMG sports suspension will likely limit the GLA45’s off-road abilities.
The sole transmission option is a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic with paddle-shift operation. Thanks to the near-seamless shifts it offers, the GLA45 AMG will catapult itself to 62mph from a standstill in just 4.8 seconds, and will keep on accelerating up to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
Despite the performance on offer, the car’s relatively small engine means improved fuel economy and emissions when cruising. The GLA45 AMG will return an impressive 37.6mpg on the combined cycle, while emitting just 175g/km in CO2.
Nineteen-inch alloy wheels, chrome plated tailpipes and ‘Turbo AMG’ badging will let other road users know this is no humdrum crossover, while on the inside, passengers will enjoy leather sports seats with contrasting stitching, and other sporty details such as a Racetimer function and an AMG specific instrument cluster.
Full price and specification details for the GLA45 AMG will be announced after the car’s Detroit unveiling. Prospective customers will have to wait until June before they can place an order.
Can’t wait that long? You can search our classifieds for a current generation A-Class here.
January 8, 2014