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Detroit show: Mercedes outs GLA45 AMG

OMG AMG: The GLA45 AMG can dash to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds, just 0.2 seconds off the times of the mechanically similar A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG.

Hi-po 265kW/450Nm Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG readies for Detroit debut


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8 Jan 2014

MERCEDES-BENZ has rounded out its trio of hot four-cylinder performance models by revealing the production GLA45 AMG compact crossover ahead of an official debut in Detroit next week.

The GLA45 AMG has a higher ride and chunkier styling than its A45 AMG hatch and CLA45 AMG sedan cousins, but is powered by the same 265kW/450NM 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with Merc’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

It’s upright design means the GLA45 races from zero to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250km/h, 0.2 seconds slower than the hatch and sedan.

Mercedes says fuel economy for the compact crossover is 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres on the European cycle, slightly thirstier than the CLA45 (7.0L/100km) and the A45 (6.9L/100km). CO2 emissions sit at 175g/km.

The German luxury marque unveiled a concept based on the GLA45 AMG at the Los Angeles motor show in November last year, featuring a massive rear wing, sports decals and blacked out wheels.

While the production version maintains the same shape and body as the concept based on the standard GLA, it carries more reserved styling, loses the roof spoiler and is harder to distinguish from regular GLA variants.

Mercedes-Benz has fitted its latest hottie with AMG sports suspension and a high performance braking system, while for extra cash buyers can opt for red brake calipers with AMG lettering, an aerodynamics package that adds a front spoiler, large front splitter and a rear spoiler or a carbon-fibre package with carbon-fibre front splitter, side sills and panel inserts.

The cabin gains the typical AMG treatment with a three-spoke Nappa leather sports steering wheel with red stitching, sports seats in Artico man-made leather and Dinamica microfibre also with contrasting red stitching and red seat-belts.

An AMG instrument cluster features a two-tube design and central colour display while and AMG main menu with Racetimer provides information to the driver.

Further interior options include carbon-fibre trim, performance seats, floor mats with embroidered AMG lettering and a number of different upholstery colours including black, crystal grey, nut brown or black red cut.

The only direct rival for Benz’s hot crossover is Audi’s A3-based RS Q3 SUV that is scheduled to arrive in local showrooms in February with a price tag of $81,900, plus on-road costs.

Audi’s pocket-rocket is powered by a 228kW/420Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and it can dash to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz will launch the regular GLA range locally in the second quarter of the year, with deliveries of the AMG performance variant you see here expected around six months after then.

Australian pricing is yet to be announced, but expect it to carry a premium over the A45 AMG which starts from $74,900 plus on-road costs, and the CLA45 AMG ($86,900 ).

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