Mercedes-AMG unleashes new GLA 45 S with 310kW
Stuttgart, Germany - The new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA might be more of an SUV and less of an A-Class hatch on stilts this time around, but the compact crossover hasn’t lost any of its performance aspirations, as evidenced by the reveal of the all-new GLA 45 AMG variants.
And when it comes to those all-important performance aspirations you’ll be glad to know that the new Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4Matic+ and GLA 45 S 4Matic+ follow the exact same script as their A45 S siblings - with power coming from the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine.
In its full-fat GLA 45 S guise, the 2-litre turbopetrol unit is tuned to produce 310 kW at 6750rpm and 500Nm from 5000 revs, while the ‘regular’ 45 S is good for 285kW at 6500rpm and 480Nm from 4750rpm. It’s likely that only the 45 S will be offered in South Africa.
Against the clock, the GLA models are just three tenths of a second slower from zero to 100km/h than their hatch counterparts, with the GLA 45 S taking 4.3 seconds and the regular 45 S needing 4.4s according to manufacturer claims. Top speeds are electronically limited to 270km/h and 250km/h for the two respective versions.
Putting power to all four wheels is the familiar eight-speed DCT 8G dual-clutch gearbox and AMG-tuned 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, which can also selectively distribute torque between the rear wheels as needed thanks to the presence of two multi-disc clutches in the rear diff. Although the AWD is “fully variable” between the front and rear axles too, there is no mention of a Drift Mode, although the ‘Master’ function does apparently offer a vehicle balance with “slight oversteer”.
As with the A45, the suspension and braking systems have been fully overhauled to meet the requirements of such an immensely potent vehicle. A three-mode adaptive damping system is standard, while braking systems depend on the model variant selected. Opt for the S or the base model with the AMG Dynamic Plus package and you get a braking system with six-piston callipers up front and 360 x 36mm discs.
The external dress-up comes in the form of flared wheel arches, an AMG-specific grille, silver chrome front splitter, power domes on the bonnet, a wide rear apron and the obligatory ironing board roof spoiler. The standard 45 rolls on 19-inch alloys and the S variant gets 20” rims, and if that’s not big enough, buyers can opt for 21” wheels. The cabin has also been spiced up in the good AMG tradition, although the race-style AMG Performance seats do require a tick on the options list.