Set to make its world premiere at next week's Detroit auto show, the Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG expands the German car maker’s Affalterbach-based tuning division's SUV line-up to five models, alongside the ML63 AMG, GL63 AMG, G63 AMG and G65 AMG.
Powered by the same EU 6-compliant turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine found in the CLA45 AMG sedan and A45 AMG hatch, the GLA45 AMG delivers 265kW at 6000rpm and 450Nm between 2250-5000rpm.
Aided by engine stop-start as standard, the all-wheel-drive compact SUV claims combined cycle fuel consumption of 7.4L/100km (based on the New European Driving Cycle) and CO2
emissions of 175 grams per kilometre.
Partnered to a three-mode seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (offering Controlled Efficiency, Manual, and Sport modes), the GLA45 AMG has a claimed 0-100km/h of 4.8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. A ‘Race Start’ gearbox setting is also available for what Mercedes calls “optimum acceleration”, taking full advantage of the variable all-wheel-drive system's maximum 50:50 front and rear axle torque split.
Allowing for a balance of entertainment and safety, a three-stage stability program (On, Sport and Off) is joined by Curve Dynamic Assist as standard, aimed at improving turn-in and preventing understeer during “dynamic cornering”.
Sitting on stiffer specially tuned AMG sports suspension, the Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG gains bigger anti-roll bars and AMG high-performance brakes comprising ventilated and cross-drilled discs and grey-painted brake calipers. Red calipers are optional with either housed inside standard 19-inch titanium grey AMG light-alloy wheels or optional grey or matt black 20-inch items.
Distinguishing the GLA45 AMG from its lesser-specced siblings are AMG front and rear bumpers, and a front splitter, 'twin blade' radiator grille, side skirts, and rear diffuser finished in matt titanium grey. Black front intake air deflectors, “Turbo AMG" badging, aluminium roof rails and a quad-exit chrome-tipped AMG sports exhaust system complete the sporting look.
Inside, red-highlighted Artico leather and Dinamica microfibre sports seats are joined by red seat belts and a red-stitched three-spoke nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel with shift paddles. A brushed aluminium-trimmed AMG instrument cluster, a Racetimer and brushed stainless-steel AMG sill plates also feature.
For individual personalisation, a range of optional AMG add-ons are available including a performance exhaust, firmer performance suspension and a rear spoiler, as well as carbonfibre exterior mirror caps, a front splitter, side skirts and rear apron trim.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG is anticipated to arrive locally in the fourth quarter of 2014 – following the second-quarter local launch of the standard GLA200, GLA250 and GLA200 CDI models – with prices tipped to mirror the CLA45 AMG's sub-$90k price tag.
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