• Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

Mercedes-AMG Shrinks Wing, Ups Power for GLA 45

The 382 hp, all-wheel drive, GLA 45 that boasts one of the most powerful fours in the world.

Evan Williams By: Evan Williams February 27, 2020

It’s the latest in hot hatch crossovers from Mercedes-AMG. The 382 hp, all-wheel drive, GLA 45 that boasts one of the most powerful fours in the world, though sadly we’re not going to see the hottest version. At least not for now.

That boy-racer rear wing tells you everything you need to know about the GLA, even if it isn’t very Mercedes-like. It’s also not quite as massive as the wing on the old AMG GLA, but we don’t mind a bit of restraint in the styling department.

Not with that 2.0L turbo-four underhood putting down 382 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, at least. It’s not the 415 hp of the S spec that Merc didn’t announce for Canada (yet?), but this is still a very impressive figure for a four. It’s 7 hp and 4 lb-ft more than the old one, and thanks to the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and AMG all-wheel drive with electronically controlled clutches to distribute power, it can hit 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds.

This is a real AMG engine, hand-built by one person whose signature goes on a plate when it’s done. It uses two-stages of fuel injection to supply enough petrol to the cylinders, has a special cooling system that chills the cylinder head and block at different rates, and is flipped 180-degrees from the old 35-series engine putting the turbo at the back to lower the hoodline.

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

The AMG Ride Control suspension offers three damping options for the driver to pick from but it changes the damping in real-time and is infinitely variable over its range to match ride comfort and agility.

Braking is through four-piston fixed calipers on 350 mm rotors up front with 330 mm rears with single-pot calipers. If you need more stopping power, or more to show off inside the 19- (or optional 21) inch wheels, pick the Track Package for 360 mm rotors with six-pot front binders. The track package also adds a Race setting to the standard AMG dynamic modes that stiffens the GLA further, makes for snappier shifts, and adds other go-fast software changes.

To make the GLA an AMG, designers have added an aluminum plate under the engine as well as new diagonal struts front and rear for more rigidity and better body control.

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

Aside from the wing, exterior changes include the AGM wheels and widened arches along with the AMG Panamericana-style grille. LED headlights and massive air intakes with silver inserts leave no doubt which model you’re looking at. Inside, there are sport seats with AMG Performance seats on option. The standard buckets are black with microfibre and synthetic leather as well as AMG red contrast stitching. Four other leather interiors are on offer. The GLA 45 gets the new MBUX infotainment system with “Hey, Mercedes” voice activation and an optional AMG Track Pace adds telemetry to measure acceleration, lap times, and other vehicle data to help you set faster laps.

The Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 is set to arrive later this year, with pricing to follow.