Mercedes revealed its sole S variant of compact SUV styling with more weight and class-leading 415bhp output
Increased ride height, more weight and compact SUV styling make the GLA a less desirable alternative to its A-class sibling for most, but Mercedes-AMG has applied its range-topping 45 treatment for 2020, putting in in line with Ingolstadt’s RSQ3.
Powered by the same 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as in the current A45, the standard GLA45 produces 381bhp and 350lb ft of torque, with the GLA45 S boasting 415bhp at 6750rpm, and 368lb ft of torque – that’s 21bhp more than the Audi, matching the output of the A45 hatch.
As you might expect from a car with the world’s most powerful production four-cylinder engine, performance is brisk. The range-topping S covers the 0-100kph sprint in 4.3sec (a tenth sooner than the standard GLA45), with top speed coming at 268kph (250kph for the non-S) – that puts it two-tenths ahead of the RSQ3, though the Audi goes on to a higher 280kph top speed.
Setting it apart from the rest of the GLA range is an AMG-specific grille with Panamericana-esque vertical slats, flared wheelarches, larger intakes, 20-inch wheels (19-inch on the non-S) and a roof spoiler, all as standard. A valve-controlled exhaust system, and four-pot 350mm front, single-piston 330mm rear brakes also come at no cost. Twenty-one-inch wheels are available at an additional cost, and through the AMG Dynamic Plus package, buyers can opt for an uprated, 360mm six-piston braking system.
Power is sent to the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, where it’s distributed to the wheel that needs traction most for optimum performance.
Inside, Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system and all-new interior design can be found in the range-topping GLA, offering an array of screens, ambient lighting, carbonfibre-look trim and plenty of Alcantara-esque Dinamica microfibre as standard. AMG Performance seats can also be had as an option.
Expect it to start at around the $70,000 mark.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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