Following up on the reveal of the regular GLA-Class, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 is making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Mercedes decided to show off its hot crossover a little early, though, along with details on the powertrain.
Interestingly, Mercedes is only offering it in one trim and engine output in the U.S. The American GLA 45 only comes with the turbo four-cylinder making 382 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Other markets will get an S trim making more than 400 horsepower. That car is pictured above, adorned with the aerodynamic package that will be available in the U.S. Still, 382 horsepower is nothing to scoff at, and it’s coupled to an impressive powertrain. It uses an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and an all-wheel-drive system with a torque-vectoring rear axle. The settings for the all-wheel-drive system, throttle, traction control, suspension, steering feel and exhaust volume are all controlled via the six different driver-selectable drive modes.
Balancing out the power is a stiffened chassis, thanks to several braces underneath, and adaptive suspension featuring MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link independent rear design. The brakes are upgraded with 13.8-inch rotors and four-piston calipers at the front and 13-inch rotors with single-piston calipers in the rear. Available as an option are even larger 14.2-inch front rotors clamped by six-piston calipers.
Styling-wise, the GLA 45 is only subtly different from the lower-trim models. It gets the signature AMG grille with vertical bars, and the lower grilles are opened up for additional air flow. It gets a deeper front splitter and more pronounced rear diffuser. The aero package shown on this model adds front canards and the huge rear wing, making it much more obvious that it’s the serious model. The standard wheels are 19-inch pieces with 21-inch wheels available as an option. Inside, the GLA 45 gets standard black leatherette and faux suede upholstery with red stitching, along with carbon fiber trim. The seats are more aggressive, too. There are four upholstery color schemes available, as well as an optional sports steering wheel. Mercedes will also offer an onboard data logger for recording lap times and driver inputs, and it can even display racing lines on the infotainment display.
The GLA 45 will go on sale late this year. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but should arrive closer to the on-sale date.