The Mercedes Benz GLA has only just hit the market and already AMG has worked its evil magic as the GLA 45 AMG has just made its international debut. Unsurprisingly the new car is going to be a huge success for the three pointed star, much like the success of the new A-class and CLA. The GLA is already a great looking car and makes the Audi Q3 rather plain and the BMW X1 challenged to put it politely. However once AMG has added its usual muscle to the car it looks aggressive, and is more than a match for the pumped up Audi RS Q3. Your move BMW. Let’s take a more in depth look at this dynamic statement from Mercedes.
The GLA 45 AMG looks very similar to the concept AMG we saw in Los Angeles last November. The car like any AMG product is more aggressive than the standard car on which it is based. It features larger front air in-takes and a dynamic AMG front splitter. The new grille on this car sees the use of a single louver with AMG letters with a large Mercedes badge in the centre; the attractive Bi-xenon lights are standard on the AMG. In profile the car is only given away by its large light alloy wheels and bigger brake callipers which can be painted red as an optional extra. The rear of the car uses a large diffuser insert painted matte titanium grey, that along with the large chrome twin tail-pipes give the cars performance credentials away. I have to say that overall this GLA is a great looking car; it’s a pretty obvious choice over the Q3 and X1. Mercedes design has come leaps and bounds from the staid Mercs of old. The current cars are some of the best looking cars around and Merc isn’t about to rest as we will see the launch of the new C and the gorgeous S-class coupe this year. With such fantastic looking cars it’s understandable that Merc is having a hard time keeping up with demand for the A, CLA and S-class.
Large alloy wheels, twin tail-pipes and matte titanium diffuser give away the AMG version
The interior of the car is also typical AMG. Sports seats are standard on this model and are covered in leather with an attractive red contrast strip, red stitching and red safety belts. Covering the front fascia is carbon fibre style material and more black leather with red stitching. The dashboard also sees those awesome looking SLS inspired triple air vents. Controversially Mercedes continues to use that iPad looking infotainment display that continues to divide opinions, personally I think it looks a little like an afterthought on the GLA (take a look where it connects to the dash), however it does look great on the new C-class. The steering wheel is wrapped in soft Nappa leather and is slightly squared off at the base. Another AMG touch to the cabin is the really cool looking gear lever, with is like the throttle on a plane or jet fighter in this case. On the whole the cabin is understated but remains a stylish blend of Mercedes comfort and AMG sportiness.
Sporty interior with attractive black and red contrast leather.
Powering the GLA 45 AMG is a gem of an engine! The 2.0 litre turbocharged unit delivers a stonking 265 kW and 450 Nm of torque and is Euro 6 emission compliant. Power is transferred to the ground through Merc’s 4MATIC all wheel drive system. The seven-speed AMG Speedshift Dual Clutch transmission that is used in the A and CLA AMG variants is used in this car too. As this engine is immensely powerful it’s not surprising that this car is able to accelerate to 100 km/h in only 4.8 seconds whilst using a claimed 7.5 litres/100 km. This engine shows us that what the future holds for AMG products, in that they will be smaller capacity turbocharged units but still able to be immensely powerful and efficient. Hopefully this doesn’t mean the days for the AMG V12 and V8 engines are limited, but for the meantime it looks like we can breathe a sigh of relief as the incredible V12 powered S65 AMG recently made its international debut (a post for a another day I think).
The Mercedes GLA and the AMG variant are set to continue the success Mercedes is seeing at the moment. With a range of some real head turning cars it no wonder everyone is talking about the A, CLA, S and this the GLA. THE AMG version adds muscular appeal to the standard car and opens a new market for Mercedes, which Audi is currently dominating. The Audi RS Q3 is going to have a few sleepless nights and it would really interesting to see who would emerge victorious in a drag race. Petrol heads have a lot to look forward to in 2014 and the three-pointed star is introducing some real cracker cars that are getting everyone talking. The GLA 45 AMG is a new niche for Mercedes and with that awesome engine, brawny styling and special interior it’s going to be another winner for the German brand.
Please note all images were taken from http://www.netcarshow.com