The Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 S 4MATIC+: A Potent Premium Compact SUV

Mercedes-Benz high performance arm, AMG, has been on a roll recently. After the successful launch of the AMG GT Black Series, here comes the new Mercedes-Benz GLA AMG 45 from Affalterbach, home of the AMG. This newest addition to the Three-point Star’s compact SUV line-up is packed with a new 2.0-liter engine to provide a higher output and lots of driving fun.

A Performance SUV built to take on anything

First up, the GLA 45 S has that familiar AMG radiator grille to give an already typical AMG impression. Other typical AMG goodies at the front for this model are LED High Performance headlights, large air intakes with silver chrome inserts and front splitter silver chrome.

Profile-wise, the GLA 45 S goes with 20-inch wheels and door panels with silver chrome inserts (gloss black optional). Wheel sizes go up to 21-inch, if requested. From the rear, oval exhaust tailpipes, slim 2-piece light clusters, diffuser with four vertical fins and roof spoiler give the GLA 45 S its character.

Inside the GLA 45 S, the standard interior highlight is in yellow.  Stock equipment are the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber with contrasting yellow topstitching, a yellow 12 o’clock marking, AMG steering buttons and AMG logo, plus ambient lighting.

For standard GLAs, the cabin comes in a combination of black ARTICO leather and DINAMICA microfiber along with typical AMG logos and red double topstitching. The seat belts are also in red, while the dashboard is decked with a carbon-fiber look and red-ringed vents. Options include upholstery in neva grey/black with mid-grey double topstitching and light-longitudinal-grain aluminium trim, and 4 other upholstery types.

Major highlights include MBUX infotainment system, 2 displays in a glass cover, instrument cluster with three AMG display styles (Classic,, Sport and Supersport), new steering with switches, AMG Track Pace data logger and AMG exhaust system (AMG Performance Sound, optional).

With greater emphasis on power delivery, the powertrain, which includes an 8-speed DCT dual clutch, in the GLA 45 S 4MATIC+ now pumps 310 kW (421 hp) and pushes 500 Nm of torque. The S model could do 0 – 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h.

New engine assembled by hand at Affalterbach

How could the new heart in the GLA 45 S be so potent? The answer lies in the rotated by 180-degree vertical axis, which means that the turbocharger and the exhaust manifold are now positioned at the rear, on the side of the firewall when viewed from behind. The intake system is therefore positioned at the front. This configuration allows the flattest possible and aerodynamically advantageous front section design. Furthermore, the new arrangement allows much improved air ducting with shorter distances and fewer diversions. At the same time, the shaft of the compressor and turbine wheel is mounted for the first time on anti-friction bearings which minimize friction in the turbocharger.

In addition, there are two stages of fuel injection and a high-end cooling system. These elements combine to offer optimum performance on the GLA 45 S.

Power is transferred to the wheels by the super smooth 8-speed DCT dual-clutch, aided by the AMG Dynamic Select. The AMG Dynamic Select offers Race Start, Comfort and Eco modes.

Next up, the AMG Torque Control with two electronically controlled multi-disc clutches. Power is delivered variably to front and rear wheels. Furthermore, it switches to the left and right rear wheel. The result is consistently optimum traction, even in adverse road conditions and during extreme cornering manoeuvres.

As a 4MATIC+, the GLA 45 S has all-wheel option in Basic. Advanced, Pro and Master settings. Choose wisely according to how much fun you want to have. Plus, an optional AMG Dynamic Plus package is available for even more agile handling and Fun!

Suspension and brakes

AMG Ride Control with adaptive damping system supplements the front’s MacPherson struts and 4-link rear. Suspension configuration is available for comfort, sport and sport+ setups.

For braking, the 4MATIC GLA 45 S comes with 4-piston monobloc fixed front callipers (350 x 32 mm discs) and a 1-piston floating callipers ( 330 x 22 mm). An optional Dynamic Plus package with larger brakes (red and black AMG logo) is available for the GLA 45 S and base variant.

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