A performance SUV with a turbo four? Oh yeah.
There was a time when performance SUVs only came in size L and XL. A bigger and more powerful engine required a big SUV, right? Not anymore. Presenting the new 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45, a compact crossover packing some serious power under its hood, though it doesn't come from a V8 or twin-turbo V6. The 2021 GLA 45 comes powered by a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 382 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.
Quick comparison: the original flat-12-powered Ferrari Testarossa boasted 385 hp and 361 lb-ft.
Not only does the new GLA 45 offer more power than its first-generation predecessor, peak torque is available from 4,750-5,000 rpm, thus providing a power delivery comparable to that of a naturally aspirated engine. Impressive.
All of that power is distributed to a fully-variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system by an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. AMG claims a 0-60 mph time of only 4.3 seconds while top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. This new, hand-built turbo-four boasts several new features, among them a two-stage fuel-injection system and sophisticated cooling. The AWD system works together with AMG Torque Control that's located in the rear axle consisting of two electronically controlled multi-disc clutches. This enables power to not only be variably distributed between the front and rear wheels but also between the rear wheels only, resulting in excellent traction in a variety of road conditions and on harsh cornering.
Drivers can select from Basic, Advanced, Comfort, Pro, Master, and Sport AWD drive modes. An optimized suspension engineered for performance driving is standard, as is the AMG Ride Control adaptive damping system which allows drivers to choose between three suspension control modes.
A high-performance braking system featuring 4-piston fixed front calipers, while 1-piston floating calipers also comes standard. 6-piston front calipers are added when the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package is selected. A total of six AMD Dynamic Select drive modes, Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and Race, are provided to drivers. Exterior styling is definitely more muscular than before, such as the clearly noticeable power domes on the hood and muscular shoulders over the wheel arches.
As usual with AMG vehicles, there's a unique grille with vertical slats. LED high-performance headlights are standard, as are 19-inch light-alloy wheels with 10-spoke styling. A set of 21-inchers is optional. Other nice exterior touches include silver chrome inserts on the door panels and twin tailpipes encased in a wide rear diffuser. The roof spoiler is also functional.
Step inside and the MBUX infotainment system is just one of many standard features. AMG Performance seats and steering wheel are optional, as are four different leather upholsteries. The MB-Tex cloth upholstery is standard but this can be upgraded with Neva Grey and Black stitching, while the center console, which houses various driving system controls, is covered in gorgeous piano black. Mercedes also offers an AMG Track Pace data logger for enthusiasts to use when they hit the track.
Sales will kick off this summer and official pricing will be announced closer to that time.