Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the hottest versions of its GLA compact crossover yet – the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4Matic+ and the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S 4Matic+. Starting with the MFA2 platform H247 GLA that made its debut in December 2019 as a base, the AMG versions here employs the 2.0 litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as featured in the Mercedes-AMG A 45 and A 45 S.

The 1,991 cc M139 engine produces 387 hp at 6,500 rpm and 480 Nm of torque between 4,750 rpm and 5,000 rpm in the base GLA 45, and 421 hp at 6,750 rpm and 500 Nm of torque between 5,000 rpm and 5,250 rpm in the GLA 45 S. Both versions send their outputs to an AMG Speedshift DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission and the AMG Performance 4Matic+ fully variable all-wheel-drive system.

Thus equipped, the GLA 45 does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h, while the higher-output GLA 45 S does the benchmark run in 4.3 seconds and a slightly higher top speed at 270 km/h. Combined fuel consumption for the GLA 45 is rated at 9.2 l/100 km with CO2 emissions at 211 g/km, while the GLA 45 S is rated at 9.3 l/100 km with CO2 emissions at 212 g/km.

Like on the W177 A45 and C118 CLA45 launched last year, the GLA 45’s driveline features AMG Torque Control, which gives the system the ability to vary outputs not just between front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels by means of a twin clutch pack for torque vectoring. Also like on its 45-badged siblings, the GLA 45’s engine has been rotated 180 degrees relative to that in the 35-badged models in order to enable shorter paths for both intake and exhaust manifolds.

To handle the prodigious outputs, Mercedes-AMG has given the GLA 45 bodyshell reinforcements to cope; a lightweight aluminium plate fitted beneath the engine increases the car’s torsional rigidity at the front end, supplemented by diagonal struts at the front and rear ends of the underbody. These additions significantly reduce lateral and longitudinal movements of the bodyshell, thus reduced pitching and rolling motions during load changes when driving.

Suspension on the GLA 45 come courtesy of a MacPherson strut configuration for the front, and a four-link layout for the rear. Adaptive damping is provided by AMG Ride Control, offering three levels of suspension stiffness. The system adjusts damping forces for each of the four corners fully automatically, adjusting within milliseconds and is infinitely adjustable, according to the company.

Similar to A 45 convention, braking for the base GLA 45 is handled by 350 mm x 34 mm ventilated and perforated brake discs with four-piston monobloc calipers in front, and 330 mm x 22 mm discs with one-piston floating calipers feature at the rear; the standard brake calipers are grey with white AMG lettering.

The GLA 45 S and the base model with the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package get the larger, six-piston fixed calipers with 360 mm x 36 mm front brake discs, here featuring red calipers and black paint for the AMG logo. Rolling stock is a set of 19-inch 10-spoke wheels for the base model, while the S gains 20-inch rollers in a five-twin-spoke design; 21-inch items are optionally available for the GLA 45 and GLA 45 S.

As on comtemporary 45-series AMGs, steering comes courtesy of a speed-sensitive electromechanical setup with variable ratios. This will be either heavier in a sporty setting or lighter in the more comfort-oriented modes, and six drive modes are offered in the GLA 45 S and part of the optional AMG Drive Select Plus package, comprised of Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual and Race.

This links to the powertrain and transmission, exhaust, steering and suspension parameters. Inside, the MBUX infotainment system is treated to AMG-specific visual highlights in the displays, with Classic, Sport and Supersport display styles on offer for driver instrumentation. The AMG menu provides model-specific displays for a gear speed indicator, warm-up, set-up, g-meter, Racetimer and engine data.

This is in addition to the voice control functions with the cue ‘Hey Mercedes’ which grants access to infotainemnt and vehicle system functions. Standard on the S variant and optional on the base model, AMG Track Pace software is included in the MBUX infotainment system offer racetrack-use monitoring of more than 80 vehicle-specific data points, including speed, acceleration and more.

Acceleration and deceleration values can be measured and saved, and the AMG Track Pace can also detect when the vehicle has left the circuit or taken a shorter route, using GPS data as well as acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle and wheel speed sensors. Here, the MBUX Augmented Reality function can also show an ideal line for a stored racetrack on the multimedia or head-up display, in essence providing virtual racetrack instruction.

Also included as standard in the GLA 45 S is the AMG Performance steering wheel trimmed in nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre textile with contasting stitching, while standard upholstery is a combination of black Artico synthetic leather and Dinamica microfibre. Seatbelts in the GLA 45 are red designo items, while the dashboard gets carbon-fibre-look trim. Four different leather upholstery choices are also available.