2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 races in with 382 horsepower

Mercedes-Benz has a redesigned GLA compact crossover SUV on its way to showrooms in the summer and shortly after the market launch will be the arrival of the high-performance GLA45 variant from Mercedes-AMG.

The new GLA45 was revealed late on Tuesday ahead of the world debut at next week’s Geneva International Motor Show. It’s confirmed to reach showrooms in late 2020 as a 2021 model.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45

There’s also a GLA35 but for performance buffs the GLA45 is the model to get. It comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that makes 382 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Unlike some of AMG’s other compact cars, there’s no S-badged model with the 416-hp version of the 2.0-liter engine, though given the performance on offer in the regular GLA45 we’re sure few buyers will be complaining.

Mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, the engine hustles the GLA45 quickly off the line, seeing it run to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds or less. The top speed is governed to 155 mph.

Beyond the potent powertrain, the GLA45 also benefits from the latest version of AMG’s all-wheel-drive system for compact cars. The rear-biased system not only splits torque between the front and rear axles but also between the rear wheels thanks to a rear diff with two multi-plate clutches.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45

The suspension is also tuned for performance driving. At the front, a McPherson strut design and special geometry aimed at reducing torque steering helps to handle the big power. And at the rear, a four-link setup is connected to the body via a rear axle carrier, for extra rigidity. Adjustable dampers also feature at each corner.

The GLA45 is fitted with 19-inch wheels as standard (21-inch wheels are available) and inside each wheel sits a powerful brake setup, with 13.8-inch rotors and four-piston calipers at the front and 13.0-inch rotors and single-piston calipers at the rear. A more powerful system with 14.2-inch rotors and six-piston calipers is available.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA45

The interiors of Mercedes’ latest compact cars are a big step above the competition, and this is certainly the case for the GLA45. There are digital screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, each measuring 10.25 inches across. The SUV also come with natural-speak voice activation, eight-way power adjustable front seats with memory function, a multi-function steering wheel, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

Several electronic driver assist features are also standard. These include brake assist, crosswind assist, and a power liftgate. Worthwhile options include adaptive cruise control, parking assist, and a surround-view camera.

Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch late this year.

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