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Pump up the volume in the new 421-horsepower Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

Pump up the volume in the new 421-horsepower Mercedes-AMG GLA 45

Dejan Jovanovic 11 months ago

The Germans have just launched the new Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4Matic, available in S-Model form with 421bhp and 500Nm of torque

It’s like the old airport parking conundrum – you’re arriving, but then you’re departing. And so on to the new Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4Matic… It’s a hot-hatch, but it’s also a crossover. It’s a hot-over? A cross-hot?


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The Stuttgarters straight-up call this a compact sports car, and glancing at the figures alone it’s an appropriate tag. This new AMG packs a four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine delivering a fairly ridiculous 421 horsepower if you go for the top-of-the-line S-variant, which you will, and it powers the car from rest to 100km/h in just 4.3 seconds and keeps on going to 250km/h when the electronic limiter kicks in. Ever heard of the BMW M4? Yeah, that one also does the sprint in 4.3 seconds, so AMG’s little crossover is picking a hell of a fight here.

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To get that much power from a tiny 2.0-litre the boffins in Affalterbach went with two-stage fuel injection for the first time, improved the cooling, and threw in a new twin-scroll turbocharger that spins up more freely up to its 169,000rpm peak. Apart form all the horsepower you also get 500Nm of torque at 5,000rpm, while the eight-speed double-clutch transmission drives all four wheels. 

An electromechanical differential controls torque between the front and rear axles with the driver able to choose from different moves including Pro and Master – naturally there is a Race Start function as well for the traffic light shenanigans.

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Mercedes-AMG countered the performance with 360mm brake discs up front and six-piston callipers on the GLA 45 4Matic S-Model, while the base non-S gets 350mm and 330mm discs front and rear respectively. Specific to the mode the body steel is also stiffer with aluminium gussets increasing torsional rigidity. The Germans are so serious with this pocket rocket they’ve even fitted the GLA 45 with the AMG Track Pace application so you can analyse your track sessions – should you find yourself lapping, say, Spa or the Nürburgring, the app even has stored information to display in the instrument cluster or the optional head-up display.

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You can have up to 21-inch wheels although 19s are standard, and you can tell the S-Model apart from the base car with 90mm diameter exhaust pipes at the back plus a diffuser featuring four vertical fins. The interior comes with loads of microfibre and leather as well as plenty of contrasting yellow stitching. As far as optional equipment goes Mercedes highlights AMG Real Performance Sound as quite a trick – it basically channels engine sounds into the cabin so you can further embellish the fiction that is the hot-over.


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