2015 Mercedes GLA45 AMG is the Hottest Hatch

2015 Mercedes GLA45 AMG is the Hottest Hatch

Mercedes can’t stop talking about its new 2.0-liter turbocharged AMG engine and it’s hard to blame them.

The potent powerplant’s latest victim is on display  at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. By now, you know it’s called the GLA 45 AMG: a small crossover closely related to the feral CLA45 AMG. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sends 355 hp to all four corners. Up to half of that power can be directed to the rear wheels and the car is supposed to reach 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is the one unit offered.

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Mercedes hasn’t said anything about what the GLA45 AMG will cost, but you can bet it will start a healthy margin higher than the roughly $50,000 Mercedes asks for the CLA45. Even the base model is likely to be expensive, but Mercedes is also offering a suite of upgrades for the body, suspension and exhaust.

If course, it already comes with a performance-tuned suspension and exhaust system. The standard pipes include an automatically controlled variable vane to compromise between long-distance driving practicality when the engine doesn’t need to breathe as heavily and high-stress situations where the added capability improves performance. Similarly, customers may choose a stiffer-sprung suspension if they prefer a sports capability to comfort.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

As with the suspension, there are selectable modes for the transmission: manual, sport and controlled efficiency. Stability controls found in the car also offer three modes for varying degrees of slip and all models come standard with the ability to independently apply braking to the rear inside wheel to counteract understeer.

Customers will also be able to choose a larger front splitter, rear spoiler and carbon fiber body pieces. There will also be something called the “night package,” which adds silver chrome radiator louvers, a black strip around the waistline high-gloss black pieces on the sides and rear and black rectangular trim around the tail pipes.

The cabin looks stylistically similar to the GLA250, but with material upgrades and more aggressively bolstered seats. There’s also an available black Nappa leather and alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, upgraded seats, carbon fiber trim pieces and upgraded leather upholstery on the options list.

GALLERY: 2015 GLA45 AMG Live Photos


GALLERY: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG


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